Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Review | Fanboys Anonymous

Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Review

Posted by Ronnie Brown Sunday, December 1, 2013
It's hard to believe that Breaking Bad, one of the best and most consistently excellent TV shows I've ever seen, ended about two months ago. Luckily, Sony and AMC have gone all out to create a complete series set and decided to release it quickly. Is it worth your money, even if you own all the other seasons? Absolutely! If you had any doubts, go buy it right now.

Oh, you want more info? As my reviews of the final season pointed out, I absolutely adore this show and cannot recommend it enough, so this review will focus more on the set itself and why it's worth your hard-earned money.

The Packaging
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My barrel was just itching to be opened.

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Everything included in the set except the Los Pollos Hermanos apron
As you can see, the set comes in some really sleek packaging, and it's packed with goodies. The top of the barrel comes off to reveal a Los Pollos Hermanos apron and a little "challenge coin" featuring the Heisenberg sketch on the front with the text "Yo soy el peligro" (Spanish for "I am the danger"), and the Breaking Bad logo on the back. It's a pretty impressive little coin, and definitely something sweet for collectors. The Los Pollos Hermanos apron is also great for all you chefs (or should I cooks?) out there. A disc found on the underside of the barrel lid is labeled with the coordinates where Walt buried his money in the episode "Buried" and includes a slew of bonus features, which I'll come back to later.

Once you open the front of the barrel, you'll find a Breaking Bad booklet that contains a letter from series creator Vince Gilligan and a guide to each season of the show, as well as the season discs themselves. The designers at Sony and AMC did something extremely cool with the packaging of each season. Each individual disc is housed in what looks like a plastic coaster, with a cover to hold it in place. Magnets hold the halves of the case together, and on each half is part of an image that is fully revealed when the disc is removed. The image is something that played a big role in that particular season—such as the pink teddy bear for season two, or the car keys Walt used in his contraption from "Felina" for the final season—and it's a brilliant little touch.

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"Yeah, bitch! Magnets!"
The Content
Once you're done admiring the physical set, it's time to dive in and binge-watch the entire series, and/or check out the bonus features. The series itself is phenomenal, and while I'm no AV expert, the show looks and sounds awesome on Blu-ray, particularly the later seasons. The real reason to buy this set, however, is the array of bonus features, both new and old.

Remember that bonus disc I mentioned earlier? It's loaded with extra content, starting with "No Half Measures," a two hour and fifteen minute documentary detailing the entire series. Roughly the first fifteen minutes of the documentary are spent on the first four and a half seasons, while the bulk of the running time is spent discussing each of the final eight episodes at length. It's fascinating and absolutely worth a watch from any crazed Breaking Bad fan like myself. That alone is worth your money in my mind, but this disc contains so much more. There are plenty of other new features about season five, but the disc also collects a bunch of features from season four that were previously exclusive to specific retailers. That means that now every Breaking Bad bonus feature ever released is contained in this collection, with one minor exception. The MythBusters "Breaking Bad Special" that was included in the final season set was left out of this one. Odd, but far from a deal-breaker.

All of the bonus features from the previous sets are included on the same discs they were before, and the final season adds plenty of new ones. The commentaries on each of the final eight episodes are just as fun to listen to as ever; it's obvious that everyone involved in making this piece of television history had a blast doing so, and often a commentary could be informative and really funny at the same time. Other features cover the creation of specific scenes, like the intense ending of "To'hajiilee" or the previously mentioned contraption in "Felina," and they're just as interesting to watch. Then as usual, the gag real is a great way to show how even with the incredibly dark material they had to deal with, the cast still managed to have fun right up to the end. Really, all of the new features are worth a watch, but I have to give a special shout out to the "alternate ending," which is even better for fans of Malcolm in the Middle. I'll leave it at that so you can experience it for yourselves; if you're so inclined, you can watch it here. Needless to say, there is enough in this set to keep you busy for a very long time.

So there you have it, fanboys and fangirls. This set would be a wonderful Christmas gift for any Breaking Bad fan (including yourself!) or any potential fan. Yes, the first four and a half seasons are on Netflix, with the final eight episodes likely coming soon, but there is so much packed into this barrel that it's completely worth your time and money. If you've already bought the first five sets, I'd recommend trading them in somewhere like MovieStop and putting the credit toward the barrel. Roll it home and fall in love with the series all over again (or for the first time) until we get a chance to see if the "Better Call Saul" spinoff will be any good. More than likely, I'll have thoughts on that when it airs, but until then, what do you think of this set? Is there anything different you would've liked to see? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to check out what my fellow authors and I are up to here at Fanboys Anonymous!
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY A GUEST WRITER

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