I only started watching Game of Thrones in 2019. Being 8 years late for that, of course I’d be 11 years late to Breaking Bad. The test of time and all that.
Actually I have tried a couple of episodes before, but I found it too disturbing. But then I thought, its not really more disturbing than any other movie that concentrates evil into a tiny point (say, scenes, characters, plot lines, and so on) in order to achieve a narrative effect.
One good example of this is the movie Calvary. When you first watch it, you feel kinda angry and sad. But then, after a couple of days have passed and you have fully digested the movie, you see it as quite beautiful.
I suppose this is quite common. One can find it in literature also.
Anyway, now I have finished it and I see why people loved it so much. Its very well writtern and well executed.
Roughly speaking, there are two main elements that generally attract the audience to a show or movie: its premise and its characters.
Some shows run today based only on our sympathies towards the characters, like Stranger Things — all the mystery is gone and now we only follow our beloved characters in crazy adventures (in a much crazier plot). Others have a very good premise, but don’t quite deliver — they can’t do anything with that amazing premise, maybe because it wasn’t fully thought through or whatever.
Now, Breaking Bad doesn’t have any of these two elements (imho). But its so well done that you end up liking the story and the characters (to a certain extent. Who ever thought they’d end up liking Mike or Hank?