The series finale of Breaking Bad, “Felina”, was watched by 10.3 million viewers, the highest Breaking Bad ratings in the show’s history. To put that in perspective, the season 4 finale had 1.9 million viewers, season 5 debuted with 2.93 million, and the second half of 5 debuted with 5.92 million.
Two years ago AMC considered pulling the plug on the show. It was just too expensive, and although critically acclaimed, came with mediocre ratings. Since renewing the show, AMC has seen its viewership’s momentum reach astounding heights. How could this be, people asked? How could so many millions of people jump on the Breaking Bad band wagon?
Some point to Netflix. It’s difficult to maintain interest in a narrative drama series (that takes place in the span of a year or two, to say the least) when one doesn’t have access to episodes in sequence. Who wants to start watching a series like Breaking Bad in the middle, when you have no idea who new characters are? “Hey, who’s that new girl Jessie is sleeping with? What happened to Jane?” a cable viewer in this alternate Netflix-less universe might ask. Netflix gives us the opportunity to control our own broadcasting (duh).
Yesterday I heard a couple of radio announcers in El Paso, Texas say they had never EVEN HEARD OF THE SHOW. I know El Paso is isolated, but sheesh. Regardless of those who don’t know squat about the show, is there anyone out there who thinks Breaking Bad is just plain awful? No honestly, it’s a serious question. Even if you the show isn’t your favorite, there is no use denying that it’s at least good. I like to imagine a lone dissenter out there, sitting in front of his or her computer, disgruntled because they must hear about Breaking Bad for at least another week, a series they believe is worthless and over-hyped. This person is hard to imagine, but since statistically there are so many of us out there that there has to be someone like this.
But I digress. Even though I didn’t find the final episode all that great (its tone was slightly different from the previous episodes, scenarios worked out too easily for Walt, etc) I still enjoyed it. “Felina” was closure, and that’s exactly what all of us we needed.
Now, hopefully, we can all move on to other shows on our queue, no matter how high the bar has been set.
Source: Slash Filmby