Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan Nabs a DGA Nomination

by on January 18, 2012

in Entertainment

Breaking Bad poster

My latest addiction these days is the AMC TV show, Breaking Bad.  It stars Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt and RJ Mitte in a story about a lowly High School chemistry teacher who ends up using his expertise in chemistry to make the best Meth in New Mexico.

Breaking Bad is created by and directed by Vince Gilligan and the writing in this show is so spot on that the show is like digital crack.

AMC fired off an email to folks who belong in the cadre of big and small press that Vince Gilligan has been nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series category.  This is to do with the season 4 season finale episode.

But he has a tough field to battle it out with!

Gilligan faces off against fellow directors like Patty Jenkins (The Killing, Pilot, AMC),  Michael Cuesta (Homeland, “Pilot,” Showtime), Tim Van Patten (Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming” [Pilot], HBO), and Michael Waxman (Friday Night Lights, “Always” [Series Finale], NBC).

Good luck Vince!  All those shows are heavy hitters and I couldn’t even begin to guess which one might win!  The winners will find out at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Sat., Jan. 28.

If you’re wondering where you’ve heard the name Vince Gilligan… well, you may have seen the name that is, scrolling across credit rolls for 2008’s Hancock, and on TV, you would have seen his executive producer credits for fan favorite TV shows like The X-Files & The Lone Gunmen.

Rumor has it he’s working on a script for a comedy titled 2-Face, which is about a man with a split personality, who works in the political arena. (IMDb)

About Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad laundering money

This is another show that takes folks who live on the other side of the law, and makes the characters likeable characters, showing the TV viewer that even those folk have family and personal issues, like the rest of us… except for all the drug dealing, gun-play, murder  and such….

The writing makes almost each character pretty appealing, someone you can related to in some way.

Over the course of it’s The show has had accolades poured upon it from mainstream press.  It has also been nominated oodles of times and has garnered the following awards:

AFI Awards

•      AFI TV Programme of the Year

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA (Saturn Awards)

•      Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series

•      Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series

•      Best Supporting Actor on Television
Aaron Paul

American Cinema Editors

•      Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television;  For episode “ABQ”.

•      Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television
Lynne Willingham:  • For the pilot episode.

Emmy Awards

•      Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston

•      Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul

•      Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; For episode “ABQ”.

•      Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston

•      Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; For the pilot episode.

•      Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston

Television Critics Association Awards

2010•      Outstanding Achievement in Drama

2009•      Individual Achievement in Drama; Bryan Cranston

Writers Guild of America: 

2009•      Episodic Drama; Vince Gilligan; For the pilot episode.

= = =

The role of the chemist, Walter White is played by Bryan Cranston.  This is a far cry from being a comedic dad in Malcolm in the Middle but the role of Walter lets Cranston’s talent shine through like never before.

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

And though you may not see much of Bryan Cranston on TV, you can catch him in movies like Little Miss Sunshine, Love Ranch, The Lincoln Lawyer, Drive, Larry Crowne, Contagion and Red Tails.

Upcoming movies (at the time of this piece) for Cranston include John Carter, Rock of Ages, and the remake of Total Recall.

In Breaking Bad you find yourself liking some of the oddest characters.

Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad

For instance, the low-life partner of Walt’s, Jesse.  You learn that underneath this addictive personality, who can’t seem to get away from tragedy, which drives him to his over-indulgences, is a likable kid underneath and you find yourself rooting for him to get his s*t together.

We’ve seen Aaron in Big Love, and before that, he’s been in one-up guest appearances in 30 other TV shows over the years.

Walt’s wife, Skyer, is played by Anna Gunn.  You may have seen her as a regular in Deadwood.

Dean Norris in Breaking Bad

Walt’s brother-in-law, the DEA agent (Yea, crazy, huh?), is played by Dean Norris.  Heck, what haven’t you seen him in?   He’s been in over 100 TV shows, but in short 1 to 4 episode story arcs.  And in 30 movies…  he’s good at playing the cop/military role… He was a commanding officer in Starship Troopers, a state trooper in Little Miss Sunshine and the softball coach in How Do You Know.


Breaking Bad not only is a great story unfolding from episode to episode, the photography is wondrous.  They make New Mexico look absolutely gorgeous.  And each, well, many episodes tend to open with a curious puzzle of sorts.  Whether it be a scene from the ending of the present episode, or scenes from a closing scene of the season, or, well, it just opens the show, you just never know.  And the previews keep your appetite whetted throughout the episode, and sometimes, set you off in the wrong direction.

In other words, it’s not just the show and its characters, but how the show is presented to you and keeps you wondering and guessing.  It’s like a good guessing-game episode of Castle, but with a grittier approach!

Yea, Breaking Bad is an addictive TV show, but that’s my take on the series.  I guess the various awards it has earned might be another clue it has some great dramatic legs.  But the sad part is that next season, its fifth, will be its last.  I can only imagine how they’re going to approach the story and present it to the viewers.


Breaking Bad on Amazon


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