Episodes You Must See to Truly Appreciate BREAKING BAD

From creator Vince Gilligan’s lips to our ears:

‘Breaking Bad’: 11 episodes you need to watch, with suggestions from creator Vince Gilligan
by Rick Porter

“Pilot”/”Cat’s in the Bag …”/”… and the Bag’s in the River”: Gilligan suggests watching the first three episodes of the series in one shot, as it introduces Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) dilemma — stricken with cancer, the high-school chemistry teacher decides to start cooking meth to earn extra money for his family — and “kind of set up who Walt is.”

“If you’re not into it by the third episode, it’s not for you,” he says. “No harm, no foul, and move on. That’s my best advice.”

“4 Days Out”: A Gilligan pick, the ninth episode of Season 2 (pictured above) finds Walt and his meth-cooking partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) stuck in the desert after the battery in their RV dies during a marathon cook. It’s a great look at what is becoming a very complicated relationship between these two unlikely partners.

“Phoenix”: Season 2’s penultimate episode is one where the show’s title really begins to manifest itself: Walt has a chance to help a dying woman but doesn’t take it. He’s horrified by what he’s done, but you can practically see him doing a cost-benefit analysis in his head as the situation unfolds.

“No Mas”: The third-season premiere is another of Gilligan’s favorites. The opening sequence alone, following two mysterious men literally crawling through the desert, is worth the price of admission and signals that Walt’s world is about to get much bigger and much more complicated.

“Half Measures”/”Full Measure”/”Box Cutter”: The final two episodes of Season 3 and the opener of Season 4 essentially tell one big story, with Walt and Jesse desperately working to get out from under Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) thumb. Taken together, they’re also a master class in hold-your-breath storytelling.

“Problem Dog”: Episode 7 of Season 4 finds Walt hatching a plan to kill Gus, with Jesse as the triggerman; Gus trying to split Walt and Jesse by bringing Jesse into his confidence; and Walt’s DEA agent brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris), getting closer and closer to putting the pieces together. Norris gives a spellbinding summary of his case to close the episode.

“Face Off”: The (literally) explosive Season 4 finale puts Walt in a very different place from where he started the show and sets up the coming season, which picks up more or less immediately afterward.

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Friendly reminder: BREAKING BAD comes back for its final season tonight at 10 pm Eastern Time on AMC, although way too many of us won’t get to see it.

Something to Look Forward to: DA VINCI’S DEMONS

Not only does the series sound intriguing, but Starz is doing something we’d like to see a lot more of: Promoting it by showing what a star its creator, writer David S. Goyer is. Let’s say that again: Goyer’s a star and Starz knows it.

Comic-Con 2012 Video: First Teaser for Starz’s ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ Unveiled
by Lesley Goldberg

The 1st teaser for Starz’s upcoming historical fantasy series Da Vinci’s Demons has debuted and it really is just as cryptic as you’d expect.

The drama revolves around Leonardo da Vinci, a brash and brilliant 25-year-old artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist whose intellect and talents will be explored as he struggles to live inside the confines of his personal reality and time as he begins to see — and invent — the future…

While no official footage of the drama was included in the short promo, the vague spot touts creator David S. Goyer‘s pedigree — co-writer, The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel! — and delivers a few things to ponder before the high-profile project debuts in the spring:

“History is a lie…. His story is a lie.”

“History is a lie that has been honed like a weapon by men and women who have suppressed the truth.”

“Centuries from now your own history will also be suppressed.”

“Free the future.”

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FRINGE Star Knows How It Ends

Joshua Jackson: I know how ‘Fringe’ ends
by Rick Porter

“Fringe” will have its biggest Comic-Con stage ever on Sunday (July 15) when the cast and producers greet fans in the San Diego Convention Center’s massive Hall H. And it’s likely just about all those fans will want to know about the show’s ending.

They can ask series star Joshua Jackson — because he says he knows where “Fringe’s” final season is headed.

“My show being what it is, I can’t tell you, but we have a really distinct … and very cool wrapping up of the entire series,” Jackson tells The Hollywood Reporter in a pre-Comic-Con roundtable with several other actors.

That’s something of a surprise, as in the past the “Fringe” powers that be tended to keep story details secret, even from the cast. Jackson says showrunner J.H. Wyman “has been kind of shockingly forthcoming, because our show is usually pretty impenetrable. But this is the last year, and I guess it’s a new leaf. He was like, ‘I want everybody engaged. I want everybody to know exactly what they’re doing.'”

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Well, well, well, did you know that Joshua Jackson runs this show? That what he wants (for everybody to be “engaged…to know exactly what they’re doing”) is the key to the entire series? We’ll bet J.J. Abrams didn’t know it either.

God, we wish we knew how to write fluff.

Or even read it.

EDITED TO ADD: Anna Torv knows how it ends too, which leads us to believe that all the stars do. Probably because the writing-producing staff wants them to be “engaged.” Read Anna Torv’s interview

“How Do I Get Started as a TV Director?”

Michael Weatherly strikes a directorial pose

by TeamTVWriter Press Service

Well, here’s one way:

“@eyesonly321: @M_Weatherly Hey Michael,will you be directing an ep this season?” Yes! I will be directing ABSOLUTELY!!

— Michael Weatherly (@M_Weatherly) July 12, 2012

Michael Weatherly hits another directorial pose

Big congrats to Michael! It’s so great to see a newbie get a break.

MTV Renews TEEN WOLF

Time to jump on the TEEN WOLF bandwagon because, you know, everyone’s doing it, sometimes even without knives

by TeamTVWriter Press Service

At Comic-Con yesterday, MTV announced the pick-up of a third season of its hit drama series “Teen Wolf.” Season three will feature 24 episodes, double the number of its first and second seasons, and will shoot in Los Angeles. This unprecedented pick-up marks the first time an MTV primetime scripted series has been renewed for a third season and the largest episode order in the scripted category to date.

“Teen Wolf” was developed by Jeff Davis (creator, “Criminal Minds”) who also serves as executive producer. The pilot was written by Jeff Davis and Jeph Loeb & Matthew Weisman and directed by Russell Mulcahy. The “Teen Wolf” series is based on a screenplay by Jeph Loeb & Matthew Weisman.

“Teen Wolf” was the #1 show in its time period among teens during its season one run, and has continued to reign in the demo throughout the second season. The series currently ranks as the #1 series across all TV in its time period among the key P12-34 demo, and draws 1.8 million total viewers each week. The series ranks as one of the most social shows on cable, according to Trendrr, and, in addition, is seeing triple digit gains in both Facebook and Twitter engagement. (And you thought ratings were all that mattered. Sheesh!)