‘Breaking Bad’ burnout

 Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the AMC drama “Breaking Bad.’’
Ursula Coyote/AMC
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the AMC drama “Breaking Bad.’’

Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers Thursday on
Here are excerpts.

Q. I’m tired of reading about “Breaking Bad.” It’s good, we get it, enough already.

A. Ouch! But I hear you. The scrutiny at times is too much. At a certain point, all the analysis threatens to strip the life out of the show. TV writers start writing about it to show how smart they are, and it all gets a little bit icky. But “Breaking Bad” is such a gift to writers, because it’s so rich and there are so many layers to look at. And it’s not the worst thing, to celebrate a good show.

Q. Can I start “Breaking Bad” with this season?


A. “Breaking Bad” is a show that builds across the seasons, and it would be a shame to miss out on all the momentum. It’s about change, as Walt goes from a nebbishy teacher to a drug lord monster, and as Jesse goes from a vacant druggie to a morally conflicted soul. You’ll miss a lot of those incremental shifts if you just jump in now.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Q. Is “Low Winter Sun” any good?

A. I’ve seen two episodes, and they did nothing for me. It feels like a “Shield” or “Wire” wannabe. It has an overbearingly noir atmosphere with too-broody characters. It’s a show that really, really wants to be an Important Drama About Morality. That shouldn’t be the goal, so much as the byproduct. The goal should be good storytelling.

Q. “Low Winter Sun” is just confusing to me.

A. They leave out a few connectors, to make it seem like smart, challenging drama.


Q. Any insight into the next season of “Boardwalk Empire”? Last season was a letdown.

A. I’m always interested in “Boardwalk Empire,” which is back on Sept. 8, even though it disappoints about 30 to 40 percent of the time. I still think getting rid of Jimmy Darmody was a big mistake. Maybe Terence Winter, the creator, is moving toward a “big bad” approach, where there is a villain each season, like Bobby Cannavale’s Gyp Rosetti. Jeffrey Wright and Ron Livingston have joined the cast.

Q. On “Ray Donovan,” Ray has very few redeeming qualities that make me want to root for him as I did for Dexter and Tony Soprano.

A. Good point. He’s a hard guy to warm up to, except that Liev Schreiber has a sweetness in his face. I think Ray’s fatherly passion is supposed to endear him to us, to some extent. Also, I’m betting we’ll learn something about his past that will be sympathetic and will explain some of his hatred for his father. Maybe it’s connected to the dead sister?

Q. Any idea what shows are going to be on this new FXX network?


A. As I understand it, FXX will air comedy series, including original FX comedies like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The League” and then syndicated repeats of shows like “Parks and Recreation.” “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell” will air five nights a week.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.