For years, I've been the loudest Breaking Bad fan on Slog. It seems as though the rest of the world is catching up to me, but I will not rest until everyone acknowledges it as the best show on television. You can't make a stronger argument for television serials as the new novel: This is a Dickensian TV show, following a cast of characters across a wide socioeconomic strata as they careen toward each other and collide in unexpected ways. The best part of Breaking Bad is that it has a finite arc, and it's hurtling toward its conclusion. I trust Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan in a way that I did not trust the makers of Lost or Battlestar Galactica to conclude the story in a satisfying, logical manner. It's obvious in the way these stories spin out that Gilligan is a writer in the best sense; he's going to tell his story the way he wants to tell it.
But more importantly, Breaking Bad is the most American show imaginable: It's about entrepreneurship, business partnerships, honest lawyers, good and evil, life and death, and fast food. If you're not going out to a barbecue, you should celebrate the 4th with a marathon viewing session. This is a show about the United States of America; it simply could not happen anywhere else.