Riva/Harlequin Presents Extra author Heidi Rice talks about the greatest TV series a lot of folks have never seen... But really, really should.
The original premise, when you mention it to anyone, sounds like complete pants: A middle-aged high-school chemistry teacher in Albequeque New Mexico called Walter White discovers he has terminal lung cancer. In a bid to pay for his treatment without bankrupting his family — and give them something to survive on once he's gone — Walter joins forces with a former delinquent student turned minor drug dealer called Jessie Pinkman to cook crystal meth... Sound like a bit of a downer? Well, yes it is in some ways, but it's also a beautifully observed and also at times darkly comic story of people in crisis and how pretty much anyone can justify pretty much anything given the right incentive.
This isn't about good people or bad people, it's about every person and the choices they make in all their wonderful moral complexity. Bryan Cranston as Walter (yes, that is the guy who played the goofy dad in Malcolm in the Middle) gives a tour de force performance as the super-smart but super frustrated Walter and he's the dark heart of this drama which just keeps getting darker as his crimes (and his justifications for them) keep mounting up. But he's backed by a cast of other brilliantly-observed characters in a drama that's put together with the intricacy and dramatic intensity of a Greek tragedy (but in Albequeque!). There's Walter's wife Skyler (Anna Gunn), who when we first see her is on the verge of having their second child. She's Walter's moral compass and as soon as he starts lying to her, we know things are not going to work out well... Then there is Walter's disabled teenage son Walt Jr (RJ Mitte), who loves his father but cannot concieve of the things he has done. Walter's brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), who at first seems like a borish macho idiot but who grows on you in all sorts of wonderful ways. Skyler's highly strung sister Marie (Betsy Brandt) and Walter's shyster lawyer Saul Goodman (comedian Bob Odenkirk) who you want to hate for his complete lack of scruples, but who you can't help warming to because he is SUCH a bad boy. And perhaps best of all, the strung-out messed-up often obnoxious lost boy Jessie (Aaron Paul) who at first seems to be the guy leading Walter astray, but eventually becomes the only thing standing between Walter and the darkest side of his personality...
The show is now on it's Fifth Season in the US... I've devoured Three Series so far, with my husband and I completed addicted to it... Honestly once we get the new DVDs we watch an episode pretty much every night or we start suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Seriously? There is nothing better on Telly.. And I'm not sure there ever has been. This is the ultimate unmissable show... But be warned, once you've had your first fix, you'll be hooked for life.
Heidi is currently working on an AWESOME Kiss continuity with fellow authors Kim Lang, Amy Andrews and Aimee Carson and loving every minute of it (in between feeding her BB addiction). Her next Riva and last HPE book One Night So Pregnant is out in the UK and US in Nov/Dec. Find out about her books here, or come have a natter on Facebook, Twitter (@HeidiRomRice) or her website.