Fascinating piece on Breaking Bad (via Donald), and how it compares favorably to The Wire, The Sopranos, and Mad Men (I agree on at least two of those counts):
It’s not just that watching [Walter] White’s transformation is interesting; what’s interesting is that this transformation involves the fundamental core of who he supposedly is, and that this (wholly constructed) core is an extension of his own free will. The difference between White in the middle of Season 1 and White in the debut of Season 4 is not the product of his era or his upbringing or his social environment. It’s a product of his own consciousness. He changed himself. At some point, he decided to become bad, and that’s what matters.