In less than a month, one of my favorite TV shows of all-time, Breaking Bad, will be finished. I've seen every episode since it began on January 20, 2008, and I've never gone more than a day after the premiere of a new episode before watching it. However, I'm not what you would call a "superfan" of the show. This may surprise you, but it shouldn't.
I had heard some things about the show before it premiered, but I shrugged them off. I was what you would call a "casual" fan of Malcolm In The Middle, because I'd usually watch it if I had nothing better to do. Sunday nights in Pittsburgh in the '90's? I was obviously either giving serious thought to visiting Cope's Cabana and making a case for whoever the Steelers' number one backup quarterback was, or daydreaming about playing goalie for the Penguins since I knew I could do a better job than that jerk Tom Barrasso. But I did watch Malcolm In The Middle sometimes, and it was usually amusing.
On the day of Breaking Bad''s premiere, I was visiting the house that my Dad and Uncle share. I don't remember exactly what was going on (it probably involved my Dad running around doing anything but relaxing), but I found myself alone in the living room, with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sitting on the table. Lucky for me I'd already read and re-read the years-old copies of Sports Illustrated sitting under the coffee table, and was bored enough to peruse an actual newspaper. What I discovered inside it would change my Sundays for years to come. Politics? Local stories? Comics? Coupons? Don't be ridiculous.
I, as always, headed straight for the copy of TV Week, the charming TV Guide rip-off that came inside many local Sunday papers nationwide. I was really just looking for the hockey schedule of that week and thinking of the days when I'd see ESPN2 had on 3 or 4 games and everything was right with the universe. Fortunately for me, the preview for Breaking Bad caught my eye (it had adorned the cover, but that usually never deterred me from heading right for the important sports stuff and nothing else). I had no clue who anybody the write-up mentioned was, except Bryan Cranston, one of the stars of the aforementioned Malcolm In The Middle. Luckily at that time of my life I didn't have a lot going on, so he was enough to sway me.
Ever since then, I've been what I consider a huge fan of the show. I've never quite caught the zeitgeist of other shows that debuted during my lifetime to my general indifference or ignorance. I know people (and Netflix) recommend some things to me, but it's a lot easier for me to be "with" a show from the very beginning. Breaking Bad is practically the only show I've been with from the beginning that maintained its quality throughout. But I'm still not a superfan.
Why am I not a superfan? Superfans like to watch the same twists and turns of previous episodes over and over again. I've never understood this. It's only a surprise the first time you see it. The case of diminishing returns largely applies here. If somebody were to tie me to a chair and force me to watch any show endlessly, I would never pick Breaking Bad, because it would be ruined around the tenth time I saw it. I'd pick something like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, because it would motivate me to chew through a rope and strangle myself to death before the end of the first episode, a much better fate (in those circumstances) than turning me against a great show.
With that being said, if you want somebody to watch the last half of Breaking Bad's final season with, I'd be a good candidate. If you want to discuss the show after each episode airs, even better. But if you're looking to form an unbeatable Breaking Bad trivia team, I can't be expected to carry it. I can come up with an amusing name, but I can't tell you the latitude and longitude of the pizza that Walt threw onto his roof at the end of an episode, so I'm not a real superfan.