3 minutes and 48 seconds – that is how long it took Breaking Bad to capture the attention of the viewers. That is how long the opening sequence of the first episode of the first season lasted: an RV, a confession, a gun, and some white undies.
Even taken on its own (without what happened afterwards), this opening sequence for Breaking Bad is a dynamic one, while also casting you into confusing world (again, the man in the white undies with a gun, the sirens, and so on). It captures perfectly the attention of the viewers and makes them wonder: what is going on in here?
And this question can be recouped from several other questions. And each of these comes from your confrontation with disorientation and conflicting emotions. These almost 4 minutes encapsulate perfectly the tone of the entire Breaking Bad series.
First it is the RV we see disturbing the silence of the desert – the element which disturbs the peace. Then it is the Underpants Man (as he is called in the script) that makes us almost laugh. Then it is the worry which overwhelms us, as we see him crying and as we discover just a tiny part of who he was. Then it is the excitement of the imminent confrontation with the police.
And when these minutes expire, our screens are invaded by an image of the periodic table, with Br and Ba slowly coming towards us, forming the title of what has become (probably) the best series of the recent times.
It can be argued that the pace of Breaking Bad was a bit slow at times, especially in the beginning of the show, but this opening sequence makes me believe that it knew exactly where it wanted to take us. This first scene, in my opinion, is the one that gave Breaking Bad its real tone.
What followed afterwards was just as impressive, although only a footnote. Too bad that say my name wasn’t included in these 3 minutes (Underpants Man screaming at the unseen police car these words would have been epic) – You’re Goddamn Right!