Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad is a central work in the recent renaissance in television-making. The visionary scope and complexity of the series demand rigorous critical analysis. This collection of new essays focuses on a variety of themes. Walter White is discussed as father, psychopath and scientist and as an example of masculinity. The essayists examine the series in terms of gender, neo-liberal politics and health care reform, as well as the more traditional aesthetic categories of narrative construction, experimentation, allusion and genre. With television the dominant artistic medium of early 21st century America, Breaking Bad should be viewed as a superbly designed work reflecting widespread cultural concerns.