The Ultimate Culture Guide 2009: W

Watch List

AMC’s Breaking Bad is not an easy sell. There are no slick advertising types, no sociopathically charming New Jersey mob bosses. The series centers around Walt White, a Caltech whiz kid now teaching high school chemistry in Albuquerque. Oh, and he has lung cancer and sells crystal meth to pay for treatment. But we watch anyway. Partly in our continuing search for truly satisfying Sunday night television and partly because of lead actor Bryan Cranston, who stole the Emmy right out from under Jon Hamm’s nose. But we started watching, we confess, because New York Times critic Ginia Bellafante recommended it. We’ll listen to anyone who has the nerve to call stylist Rachel Zoe and her reality show a “pox on humanity” and put it in writing.