OMG: Breaking Bad has finally ended and as we gasp over the ending (don’t worry, no spoilers here) all we have to console ourselves with are the DVD boxsets!
I have to admit right now that I’m absolutely addicted to US TV series Breaking Bad! First screened in 2008 the deliciously dark Breaking Bad has garnered a somewhat cult following. I bought the Series 1 DVD a few months ago and have now watched every single episode. In honour of the last ever episode we look at some of the real life locations;
Did you know that Breaking Bad was originally destined to be set in California? Indeed the pilot was filmed in Riverside but Vince Gilligan switched to Albuquerque in New Mexico after receiving a tax rebate to film there instead. The very first scene that kicked off the long-running deadly methamphetamine war is absolutely iconic BB and it’s difficult to imagine an alternative to the vast New Mexico desert.
Twisters Grill aka Los Pollos Hermanos
The Chicken Brothers fast food chain, aka Los Pollos Hermanos, which is headed up by drug lord Gustavo Fring, used the real life Twisters Grill restaurant. This is one of the most iconic locations of Breking Bad and in fact the logo featuring the two cheery chickens, still watches over the diners.
Albuquerque and New Mexico
The sweeping vistas of vast desert landscapes typify New Mexico and the scenes involving the early cooks, meets and shootouts all take part in the mysterious yet dangerous desert. The stark landscape lends itself perfectly to the tantalising tense moments in Breaking Bad – who can forget that scene when Hank comes face to face with the adapted tortoise! And the state capital of Albuquerque features heavily through the five series, from the Octopus Car Wash where Walt worked, to Jesse and Jane’s duplex apartment. The Spanish settlement of Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and today New Mexico’s largest city has an abundance of galleries, museums and cultural sights.
Walter and Skylar White’s house is located on Premont Drive in eastern Albuquerque. The single storey iconic property is owned by Frances Padilla who actually lives there. She for one will probably be pleased at the impending end of the series as hundreds of fans drive by every day keen to get a peek of The White House, where the chemistry teacher lived. Vince Gilligan scouted the house and the interior and pool feature heavily throughout series one to five.
Jesse Pinkman’s House
Featuring heavily in series one, Jesse’s aunt’s house (before he bought it) is located on 16th Street SW, just off Los Alamos Avenue in Albuquerque’s Huning Castle District. The house was sold part way through production, so in later series only the front is real, the interior shots are set within a studio.
Jesse and Jane’s Duplex
In Season 3 Jesse and Jane’s duplex apartment feature heavily in several key scenes. Located on the corner of Terrace SE and Lead Avenue in the city’s University Heights district, the duplex features on the local location tours that have recently sprung up.
Saul Goodman’s Office
In the northeast of Albuquerque is the office of Saul Goodman, whose sarcastic humour cut through many tense scenes. He delivers his mantra “You’d better call Saul!” at his offices based on Montgomery Boulevard beside the Sierra Vista Shopping Center (just a block away from Walt’s house).
Hank and Marie’s House
Hank and Marie Schrader live in an expensive neighbourhood in the east of the city, on the edge of the Sandia Park and just east of the Sandia Mountains.
Cowboy’s, Combo’s Corner and more…
There are countless other locations dotted around south Albuquerque, such as Cowboy’s bar where Walt meets Jane’s father, Combo’s Corner where Combo is shot and Java Joe’s where Walt sets up the biggest deal of his life in series 1. These and a whole list of Breaking Bad Scene Locations are listed on various maps.
Breaking Bad is the current Guinness World Record holder for the highest-rated TV series with a stupendous metacritic.com score for the fifth season of 99 out of 100.
Breaking Bad also has twelve 2013 Emmy nominations including Best Drama Series, Best Actor for Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Best Supporting Actor for Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman). Find out on Sunday 22 September how many Emmys the series wins.
By Julie Bowman