Breaking Bad Locations in Albuquerque
May 3, 2010 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Breaking Bad Locations in Albuquerque (Flickr photoset, via the AV Club.)
posted by box (58 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
You misspelled Albuquerque!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:49 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


And there it is on the Flickr page, too. Oh, crap, that's embarrassing. At least I spelled it the same wrong way every time. Thanks for the heads-up, and if one of the mods could fix that, I'd be overjoyed.
posted by box at 5:51 PM on May 3, 2010


I can't recall a tenser ten minutes of television than the end of the most recent episode. I wonder who called Hank?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:52 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


(Don't feel bad, though; Albuquerque is spelled incorrectly even when it isn't.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:53 PM on May 3, 2010


I should've just called it ABQ.
posted by box at 5:55 PM on May 3, 2010


I love the cinematography of Breaking Bad. So bleak. So beautiful.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:59 PM on May 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking Gus is the most likely suspect.
posted by box at 6:00 PM on May 3, 2010


Breaking Bad is apparently a TV show. (I own one, but Jebus.)
posted by DU at 6:03 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, I have nothing new to say but I frickin love Breaking Bad. You don't see that kind of creative cinematography anywhere else on tv. Of course, the acting and writing is top notch too. It's basically my new 'The Wire' to be a big dork and give glowing recommendations about.
posted by saul wright at 6:04 PM on May 3, 2010


I knew I shoulda taken that left toin at Albakoikee!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 PM on May 3, 2010


note: correct spelling above
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 PM on May 3, 2010


We've got a lot of movie and television filming going on here in Albuquerque lately, and of the minority of those that are also set in Albuquerque, Breaking Bad does the best job of portraying the feel of the city, both good and bad. It's very true to life, which I really appreciate.
posted by signalnine at 6:07 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Albuquerque looks like it's stuck in a time warp. I like it.

I think In Plain Sight is filmed in ABQ also.

I'm thinking Gus is the most likely suspect.

Agreed.
posted by amro at 6:07 PM on May 3, 2010


So many great locations in ABQ. Love the Occidental building and the Dog House.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:08 PM on May 3, 2010


They set a show in Burque and didn't put any scenes in the Frontier?

For shame, television. For shame.
posted by NoraReed at 6:09 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Breaking Bad is apparently a TV show.

A TV show that's better than Mad Men, or Lady Gaga, or Obama, or Apple or David Simon. There. I said it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:12 PM on May 3, 2010 [25 favorites]


I can't believe the love Breaking Bad is getting.

Breaking Bad is pretty looking and has a fantastic premise, but I could only make it into the beginning of season 2 before quitting. The plot rapidly decided to sacrifice believability for spectacle and the characters are inconsistent and frequently incredible.

Comparable to The Wire? Mad Men? Seriously? Breaking Bad is not in the league with those shows.
posted by christonabike at 6:21 PM on May 3, 2010


The KiMo theatre... gee, that's just down the street from that place we're having a meetup at tomorrow.
posted by NoraReed at 6:24 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


New Mexico has had a general surge in filming activity, particularly around albuquerque and santa fe, mostly due to the efforts of the governor and mayors trying hard to promote the industry by giving out incentives and large low interest loans to filmmakers. I grew up in albuquerque, spent 21 years there, and spent a year or so trying to become a fully employed film crew person. Albuquerque itself has some very interesting spots, some nice cinematographic bleakness, but it's an ugly place to live.
posted by aesacus at 6:24 PM on May 3, 2010


The plot rapidly decided to sacrifice believability for spectacle and the characters are inconsistent and frequently incredible.

So, basically, it's Weeds with meth.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:27 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess what I like about Breaking Bad is how it surprises me, visually and within the narrative. I love Mad Men but I'm almost never surprised (tractor accidents aside.)
posted by saul wright at 6:28 PM on May 3, 2010


and it's loads more than Weeds with meth for sure.
posted by saul wright at 6:29 PM on May 3, 2010


Weeds on meth, then?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 PM on May 3, 2010


The first season was pretty great, the second season was kind of over the top, but the third season has been as good or better than almost any show on TV. It's gotten pretty amazing, if you can make it through that sophomore slump of the second season.
posted by mathowie at 6:33 PM on May 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Personally, I just can't believe that Burt's and Kelly's Brew Pub are still there.
posted by sugarfish at 7:03 PM on May 3, 2010


Sys Rq: have you ever even seen the show?

...

Last night's episode was outstanding. [Semi-spoilers start now] From Jesse's speech about what his existence had become since Walt came back into his life to Hank's opening up to Marie, and then the last ten minutes -- just wow. He had to have been tipped off by man Saul hired to bug his house, whose name escapes me right now, but was directed to by Fring because it would solve his main problem, keeping Walt safe for now and mitigating the twins because Hank could hold his own.

Comparions to 'The Wire' aren't warranted because they're completely different shows. But Vince Gilligan and his team have such a way with suspense and making seemingly innocuous scenarios so powerful (e.g., the woman in the wheelchair getting onto her minivan ramp).

And back on topic, that's an outstanding set of photos.
posted by cgomez at 7:10 PM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome! I haven't seen enough episodes of the show to become a Breaking Bad fan, but I am a big ABQ fan, having lived there from 2004 to late last year. This brings back a lot of memories: Octopus Wash! Dog House! All the weird murals!

But, more pertinent to this post: I used to live here. Not at this one, exactly, but another, nearly identical unit just around the corner that they used for exterior and back shots in Season 2. (No good stories, sorry: I tried my best to be gone when the crew were filming, since they made a hell of a lot of noise.)
posted by heurtebise at 7:19 PM on May 3, 2010


My favourite location has been that airport that always seems empty (as does the rest of Albuquerque, actually) - I'm surprised that's not featured in these pictures.
I also like the very elegant curved staircase in the lobby of the 'DEA Building'.
posted by Flashman at 7:32 PM on May 3, 2010


Needs more roof pizza.
posted by cgomez at 7:34 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first season was pretty great, the second season was kind of over the top, but the third season has been as good or better than almost any show on TV. It's gotten pretty amazing, if you can make it through that sophomore slump of the second season.

I am afraid I must take some exception with fearless leader. The first season, to me, was just great until I saw the second season, which made the first seem like...y'know...average? But only in retrospect. Admittedly, the plot takes some unlikely turns in S2 (though I would argue that it takes much, much more unlikely turns in the present season), but it all works (and, without getting SPOILERY, Walt's elaborate machinations never work the way they would on regular TV -- there are always consequences). There is nothing, nothing, in the first season as powerful as That Episode in S2, and just about nothing as shocking has ever taken place on any other TV show I have seen. This season? It started out a bit slow for me...in comics, there's a phenomenon called "writing for the trade," in which stories spread out over several issues don't read so well month-to-month but read just fine in collected form, all at once, and I get the feeling S3 was written with the eventual DVD set in mind. At this point, though, halfway through, all bets are off and I haven't been this into a series in years.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:11 PM on May 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


hey kfb, which "That Episode" are you talking about? The last one of the season?
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:35 PM on May 3, 2010


I spent most of my middle school years living by the Hi-Lo Market, seeing a naked Walter make his way thru that store in Season 2 was priceless!
posted by maortiz at 8:55 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the prevailing theories in the comments of Alan Sepinwall's blog is that Hanks boss (Merkert) is a mole. When Hank turned in this gun and badge Merkert told Gus who then told Merkert about The Cousins who then made the anonymous call to Hank.

Instead of trying to explain their theory I'll just link to it.
posted by Bonzai at 9:03 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is nothing, nothing, in the first season as powerful as That Episode in S2, and just about nothing as shocking has ever taken place on any other TV show I have seen.

I started out empathizing with and rooting for Walt, but as his morality corrodes away a little bit with every episode, as the rationalizations pile up, I get to That Episode and see how sad and empty he has become.

That Episode aside, when he confronts those meth heads in the Home Depot parking lot? Chilling.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 PM on May 3, 2010


Pollo.
posted by rigby51 at 9:31 PM on May 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


3rd and Tijeras. That one brought back some memories, alright. There is a place just behind the lamp post in that picture that serves Belgian waffles. Not any ordinary ones, either. They melt when you put them in your mouth. Light as air. I used to stop there after walking my son to school. Never had anything like them anywhere else.

It is a bummer not to see the Frontier. Carne Adovada and those wonderful tortillas are two of the things I miss most about Abq.
posted by cybrcamper at 9:35 PM on May 3, 2010


Yeah, I'm not sure which episode is "That Episode" either. I rather liked season two (more than I liked the first half of this season), although it started to slip into maddening late-Sopranos-style metaphors-instead-of-episodes stuff like the house repairs episode and the (what I felt was) lamely symbolic-over-dramatic season closer.

But great-googly-moogly, this last episode was dynamite. And yes, it was Gus who ordered the phone call (but I bet it was that fixer guy who actually made it).

That Episode aside, when he confronts those meth heads in the Home Depot parking lot? Chilling.


That scene was fantastic.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:48 PM on May 3, 2010


Pretty sure that kfg is talking about the second to last episode of the second season titled "Phoenix" where we have the departing moments of Jane from the series and Walt happens to accompany her (which about the least spoilery way I can phrase it).
posted by cgomez at 10:02 PM on May 3, 2010


Damn, it sounds like I've been missing a good show.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 PM on May 3, 2010


I'm going to have to start watching, if only to play spot-the-location -- I recognized around half of the spots in the set just from the thumbnails. I saw my first Pong machine at Eu-Can Bowl (now Silva Lanes) when my mom bowled in a summer league there; we used to get Choco-Tacos from the Yale Circle K (now Tri-H) when my pal Scott's video store Wavy Brain was nearby; and I am so totally not shocked that the "crack house" is right in the heart of the Student Ghetto, half a block from where The Living Batch used to be...
posted by Lazlo at 10:38 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chiming in with serious love for this show. The music, the cinematography, and above all Walt's incredible face. This season has been fantastic. Has anyone noticed how they massage the ambient noises of motors, traffic and wind to mimic hissing snakes whenever the cousins are around?

Breaking Bad is infinitely better than Weeds. Weeds always struck me as little more than an homage to the California suburban fantasy, and cartoonish at best. Breaking Bad started out cartoonish too, although grim by comparison. It focuses on a more common, less glamorous lower-middle class reality. But it has really blossomed since that cartoonish start. From the middle of second season until now, it has been getting better with each episode.
posted by molecicco at 1:54 AM on May 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


From when Hank's phone rang to the credits rolling in the last ep was less than five minutes. It felt like a week - in a good way. I haven't been as scared for a TV character in years. Ever, actually, that I can recall.

I still have a fondness for that ATM scene. Poor Spooge.

And elegant, subtle touches like Young Tio's chair having big wagon wheels are a great counterpoint to the violence.

FYI NJ TV critic Alan Sepinwall's blog is always worth reading for his and readers' take after each show.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:49 AM on May 4, 2010


Aw crap. Bonsai already linked to it. Sorry.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:52 AM on May 4, 2010


Damn, it sounds like I've been missing a good show.
posted by homunculus at 1:18 AM on May 4


This show is beyond awesome. Whatever else you are watching, stop, and watch this.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:48 AM on May 4, 2010


"Phoenix" is probably my favorite episode of the series as well, and probably when you learn the most about Walt's character.

The only thing I don't like now is that, presumably, Jane's dad is out of the show and won't be returning. I would have liked to have seen more of him in the aftermath of Jane/the crash, and what, if any, consequences there would be for Walt.
posted by snapped at 6:58 AM on May 4, 2010


Whatever else you are watching, stop, and watch this.

But watch from the beginning. Indeed, anyone who is curious: just watch the one hour pilot, which I think is as good as a feature film. You'll know at the end of that hour if the series is worth your time investment.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:12 AM on May 4, 2010


Also if your on the fence about starting up on this series keep in mind that there are less than 30 episodes so far.
posted by Bonzai at 8:47 AM on May 4, 2010


Damn, it sounds like I've been missing a good show.

Whatever else you are watching, stop, and watch this.

I concur - this is a show that has not let me down once since the very first scene with Walt with a gun in the desert. I consider it to be one of the best things on TV at this time, and WOW what a treat it would be to be starting from the beginning if I had no knowledge of it. Pick up season 1 and make a nice weekend viewing of it, and take season 2 the next weekend - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
posted by rodmandirect at 8:48 AM on May 4, 2010


The first season of Breaking Bad occasionally wandered too far into the novelty of "He's an ordinary chemistry teacher who uses SCIENCE! in real life! Bill Nye does crimes to support his family! Hal from Malcolm runs around pantsless in the desert!" It was good, but when the strike-shortened season ended abruptly, it allowed the story arc of the second season to be refined.

The second season of BB was one of the most effectively suspenseful seasons of TV that I've ever seen. It effectively developed one crisis after another, the resolution of each putting the protagonists in a worse situation than when they began, all while developing the characters as robust, complex personalities. The evolution of Walt from milquetoast everyman to the egomaniac control freak, Jesse and Hank becoming sympathetic characters, and Skyler's development were all well done. Even a minor character like Saul is no longer a one-note joke. It is impressive that the show has allowed the lead to become the least sympathetic character on the show. The S2 finale was a culmination of the personal and social damage Walt's ego had caused.

I think the third season has suffered slightly in comparison to the second, but it is still strong.

Few shows get as much mileage out of their cinematography; the landscape of ABQ is a significant component of the show.
posted by theclaw at 9:14 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I spent a good day and a half after seeing the S2 finale just out of sorts and perturbed. I don't think a fictional TV show has ever had that effect on me before.
posted by amro at 10:02 AM on May 4, 2010


Whatever else you are watching, stop, and watch this.

But watch from the beginning. Indeed, anyone who is curious: just watch the one hour pilot, which I think is as good as a feature film. You'll know at the end of that hour if the series is worth your time investment.


Okay, I'll check it out. Thanks.
posted by homunculus at 11:13 AM on May 4, 2010


The Vince-Gilligan-written episodes of The X-Files were some of my favorites, so I'm not at all surprised at how good Breaking Bad is. I watched all 7 episodes of the first season in two days and I've been a fan ever since.

I do sort of resent the comparison to Weeds. Yes, they're both about suburban-y family types turning to drug manufacturing/selling out of financial desperation, but that's where the comparison ends. Breaking Bad invests much more time in character development than Weeds, and Weeds lacks its subtlety and attention to detail as well. I notice new things when I re-watch episodes of Breaking Bad. Besides, after the second season Weeds began to prioritize LOOK AT THIS ZANY NEW PLOT POINT HERE over good storytelling.

I do wish Breaking Bad would spend some more time exploring what happens to the lives of long-term meth addicts--not just because it'd be socially responsible to do so, but because it's as real as all the other drug-related issues the show has covered so far, and I think they'd do it justice. The Spooge family was a good start, though. Damn, I loved that episode.
posted by bluishorange at 1:08 PM on May 4, 2010


Yeah, I barely even bother to watch Weeds nowdays (It was a decent show to begin with that has been going rapidly downhill) but if Breaking Bad can keep this up, it's BEST SHOW EVER material.
posted by saul wright at 3:02 PM on May 4, 2010


New Dean Norris Q and A:

On his 4-year-old: "we reenact the Tuco shootout from "Grilled" on a regular basis and he plays Tuco. He likes to play the bad guy."
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:07 PM on May 4, 2010


Wow, I don't know how I missed the Albuquerque thread. Nice to see a bunch of familiar sights in that Flickr stream and reminisce with the others here who know the place. I haven't seen Breaking Bad yet though.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:25 PM on May 4, 2010


There are two ways to understand Breaking Bad, the Homicide of our generation.
  1. Walt’s never-ending struggle to contend with events he could never have imagined occurring to him.
  2. Walt’s concomitant struggle to keep from losing his shit over such events.
If Bryan Cranston is to be commended for anything, it is for the seemingly endless novelty of the ways in which he imparts Walt just barely keeping from losing his shit.

Now, why should we have sympathy for Walt anymore? He’s essentially cured of cancer. He is now faced with life, and finally has the chance to enact comeuppance for his thwarted chemistry career. If that means producing the purest illegal drugs the world has ever seen, so be it.
posted by joeclark at 10:37 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, why should we have sympathy for Walt anymore? He’s essentially cured of cancer. He is now faced with life

Probably no one is still reading this anymore, but joeclark's above comment prompted me to look up a favorite exchange from The X-Files, a show you may have heard of that Vince Gilligan worked on:

Scully: "You know, Mulder, you are Ahab."
Mulder: "You know, its interesting you should say that, because I've always wanted a peg leg. It's a boyhood thing I never grew out of. I'm not being flippant, I've given this a lot of thought. I mean, if you have a peg leg or hooks for hands then maybe its enough to simply keep on living. You know, bravely facing life with your disability. But without these things you're actually meant to make something of your life, achieve something earn a raise, wear a necktie. So if anything I'm actually the antithesis of Ahab, because if I did have a peg leg I'd quite possibly be more happy and more content not to be chasing after these creatures of the unknown."


Walt lets himself off the hook w/r/t personal responsibility -- even morality -- when faced with a terminal illness, and maybe to some degree (up to "Phoenix," I'm thinking) we are there with him...but once he's cured (for now?), our sympathies for him start to vanish, as do Skyler's, as do Jesse's. The callback of a few episodes ago to the pilot (Walt's line to Jesse, delivered with something like triumph: "I am awake"), recontextualized, makes it clearer than ever that Walt has always wanted to be Heisenberg, and what has stood in his way is less some inner goodness than the fear of consequences. He freaked when he thought his cure would mean he'd have to resume his old life, then freaked worse when he realized that life was broken beyond any hope of repair. Now he just seems to become Heisenberg without the safety net of any excuses...Gus won't let him go, so there's that, but that's a little flimsy when Gus would've been happy enough with Jesse. The big challenge of this show now is to keep Walt on this track without making him a cartoon. I think they can do it, in no small part because Cranston is better than that. But I have a feeling this is why we're seeing Hank and Skyler and Jesse get more and more POV scenes than ever before -- because Walt is just becoming someone we either can't relate to or really do not want to.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:55 PM on May 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I cannot completely agree, Kittens. Walt, now faced with a normal lifespan, uses it and his ill-gotten gains to enact revenge on everyone who kept him from attaining permanent union with his beloved chemistry. He can upstage Gretchen and Elliott, his high school, and everyone in his life who can’t come up with three or four different ways of producing the consistently purest instances of a chemical the world has ever seen, two of which involve either platinum dioxide or thorium oxide.

Walt underwent a large discontinuity in his life and has used it to reunite with his first love. I believe the only estrangement he actually feels is from Walt Jr., who, as is obvious, views Hank has his père manqué.
posted by joeclark at 10:15 AM on May 18, 2010


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