Bullz-Eye meets Bryan Cranston on the “Breaking Bad” set

When you’re an easily-amused TV critic, every day is filled with wonderful surprises which range from the arrival of an advance screener of an episode of one of your favorite shows to the opportunity to interview one of your favorite actors. Once in awhile, though, something arrives via E-mail which blows your mind completely…and, in this case, it was a personal letter from Bryan Cranston, who plays Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that personal a letter. It was sent to everyone in the Television Critics Association, so it kicked off with “Dear TCA Member” rather than a cheerily specific “Hi, Will!”  Still, it’s not that big an organization (there are only a few hundred folks within its ranks), so it’s not like this was the TV critic equivalent of getting a piece of mail addressed to Current Occupant. Besides, once I read the letter, any issues that I may have had with the lack of personalization had evaporated like excess meth.

It went a little something like this…

Dear TCA Member:

First of all, this letter is long overdue.  I’ve wanted to thank you for honoring me with the greatly coveted award of best actor in a drama series back when it was still fresh.  My apologies.  I was deeply appreciative.  Someday I’ll be able to tell my grandkids that I once beat out the fabulous Glenn Close. They’ll look at me with wonder in their eyes and ask, “Who’s he?”

I thought of how regretful it was that I was unable to thank you all personally…and then it hit me: why can’t I?

I would like to personally invite you to visit the “Breaking Bad” set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the next few weeks we will be shooting the finale of what promises to be a powerful new season. Vince Gilligan himself will be directing.  We would love the opportunity to welcome you to the world of “Breaking Bad,” meet and hang out with the cast and our amazing crew, take pictures on our sets, receive some sweet swag, and enjoy the outstanding Tex-Mex cuisine New Mexico has to offer.

I really hope you take us up on this – but if you can’t break away for a visit, I hope this letter will at least convey the depth of my gratitude.

Maybe someday you’ll be able to tell your grandkids that you once visited Bryan Cranston in New Mexico.  Your grandchildren would look to you with wonder in their eyes and ask:  “Who the hell is Byron Crabstone?”

Hope to see you in the ‘Land of Enchantment.’

Thank you, and may your 2010 be a prosperous and healthy one.

Bryan Cranston

Needless to say, it was an offer that I could not refuse. Nor, for that matter, could Bullz-Eye’s illustrious editor-in-chief, Jamey Codding, who…well, he has used the phrase “tagged along” when referring to his attendance on the trip, but as the single biggest “Breaking Bad” fan amongst the Bullz-Eye staff, it’s fair to say that he more than held his own during the course of the trip when it came to quizzing the cast and crew about the intricacies of the show. We’ll be offering you a lengthier look into our little adventure as we inch ever closer to the premiere of the series’ third season, which kicks off on March 21st, but there are some thing things that, by law, we can’t discuss until the season finale. No, seriously, we signed some papers. It’s all very official. I mean, you wouldn’t want us to end up behind bars, would you?

We didn’t think so.

In the meantime, though, we thought we’d at least offer up a brief glimpse into what we experienced during our short but über-sweet trip.

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