UPPER WEST SIDE — Addicts of the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad can get their fix of the methamphetamine-fueled show at a 5-day binge screening at Lincoln Center.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting a free marathon viewing of the first five seasons and inviting the creator and cast —including Bryan Cranston, who plays chemistry professor-turned methamphetamine-dealing criminal mastermind Walter White —to meet with fans this July and August, in anticipation of the series' final eight episodes.
"A marathon screening is the communal, big-screen equivalent of binge watching, which is already how many viewers consume serial television today," said Dennis Lim, head of Cinematheque Programming at the Society.
Among the cast members expected to participate in a question and answer series following a screening of the stars' favorite episodes on August 1st and 2nd are show creator and Executive Producer Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, who plays Walter's wife, Betsy Brandt; Walter's sister-in-law, RJ Mitte; Walter's son; and Bob Odenkirk, who plays a corrupt lawyer in the series.
So rather than curl up on the couch loading episode after episode, fanatics can join together in front of the big screen in a large air conditioned theater to watch the high-stakes final season of the series that catapulted Cranston and co-star Aaron Paul, who plays Walter's partner in crime, Jesse Pinkman, to fame.
From July 26 - 30, the center will screen all previous episodes in a free festival it's dubbing, "Long Cook: A Breaking Bad Marathon," at its 80-person amphitheater inside the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on West 65th Street.
Tickets are first-come first-serve throughout the day, an hour before each episode is screened.
The society's focus is film, but Lim acknowledged that "we recognized that the best new TV shows have really pushed the boundaries of narrative storytelling."
"A series like Breaking Bad," he added, "especially in the remarkable evolution of Bryan Cranston's great anti-hero — really demonstrates the benefits of duration and scope."
Five pairs of tickets to a special screening of the final episode in the last season will be raffled off during the marathon to viewers, who will all be eligible.
Details about the August sessions' timing and ticket cost will be announced later in July, the society said. The conversations will be live streamed on Filmlinc.com
Friday, July 26: Season 1 (7 episodes), 5:00 p.m.
"When straight-laced high school chemistry teacher Walter White is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he forms a crystal methamphetamine cooking operation with his former student, Jesse Pinkman."
Saturday, July 27: Season 2 (13 episodes), 12:00 p.m.
"One step ahead of his DEA-agent brother-in-law Hank, Walter begins to capitalize on his life of crime as its insidious effects on his wife, Skyler, and his partner, Jesse, begin to reveal themselves."
Sunday, July 28: Season 3 (13 episodes), 12:00 p.m.
"Joining a more advanced drug-dealing operation headed by the ruthless and enigmatic fast food entrepreneur Gustavo Fring pits Walter and Jesse against their most sophisticated enemy yet."
Monday, July 29: Season 4 (13 episodes), 12:00 p.m.
"With Hank closing in on Gus, Walter does everything in his power to ensure not only his survival but also his ultimate victory."
Tuesday, July 30: Season 5A (8 episodes), 5:00 p.m.
"As the Breaking Bad saga draws to a close, characters begin to reach the limits of their criminal morality."