I’m pretty fussy about TV shows, but Seasons One and Four of “Breaking Bad” do a really nice job of capturing what I would call modern noir. Seasons two and three make the understandable mistake of trying to make the characters likeable and understandable, rather than diving straight into the dark world of noir where all characters are flawed and in it for themselves.
Personally, I prefer Season One over season four based on its unflinchingly real portrayal of an angry chemistry teacher on the verge of losing his life, packed with real world references to chemistry and smart writing that communicates the power of knowledge in an extremely entertaining package. Seasons Two and Three are almost devoid of references to science, but thankfully the smart writers come back for Season Four. Can’t wait to see what’s up next.