Talking TV: 'Breaking Bad' has got it good [Video]

Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara and TV reporter Greg Braxton discuss the surging popularity of AMC's acclaimed drama series "Breaking Bad" as it begins its final season.

We're slouching toward this year's Emmys, and the most talked-about show on air is AMC's "Breaking Bad," which is entering the second half of its final season.

The show that turned the antihero model on its head -- Bryan Cranston's Walter White is pretty much all "anti" and no "hero"-- faces more than the usual pressure for its finale, as Times TV critic Mary McNamara and TV reporter Greg Braxton discuss in the latest edition of Talking TV (watch the video above).

As McNamara points out, "Breaking Bad" has recently outstripped "Mad Men" as AMC's alpha program, and being the first to end will set some sort of template for the story-, as opposed to ratings-, driven narratives. These are shows that will end because the writers are done, rather than because the shows have run out of steam.

Having transfixed an audience with its "Mr. Chips Turns Into Scarface" tale, creator Vince Gilligan seems to have a moral imperative not normally associated with television finales. As Braxton points out, we want to know if good will triumph or evil get what it deserves.

What do you think about "Breaking Bad"? And what shows are you talking about?