‘Metastasis,’ Spanish-language remake of ‘Breaking Bad,’ gets cooking

It’s been nearly nine months since “Breaking Bad” wrapped up its final season on AMC, bowing out with a series high of 10 million viewers

But the story of Walter White continues to be a ratings draw. On Monday, the simulcast premiere of “Metastasis,” the Spanish-language remake of “Breaking Bad,” racked up 3.4 million viewers across Univision and its sister networks UniMás and Galavisión. By comparison, the series premiere of “Breaking Bad” back in January 2008 notched a modest 1.4 million on AMC.

The new series, also from Sony Pictures Television, is a scrupulously faithful adaptation of the original, with Diego Trujillo starring as a schlumpy, cancer-stricken chemistry teacher named Walter Blanco and Roberto Urbina as his wayward former student, Jose Miguel Rosas.

All 62 episodes of “Metastasis” have already been produced, with each taking an average of just 2.5 days to film, according to USA Today, compared with eight days or more for “Breaking Bad.” The first three episodes are now available to watch on Hulu, and new installments will continue to air every weeknight on UniMás. At this rate, the series is scheduled to complete its entire run in just three months. (Talk about binge-watching.) 


The overall effect of watching the spoiler-rich, four-minute trailer for “Metastasis,” posted above, is like fast-forwarding through all five seasons of a low-budget version of “Breaking Bad.” All the iconic visuals, from Walt’s tighty whities to the bright yellow haz-mat suits to the acid-dissolved bodies, are there. 

But despite the almost uncanny likeness between “Metastasis” and “Breaking Bad,” tweaks have been made to account for certain cultural differences between the American Southwest and Colombia, where the series was filmed. (The New Republic has a handy comparison here.) Walter’s RV is now a school bus; Saul Bueno, the Saul Goodman character, is the sleazy host of a late-night legal talk show rather than the star of tacky TV commercials; and Jose’s catchphrase is something akin to “Hey, bro” rather than the original, “Yo, bitch." 

Some things just don’t translate. 

Follow @MeredithBlake on Twitter.


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