I repost this from another thread, because it's my two cents' worth:
I started watching simply because of Bryan, and because it got such good reviews - and nominations, and now it's got me hooked! Quite something, because, apart from Mad Men, I'm not watching any series right now, and I don't normally care for violent cop series or the like.
It's not airing in Holland (what a shame), but I've been watching the series as downloads, and now I'm halfway through Season 2, and I've bought the S1 DVD, which is great because of all the extras, like a making-of, interviews, anecdotes and audition tapes.
I agree it's totally compelling. From the start, the great cinematography in the cold openers and the leader with all the chemical elements mixed with the cast and crew names create this great sense of mystery and suspense. Every single episode I've seen contains some surprising twists and turns you hadn't seen coming, and which somehow all make sense. All main characters are fully rounded and have their strengths and weaknesses, and are very well acted.
What I also like about all the characters and the way the plot works in the series is how they are all almost mysteriously linked to each other in ways thay don't even realize. This may be stretching credibility a bit sometimes, but it does give a kind of cosmic feeling of human interdependency much like movies like Crash (not the David Cronenberg pic), Babel and the older Shortcuts.
It also points to the fact, I think, that we as viewers have to realize that Walt's and Jesse's acts are never without repercussions, even though it's like they get off the hook a lot.
I think that's good point made by the series, hovering over it like a sense of doom.