Sunday’s premiere of season two of Breaking Bad "was just about perfect," said Josh Gajewski in the Los Angeles Times. The AMC show—about a dying high school chemistry teacher who becomes a drug dealer to earn money to leave to his family—is “rife with intensity and that overwhelming sense of doom.” (Watch the preview)

“But can we hang on for another tour through this cheerless landscape?” said Heather Havrilesky in Salon. “Every scene seems to end either in silent suffering and abject misery,” and although there are “occasional forays into comedy, Breaking Bad remains far too oppressively bleak to approach the giddy darkness of schadenfreude.”

“It's by no means pleasant to watch,” said Alan Sepinwall in The Star-Ledger, but it starts to grow on you after a while. You have to hand it to the show’s creators for having the guts to explore such “incredibly dark, risky territory.” And lead actors Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn deserve “credit” for playing their characters “as real and raw” as they do.