Watching The Wire, I started to realize the importance of the position of the camera in establishing intimacy with a character. In The Wire, the camera tracks, follows, and snaps back to the characters. The viewer watches the show from a decidedly third person perspective. In Breaking Bad, on the other hand, the camera tends to move with the character’s eyes–an intense frontal gaze from across the table, the shot of a bug looking at Jessie and Jessie at the bug. I think that seeing things from the eyes of the character encourages the viewer to immediately establish a bond with them, while tracking the characters encourages the viewer to criticize their situations (a situation which I didn’t fully understand as a new viewer to a long-running show).
Perhaps if I had an attachment to the plot/situations of the characters in The Wire or Breaking Bad when I first sat down to watch the episodes, my opinion of either show would have flip-flopped.