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'Metastasis': The Spanish-language 'Breaking Bad' gets cooking

Still from the Spanish-language version of
Still from the Spanish-language version of "Breaking Bad," "Metastasis."
Manuel Rodriguez

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A Spanish language version of the hit AMC TV series, "Breaking Bad" has begun airing on Univision station Unimas.

The original show follows the story of Walter White, a chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin. The Colombia-set Spanish language version, "Metastasis," follows the exact same story, even using the original scripts in many cases.

But as the Royale with Cheese is to the Quarter Pounder, there are some little differences. Characters' names have been cleverly translated, so Walter White is Walter Blanco, Walter's wife Skylar is Cielo (Sky, in Spanish) and Saul Goodman is Saul Bueno.

New York Times TV writer Mike Hale watched the first episode, albeit without a fluent understanding of Spanish. He said certain details were changed to be more appropriate in the new context: the meth lab RV has been changed to a school bus and lawyer Saul Goodman's cheesy TV commercials ("Better call Saul") have been changed to a late night TV talk show.

Overall, Hale said, the new adaptation mostly holds up to the original. While it doesn't have the big budget production value and cinematography of the original, the acting is good and the tone is closer to the kind of TV dramas Americans are familiar with, rather than the melodrama of the typical telenovela.


The entire five seasons of the "Breaking Bad" story will be airing in the telenovela format of one a day, rather than spaced out over weeks and yearly seasons. The entire show will be broadcast in about three months and episodes are also be available on Hulu.