The numbers are in, and Low Winter Sun — the Detroit-based cop drama you probably haven't heard good things about — lost more than half of its Breaking Bad lead in. And that's even after AMC made everyone watch the first half of Sun before scenes from next week's Breaking Bad. It's not that surprising that audiences fled. The show relies too heavily on cop cliches and not enough on humor — even Mad Men is funny sometimes. But Sun didn't get the memo that prestige dramas are allowed, even encouraged, to lighten things up every so often. "It tries to make up for what it lacks in originality with unending bleakness," wrote Willa Paskin at Slate. The headline of Matthew Gilbert's review in the Boston Sun reads: 'Low Winter Sun' tries too hard, and Diane Garrett at The Wrap said it was like Breaking Bad, but "without bite or wit."
Before we all write this off as another Hell on Wheels, or worse, another Rubicon, let's gets some perspective. Low Winter Sun had 2.5 million viewers. Mad Men's series premiere had 1.2 million and Breaking Bad, which was riding on the former's critically acclaimed coat tails, only had 1.4 million. And while the first episode of Low Winter Sun has a Metacritic score or 57, it could still reach the relatively low (compared to future seasons) ratings of the first seasons of Mad Men and Breaking Bad — 77 and 74, respectively. Mad Men once had a small contingent of pretty vocal detractors and one critic thought the wildly popular Breaking Bad would, at best, be a small cult hit.