Comparing the Epic Shows: Better Call Saul vs. Breaking Bad
With Breaking Bad concluding in 2013 and Better Call Saul wrapping up in 2022, it’s finally time to pit the two titans of television against each other. It’s essential to note that both series stand as exceptional achievements in their own right (even if one is still awaiting its Emmy recognition). These shows are intricately linked, with Better Call Saul serving as a captivating prequel to Breaking Bad, featuring several beloved characters from the original series.
- Michael Fassbender Goes for the Gold in New ‘Next Goal Wins’ Images
- Will Smith’s Comeback Attempt: How He Plans to Regain Movie Star Status With ‘Bad Boys 4’ and Netflix’s ‘Fast and Loose’
- How to Watch ‘Creed III’ Online: Michael B. Jordan’s Critically-Acclaimed Film Is Now Streaming on Prime Video
- “Loki” Season 2: Marvel’s Mischievous Saga Continues
- Netflix’s First Movie Rental Was This 1980s Classic
Breaking Bad excelled as a fast-paced crime-thriller tragedy, while Better Call Saul masterfully crafted a slower-paced, character-driven drama with a touch of dark comedy. Rather than arguing superiority, it’s a matter of personal taste, but there’s no denying that Better Call Saul shines in certain aspects and falls short in others when compared to its predecessor. Let’s explore five areas where Better Call Saul excels and five where it may lag behind, highlighting the unique qualities of both shows.
Better Than ‘Breaking Bad’
A Main Character with an Unpredictable Trajectory
In the world of Better Call Saul, the main character, Jimmy McGill, embarks on a journey that defies predictability. From the very beginning, he adopts an alias other than Saul Goodman, and the series tantalizes viewers with glimpses into his life beyond Breaking Bad. The captivating black-and-white flash-forwards keep audiences hooked, revealing the inevitability of Jimmy becoming Saul while leaving the “how” and “what happens next” shrouded in mystery. This uncertainty transforms Jimmy/Saul into a mesmerizing protagonist, driving the show’s narrative forward.
The Relationship Between Jimmy and Kim
Breaking Bad boasted its share of compelling relationships, including the complex dynamic between Walt and Jesse and the evolution of Walt and Skyler’s partnership. However, Better Call Saul’s central pairing of Jimmy and Kim emerges as one of the series’ standout features, earning universal acclaim. Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn’s outstanding performances elevate these characters, guiding them on a believable, heartwarming, and ultimately bittersweet journey that significantly enriches the show.
Varied and More Confident Visuals
Breaking Bad’s visual appeal was undeniable, often resembling a Western with its skillful use of color and contrasting wide shots with intense close-ups. While it had its visual language, some choices may have been slightly excessive, such as the infamous yellow filter for Mexican scenes and the frequent use of handheld shots. In contrast, Better Call Saul exudes subtlety and confidence in its visual style, arguably surpassing its predecessor in terms of aesthetics. The decision to employ black-and-white for several acclaimed final episodes was a well-received artistic touch.
A Less Predictable Final Season
Breaking Bad was destined to culminate in tragedy, with Walter White’s transformation into a full-blown villain a foregone conclusion. The intrigue lay not in “what” would happen, but in “how” it would unfold and “who” would suffer as a result of Walt’s actions. Conversely, Better Call Saul’s final season maintains a level of unpredictability, marked by shocking deaths, unexpected plot twists, and significant time jumps. This unpredictability injects a fresh sense of excitement into the series, delivering a memorable final season.
Deeper Character Development for Some ‘Breaking Bad’ Characters
While Breaking Bad introduced and disposed of characters rather swiftly, fans craved more screen time for their favorites. Better Call Saul graciously granted this wish, delving into the lives of beloved characters like Mike, offering them greater complexity and depth. Notably, Mike’s character undergoes a profound transformation, exemplified by standout episodes like season 1’s “Five-O.”
In conclusion, Better Call Saul has carved its own niche in the pantheon of television excellence, showcasing its strengths while paying homage to its iconic predecessor, Breaking Bad. Both series offer a unique viewing experience, and the choice between them ultimately depends on individual preferences. As we celebrate these two remarkable shows, let’s appreciate the distinctive qualities that make each of them a masterpiece in its own right.