There’s been a great debate about which of the two legendary crime shows is better: Better Call Saul vs. Breaking Bad. It’s certainly not easy to choose one of them when both series have become the most popular and most-watched drama series of all time worldwide. Above all, it’s impossible to separate them from each other, as they’re related in many aspects. But today we’re here to answer your questions about Breaking Bad and its spin-off series Better Call Saul. Let’s get right to our topic!
Similarities Between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad
When we talk about the similarities between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, we should first of all mention the plot of the above-mentioned TV series as one of their similarities. Although the plot structure is completely different, both series follow the main characters Walter and Saul and their character arcs, as well as the difficulties they go through while trying to change, mainly to live a better life.
Secondly, these two main characters try to achieve the so-called better life by doing illegal things, that is, they’re both “breaking bad”. Walter decides to cook meth to support his family financially, Saul (or Jimmy at the beginning of the series) tries to become a respected criminal defense attorney to make ends meet, because as we saw at the beginning of both series, the main characters were in a pretty bad situation financially. Therefore, both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul show the tragic and catastrophic consequences of the narrow circumstances.
Last but not least, another commonality between the two series is certainly the crossover characters. We must confess that we couldn’t get enough of Breaking Bad, even after watching all 5 seasons over and over again. Thus, Better Call Saul became a breath of fresh air for us when we saw the background of an antagonist we know from Breaking Bad and his transformation from Jimmy to Saul. The main protagonist Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) reprises his role in the series.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) don’t appear in the spin-off, as it mainly tells the earlier period of Breaking Bad. However, most of the other important characters reappear in Better Call Saul. Some of them are Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) and others.
Differences Between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad
The first difference between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad that catches our eye is the timeline of the two series. While Breaking Bad takes place in the years between 2008 and 2010, Better Call Saul tells us about an earlier period. Also, since the spin-off is both a prequel and a sequel, the story is supported by flashbacks and flashforwards, which is a special feature for Better Call Saul.
Another difference between the two series is that Breaking Bad presented a universe that kept us on the edge of our seats at the end of each episode and ended with a cliffhanger. In Better Call Saul, on the other hand, we already know how each character will end.
The third difference we tackle here’s the personalities and character arcs of the main characters. On the one hand, there’s Walter White, a chemistry teacher who finds out that he’s lung cancer and will soon die. So he decides to cook meth with one of his students, Jesse Pinkman, so his family won’t be broke when he’s gone. On the other hand, there’s Jimmy McGill, a con artist who’s also financially broke and who develops a different career plan for himself. Namely, he illegally tries to become a respected attorney. We see Walter turn into Heisenberg and Jimmy turn into Saul Goodman.
At first glance, they seem very similar. Yet, they differ from each other in their intentions. Walter usually has bad intentions and becomes more pure evil as the series progresses, while Jimmy usually does bad things with good intentions. However, it can be said that Walter turns into a ruthless villain and he enjoys that.
Is Better Call Saul Better Than Breaking Bad?
Considering the similarities and differences between the two series, we can say that both Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad are great series in the history of TV. Even though it’s not possible to decide which one is better, we’ll try to give you an idea based on fan observations. Some fans think that Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad in terms of camera work, the unique timeline mentioned above, and the compelling story of Saul Goodman.
However, there are other fans who give credit to the predecessor in terms of the complex plot structure and the portrayal of an ordinary man who turns into a pure villain. We think that it’s worth watching both series if you want to understand the entire Breaking Bad universe.
What do you think about the two series? Which one do you think is better? Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad? And why? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.