Breaking Bad vs Better Call Saul are incomparable as they are both game changers but Breaking Bad is mostly lauded for its originality and for inspiring the latter.
Following the recent conclusion of Better Call Saul after six years of the series run, fans have started comparing it with its predecessor Breaking Bad. At the time of its premiere, Breaking Bad was a game changer.
However, the same can now be said about Better Call Saul as it revolutionised how a prequel-sequel can be recounted, while still being as compelling as the original series that inspired it.
As a result, while it is unfair to compare the two series to decipher which is better, the truth is that one series is better than the other in certain aspects. But universally, only one mostly gets touted as the best.
Can I watch Better Call Saul before Breaking Bad?
Better Call Saul garnered a cult following aside from fans of the original Breaking Bad. As such, the series did a lot to demystify the notion that in order to watch a prequel-sequel, as Better Call Saul did come after Breaking Bad, it has to be set on events before those that take place in Breaking Bad.
As such, you can watch Better Call Saul without having watched Breaking Bad. But for a richer viewing experience in terms of enjoying Better Call Saul, it would be advisable and more compelling to watch Breaking Bad before watching the former.
Breaking Bad vs Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad’s universe is touted universally by critics as one of very few universes that not only created a compelling prequel, but it also created a narrative which can stand on its own outside of the original series that inspired it.
As such, as much as the comparison between the two is understandable, it is not considered fair, primarily because we wouldn’t have Better Call Saul without Breaking Bad.
But thanks to the brilliance of series creators, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the two series in the same universe are regarded as two of the best television series in history, which very few series universes have been able to achieve. More so as they both tell different stories.
Breaking Bad is a dark and thrilling crime-drama with twists and turns that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
It has a sole focus, which is the protagonist’s decline into antagonism by the antihero, Walter White. Better Call Saul, on the other hand, is a love story at its core, anchored by the main characters, Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler.
It has a more ensemble cast, as the focus is on fleshing out fan-favourite Breaking Bad’s minor characters.
Breaking Bad, as the original that is responsible for the prequel and Netflix original film El Camino, is considered better than Better Call Saul.
But in a side-by-side comparison in terms of character developments, cinematography, and story originality, Better Call Saul wins in most cases.
Breaking Bad vs Better Call Saul: Character development
In terms of character development and which arc was more successful between the two series, Better Call Saul arguably did a better job.
Breaking Bad’s premise was solely focused on Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and their chemistry. Other characters only revolved around the events of their solar system.
Better Call Saul, on the other hand, had time to flesh out the compelling stories of Breaking Bad characters like Mike and Gus Fring in compelling and unimaginable ways, which made viewers see them in a new light. Moreover, it introduced other compelling characters like Kim Wexler and Lalo Salamanca.
Breaking Bad vs Better Call Saul: Cinematography
In terms of cinematography, Better Call Saul beats Breaking Bad by a millimetre. The reason for this is that Better Call Saul seemingly perfected the “rough” aesthetic aspects that Breaking Bad introduced and eventually used as tropes in terms of shooting the series.
This includes the use of object point-of-views (POV) shots, which allowed viewers to experience the action as if they were the object and to be immersed in the characters’ emotions.
Moreover, the wide shots hyperbolised the sense of mundaneness more than closer shots would have.
Breaking Bad vs Better Call Saul: Story originality
Breaking Bad takes this one. This is as Better Call Saul is original in the sense that it takes a “throw away” character from a successful series and gives them a compelling backstory in six seasons of Better Call Saul.
But Breaking Bad is the original of originals. In fact, when Vince Gilligan was first selling his series idea of a main character that falls further into disrepute rather than telling a redemptive story, like with Better Call Saul, many studios believed that the series would not work.
If it were not for AMC, Breaking Bad would have not revolutionised how television series are made the way it did.