There’s a lot of debate over what to watch first. Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. With the same creative teams behind each series and many of the same actors, it’s easy to see why either could be chosen to watch first.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this, although the world has watch Breaking Bad first due to the fact it was the original release. Here’s 5 reasons to start with that show and 5 why Better Call Saul should be where new watchers begin.
Better Call Saul: It’s A Prequel
This show is literally designed as a prequel, so it makes sense in many ways to follow along the story from its natural beginning. Although some moments might be a little confusing, this should flow into Breaking Bad quite well.
It’s likely a great introduction to many of the characters and there’s a lot more mystery surrounding this world when you don’t know how the events are going to unfold.
Breaking Bad: The Way It’s Supposed To Be Told
There’s many that argue that really the story was supposed to be told in this format though and that the prequel gives more depth to these characters for the fans of the original show.
Perhaps many will not be able to pick up this world in the same way if they start with Better Call Saul. Vince Gilligan is a genius of the pen and he would have chosen this order for a reason.
Better Call Saul: Not Knowing Character Fates
Everything feels more tense if you don’t actually know how the character’s story is going to end. Therefore, you don’t know the twists and turns that Saul’s life will take as he gets more entrenched into the criminal world.
Audiences who watch it in this order will also feel real danger for the characters. They have no idea who’s in Breaking Bad and will therefore fear for all the characters, not knowing if any are about to die.
Breaking Bad: A Sense Of Nostalgia
By watching Breaking Bad first, once fans revisit this world through the prequel they get a strong sense of nostalgia. When the main show ends it’s like an extra dose of this world, but in a unique way.
In many ways therefore this can also act as a sequel, following up on many of the characters and answering questions that we had about their pasts, while reminding us of the main show itself.
Better Call Saul: More Foreshadowing
The writers of this show know how to foreshadow a moment. Therefore, by watching it in this order, larger moments from Breaking Bad are actually built up for much longer.
One such example is the turn war between Gus and the Salamancas. This story of course has an explosive end but we get a better idea of their history together and much larger foreshadowing of the fate of the two sides.
Breaking Bad: Saul’s Future
One of the issues of watching Better Call Saul first is that we get a glimpses of Saul’s future after he gets taken away to live a new life. This of course suggests that his far future is one full of mistakes and criminality.
Without watching Breaking Bad these moments may come off as incredibly confusing. While they could also be mysteries and be paid off in Breaking Bad, it’s clear this prequel should probably be watched second.
Better Call Saul: Clearer Characters
The characters that we get to know over the show will be a lot clearer than they are when we see them in Breaking Bad. By understanding the background of a character like Lydia for instance, she makes more sense in the sequel show.
This has its benefits and its drawbacks, but at least audiences can understand the key characters in the series if they’ve been introduced to them and understand them better.
Breaking Bad: Keeping The Mystique
The drawback of this is that some characters aren’t as mysterious as they would be. For instance, if we get that Hank is a bit of a hero in Better Call Saul then his moments mean less in Breaking Bad.
The same for Gus, some of his most terrifying scenes come from the fact that you don’t understand this cruel man. Better Call Saul perhaps humanises him too much.
Better Call Saul: Bigger Impact
Some Breaking Bad moments can have a bigger impact if they have been already built up in Better Call Saul. One good example of this is Gus slitting Victor’s throat.
This is already a terrifying scene, but when given the context of Better Call Saul and how long they have worked together, this is an even scarier moment!
Breaking Bad: Keeping The Surprises
There’s many surprises in store for those that haven’t watched Breaking Bad before. From the introduction of characters like Saul and Gus, to other smaller moments involving the drug cartels of the area.
These surprises could be lessened in their impact if fans have already gotten a taste of them in Better Call Saul. Perhaps watching it in this order will remove some of these moments from being as strong.