Thomas Schnauz says that there are Better Call Saul fans who have never seen Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul is currently filming its final season, which has been underway since March and since then, there have been many teasers from the creators and its stars about the events that will occur. This season specifically has been synonymous with its connection to the original due to the character of Jimmy McGill, who fans of Breaking Bad know as Saul Goodman in the Walter White crime drama, and his journey to becoming a “criminal” attorney.
Better Call Saul begins six years before the events of its predecessor, offering flash forwards that open each season showing the status of Jimmy McGill following his time on Breaking Bad. The series also features many well-known characters that appear on the original show, including Mike Ehrmantraut and Gus Fring, and has continued to increase that number of Breaking Bad characters as the show goes forward. Even though many fans of the original series did not know of the show when it first premiered in 2008 on AMC, Breaking Bad kept increasing in ratings as it went on with the series finale garnering over ten million viewers.
In an interview with Den of Geek, Schnauz has stated that he has encountered fans of Better Call Saul who have not seen Breaking Bad. Schnauz is a writer and executive producer of both series and has written multiple memorable episodes including “Say My Name” from Breaking Bad season 5, featuring the death of Mike, and the recent “Bad Choice Road” from the last season of Better Call Saul, that presented the extremely tense standoff between Jimmy, Kim, and Lalo. When talking about both shows, Schnauz has this to say:
“When we started this show [Better Call Saul], I thought we’d have very limited viewership — a small percentage of the people who watched Breaking Bad. I would have been thrilled with 50% of that audience. But I’ve been delighted to meet and hear from fans who have never seen the original show. I’m hoping people will go back and rewatch both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul because of the way we wrote them: we didn’t go in with an overall plan, and when we finished writing one episode, we weren’t exactly sure what was going to happen next.”
While it is common for people to have seen a successful show to have never watched the successor’s spinoff, it is hard to believe that there are fans of Better Call Saul who have never seen Breaking Bad given that the shows are interchangeable and have more connections with each other than any other original or spinoff series. This shines a light on how acclaimed Better Call Saul is on its own and how it is different enough to be it unnecessary for viewers to have to watch Breaking Bad to understand the events of the show.
With Better Call Saul being the prequel to Breaking Bad, fans of the show regardless get a taste of both past and future timelines, with the series getting closer to the timeline of its predecessor as it keeps progressing further into its run. With the final season having only thirteen episodes to tie a lot of loose ends together, it is all but assured that certain memorable characters and callbacks from the original series will start blend their way in. Better Call Saul season 6 does not yet have a premiere date, but it is expected to be back sometime in 2022, so fans who have not seen Breaking Bad have plenty of time to binge the show if desired.