Bleats

Better Call Saul Is Totally Better Than Breaking Bad, Which Sounds Controversial Except For The Fact That Guillermo Del Toro Agrees

Sorry Walter White, but Jimmy McGill's transformation to Saul Goodman is the better rise and downfall story.

Breaking Bad has become a little bit of the cliched go-to answer to the question “what is the greatest TV show of all-time”, but the fact of the matter is that it is a perfectly valid answer. The show is supremely well-made and it pushed the boundaries of what you can do creatively on television.

But at the risk of angering the rabid fanbase with a bold opinion – like Skyler White being right the whole time – I’m going to put this out there on the record: Better Call Saul is a better show than Breaking Bad.

Who you gonna call?

What started out as a pretty damn good prequel (and semi sequel) has gradually evolved into something that surpasses its predecessor.

Now let me state this right off the bat: Breaking Bad is a brilliant show that will forever rank as one of my all-time great favourites and the high-stakes, high-tension narrative is something that very few shows have managed to match let alone surpass.

By comparison, Better Call Saul is a comparatively low-stakes show that eschews most of the violence in favour of more talking and deeper dives into its characters, even if the premise – the rise and downfall of its protagonist – is very similar on the surface.

And it’s this contrast that makes Better Call Saul the superior show, a sentiment that’s shared by the one and only Guillermo del Toro.

The main reason why I consider Better Call Saul to be, ahem, better than Breaking Bad is the characterisation and the inevitable tragedy that awaits its protagonist, Jimmy McGill, and I feel mega happy that del Toro shares the same sentiment that I do.

For all the fanboying over Walter White, I never found him to be a very sympathetic or likable person, which is partially by design and partially due to Bryan Cranston’s brilliant acting.

Jimmy McGill on the other hand is inherently a good person and a sympathetic person who tries to do what he thinks is right, all while fighting his deep flaws. The moral decay from good-guy Jimmy to his eventual Breaking Bad persona of Saul Goodman is ultimately a more interesting and tragic journey than Walter White’s rise and fall.

What really caps it off is that we already know Jimmy will fall. We know that he will pay a deep personal cost in becoming Saul, and that inherent tragic downfall awaiting on the horizon creates unbearable tension that matches anything that Breaking Bad has offered up.

Ultimately, this is just the musings of someone who loves TV, probably a little too much, and there really isn’t a right or wrong answer to the question of whether Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad since it’s all opinion anyway.

So rather than take my word or Guillermo del Toro’s word as gospel (and there’s definitely no reason to listen to me at all), let’s just enjoy the fact that shows as good as Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad even exist and hope that our hearts don’t break too much when the moment Jimmy becomes Saul finally unfolds on the screen.

 

Seth Rogen Celebrates 10 Years Of Pineapple Express By Tweeting Fun Facts About The Stoner Masterpiece And Apparently They Nearly Cast Walter White

Apparently Bryan Cranston wasn't "scary enough" to play a drug dealer. Hindsight is 20/20, folks.

Ah, 2008 was a much simpler time. I was finishing high school, Barack Obama was President Of The United States, the Beijing Olympics went off with barely a hitch, and moviegoers were blessed with the stoner masterpiece that is Pineapple Express.

Flashforward to 2018 and boy has everything changed. High school is well in my rear view mirror, we now have a walking cheese puff as POTUS, and we just had the FIFA World Cup in Russia, who isn’t exactly the most loved country in the world right now.

But there’s a silver lining because it is also the 10-year anniversary of Pineapple Express, and I’m pleased to say that it is still as brilliant in 2018 as it was in 2008.

To commemorate the 10th birthday of his stoner magnum opus, Seth Rogen rolled up his sleeves (and probably a joint) and tweeted out a bunch of facts about the movie that ranged from “oh that’s interesting” to “no freaking way!”.

Rogen started off slow by lobbing out a few lowball (but still interesting) facts, such as the term “pineapple express” being around long before the movie, and how he and his writing partner Evan Goldberg had to roll every cross joint in the movie because no one knew how to. Real life experience helps in situations like these, folks.

But then Rogen kicked things up a notch by revealing how he, James Franco, and Danny McBride all suffered some pretty nasty injuries while making Pineapple Express. Rogen also revealed that he did “99%” of all his stunts, which basically makes him as tough as Jackie Chan, if Jackie Chan were, you know, Canadian.

My personal favourite fact is that they actually duct taped McBride to a desk chair and left him there all day because it “took too long” to re-tape him up. Sure, whatever you say, Seth.

But the biggest bombshell didn’t come from Rogen. Instead, it came from his frequent collaborator Judd Apatow, who revealed that Bryan Cranston had in fact auditioned for a role as a drug dealer in Pineapple Express.

However, Apatow deemed Cranston to be not “scary enough” to be a drug dealer. Well, okay then. I guess hindsight is 20/20.

In Apatow’s defence, this was well before Breaking Bad became THE thing. Plus, had Cranston played a drug dealer in Pineapple Express, he probably wouldn’t have been as convincing as Walter White since we would’ve already seen him be a drug dealer. Ah well, it all worked out for the best in the end.

Happy 10th anniversary, Pineapple Express, you brilliant little masterpiece, and here’s to 10 more cross joint filled years.

Breaking Bad Ended Five Years Ago And Fans Are Finally Woke To The Fact That Skyler White Was Actually Right The Whole Time

It's only taken five years and a major socio-cultural shift but Breaking Bad fans are finally acknowledging that the Skyler hate may have been a little misguided.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly five years since Breaking Bad wound up, as [spoiler for the super slow on the uptake] Walter White’s run as a meth overlord finally met a bloody end.

Many accolades have been lavished upon the critically-acclaimed show during and after its run, but buried under all that praise was a polarising point of contention that some Breaking Bad fans stubbornly kept throwing out like a badge of honour: Skyler White is a bitch.

Show creator Vince Gilligan has stated on several occasions that his intention was to turn Walter White from a protagonist to antagonist. But Gilligan’s intention backfired somewhat as certain fans kept rooting for the Very Bad Man to succeed at doing crimes, and some quickly took issue with how Skyler was standing in the way of Walt’s path to doing more and bigger crimes.

But why was this a problem? Why was Skyler’s understandable objection to Walt’s criminal activity met with such contempt instead of support? I mean, wouldn’t you be pissed if your partner was making meth behind your back?

Needless to say that this reasoning behind the vitriol was just as perplexing as the chemistry behind Walt’s blue meth – none more so than to the actress portraying Skyler, Anna Gunn.

During a recent 10-year Breaking Bad reunion celebrating the anniversary of the show’s premiere episode, Gunn spoke about how surprised she was to the backlash towards Skyler and how much it ‘shook’ her, pointing out how it all was seemingly rooted in a “combination of sexism [and] ideas about gender roles.”

From her fellow cast members’ own confusion over the criticism to fans directly asking her why Skyler was ‘such a bitch’, Gunn endured quite the emotional rollercoaster throughout Breaking Bad‘s run but she still managed to find some positives in the experience.

Recalling that the Skyler backlash created a ‘seismic shift’ in her life, Gunn said she realised that all the criticism was really about how fans were connecting to Walt, how people still hold onto older ideas of ‘what a woman or a wife should be,’ and ultimately how change isn’t always comfortable.

While Gunn noted that the opinion towards Skyler started to shift by the time the finale rolled around, it’s been the societal change over the past couple of years that has really shifted fans’ opinions.

She certainly has a point there. When Breaking Bad‘s finale aired in 2013, toxic fandoms existed across all entertainment circles. Fast-forwarding to 2018, these toxic fandoms still exist – but people are starting to call out questionable behaviour rather than normalising it.

In the wake of a number of high-profile incidents – the #MeToo movement, the Rick & Morty Sichuan sauce debacle, Gamergate – society has been forced to tackle issues such as sexism, women, and misogyny head on. It’s been jarring for some, but it has helped open many people’s eyes in distinguishing what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not.

As for Gunn, she notes how the passing of time have changed fans’ perspective about Skyler, saying that it is ‘incredibly gratifying’ to see how much strongly Skyler’s plight is affecting fans now thanks to the big shifts happening in society.

It’s good that fans finally understand how all that Skyler criticism was unfounded, but the fact that it was even a thing in the first place and that it took nearly five years for some people to realise it means that there’s still a long way to go before we reach a place where a female character won’t get slammed for trying to stop her criminal husband from making meth.

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