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Forums » Other TV Shows » The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad

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  • Ben
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    The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad Link to this post

    Because of the hiatus of The Walking Dead, I have found myself losing the eagerness to get back to watching the show, not that I'm not looking forward to its return but there is a loss in that adrenaline fueled rush to watch week by week for me presently.

    So in order to stimulate my brain, I wanted to compare why I think TWD has not been as successful or "good" as Breaking Bad.

    #1. Season/story structure:

    Because of the short first season and the second season being broken up into two halves, I feel The Walking Dead has been structured in a more predictable and less engrossing fashion as Breaking Bad, whose seasons run for 13 straight weeks. Because we get these 6/7 episode clusters, I don't feel that the stories can become too complex and layered like in Breaking Bad. The other problem is that when we have one "bad" or slow episode, it leaves a bigger impression on the show overall.

    #2. Slow pace vs. Slow Pacing

    While Breaking Bad takes its time in its storytelling, it usually did so because you were not expected to know what was going to happen next. With The Walking Dead this season, we knew eventually Sophia was going to be found dead or alive, we knew the Walkers in the barn would spark a huge conflict, and yet we waited week after week (for 7 weeks) to reach the conclusion. I was unaware there was going to be a hiatus in the first place, so it never occurred to me that episode 7 would serve as the ending of the mini-arc at the farm, so I waited through episodes 3,4,5, and 6 fully expecting the story to move on.

    #3. The Main Character

    I understand that characters do not always act in the smartest or most logical way, but Rick was not a fun character to watch in the first half of the season. I feel it was a combination of the writing not being 100% and the pacing of the story. (because forcing the character to remain stationary for 6 episodes in one location doesn't allow for much character development and Rick is a very straightforward character to begin with) With Walt, even in the worst of moments and writing he has always remained a complicated character and changes from season to season.

    I still like The Walking Dead as a show, and there are other problems with the show besides what I've listed, but I hope the writers can tell a more engaging and complex story that what they have in 13 episodes so far. The setting is brimming with potential, and as I have no knowledge of the comics outside of the fact that they are popular, I would assume lots of comic derived stories could make for good television.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad Link to this post

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for using the forums to get your thoughts out there.

    Obviously BB and TWD are very different shows. BB has a more limited cast and so deliberately spends much longer with its characters than an ensemble show can.

    I think TWD is suffering from what Flashforward did a little bit. In FF the characters didn't talk about anything except their visions and how it was affecting them. I wrote at the time that in real life people go back to their daily routines pretty quickly after a disaster. This season on BB Jesse started partying and playing video games to distract himself from the trauma he was going through.

    The survivors on TWD could really use some chit chat about everyday life or their past. They need to learn the lessons from Lost about how to make characters who the audience root for.

    I haven't read the comics either but I suspect they wouldn't make good source material for TV dialogue. I think there is a danger that one day TWD will have turned into a procedural zombie show Or to put it another way, it will become like 24. Where the same things keep happening over and over again without any character really growing or changing.

    I'm fascinated to see where the show goes in these next few episodes. I think the presentation of an apocalyptic world remains superb. In many ways the survivors take their predicament more seriously than anyone on Lost ever did and I really admire that.

  • Ben
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    56 Posts

    Re: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad Link to this post

    Lots of good thoughts, I never watched Flashforward although I read a few early reviews of the show at the time.

    TWD does need more moments of small talk, although I don't think that type of dialogue is all that common in comics and it would probably not be until season 3 for the show to make that sort of change.

    Another thing I wanted to mention is that we haven't had a major character death this season, I don't count Sophia because she had no role in season 1 and with any zombie related story it is important to maintain the idea that anyone could be killed at anytime.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad Link to this post

    Agreed, no major deaths yet. I'm kind of happy with that because there is only so much tragedy one group can deal with. I guess Otis was the major death of the season and between him and Sophia they made quite an impact.

  • Fluids
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    Re: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad Link to this post

    Great idea for a thread Ben! To do this one justice for me, I will have to go back through a few episodes.

    To add to your points:

    #4. Irony

    I found each show uses Irony a little differently.

    Breaking Bad used irony constantly to show Walter White's deceit to his family, Jesse, his old business partners (Gretchen and Elliot Shwartz) and his more current business partners (Gus, Mike, Lydia and Todd). It gradually helped him 'break bad' and become the monster we came to know by the series end.

    In the Walking Dead irony has been used to show how manipulative and deceitful the Governor was, how Rick can keep the peace in his group (covering up Carol's killings) and a lot of other examples.

    #5. Props

    The red 2009 Dodge Challenger with the alarm going off that Glenn drives in S1E2 and S1E3 *is* Walter Jr.'s red hot rod from Breaking Bad:

    http://breakingbad.wikia.com/wiki/2009_Dodge_Challenger

    Daryl's drug stash contains a bag of Walt's Blue Crystal Meth from Breaking Bad:

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/did-the-walking-dead-cook-up-a-breaking-bad-reference/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    Walking Dead Producer Greg Nicotero helped with the special effects with the Breaking Bad finale:

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/vince-gilligan-of-breaking-bad-talks-about-ending-the-season-and-the-series/?scp=1&sq=vince%20gilligan&st=cse#p[DteDte]

    This prompts the question, 'How would Walt handle the Zombie Apocalypse?'

    I would think well (if his cancer stayed in remission.)

    How about you?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Other Walking Dead Threads on the TV Critic:

    Walking Dead: All About Daryl: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/160
    Walking Dead: Bob Stookey http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/167
    Walking Dead: Character Development through Story Arcs: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/168
    Walking Dead: A Cup of Joe: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/169
    Walking Dead: Daryl's Dilemma: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/editpost/467
    Walking Dead: The Funeral Home: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/161
    Walking Dead: Luke, Molly and the Black Shoe: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/159
    Walking Dead: On Frank Darabont: http://www.thetvcritic.org/blog/frank-darabont-and-the-walking-dead/
    Walking Dead: Psycho Lizzie: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/156
    Walking Dead: Rhetorical Questions you have posed to yourself you would like to share with everyone (comments?) http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/152
    Walking Dead: Robin Reads the Walking Dead: http://www.thetvcritic.org/blog/robin-reads-the-walking-dead/
    Walking Dead: Season Four Final Episode 'A' Speculation:
    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/editpost/505
    Walking Dead: Show Axioms: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/151
    Walking Dead: The Silver Spoon: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/162
    Walking Dead: Terminus eh?: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/157
    Walking Dead: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/43
    Walking Dead: The Train Tunnel Scene (deconstructed): http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/172
    Walking Dead: Walking Dead Novels: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/170
    Walking Dead: What is the Walking Dead to you? http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/150
    Walking Dead: Writers of all the episodes with our ratings http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/166
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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