Breaking Bad 

10 Reasons A Third Breaking Bad Show Would Be A Terrible Idea

Although Breaking Bad already had an extraordinary spin-off series with the prequel Better Call Saul, that has not stopped viewers from expressing their want for a third series that all logic pointed toward being a terrible idea. Breaking Bad already achieved the close-to-impossible task of making a prequel series that lived up to the expectations set by the original, and to ask it to do the same again would be a fool’s errand. Although it’s always painful to say goodbye to a beloved franchise, Breaking Bad’s legacy should remain intact, and a third series should not be pursued.

The story of Walter White ended in the finale of Breaking Bad, although the franchise gained a second life with the equally compelling prequel Better Call Saul and a one-off movie titled El Camino. It’s almost selfish to expect this to happen again, and there are numerous reasons why a third show would be a terrible idea. It seemed Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston also felt this way, as Cranston’s stance on Walter White’s return was that bringing Breaking Bad back could tarnish the legacy of some of the best shows of all time.

10Lightning Surely Can’t Strike Twice For Breaking Bad TV Spinoffs

Breaking Bad already had an extraordinary prequel with Better Call Saul

Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul and Walter White in Breaking Bad

The finale of Breaking Bad was an incredible piece of television that truly lived up to the expectations set over five fantastic seasons. This was why viewers were apprehensive when news first broke about a potential prequel spin-off based on Saul Goodman. As perhaps the most underdeveloped character in the show, the idea behind Better Call Saul was intriguing, but it meant that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould also had to be content with incredibly high expectations of making a prequel that could live up to the original’s legacy.

Despite these lofty expectations, the team behind Better Call Saul pulled it off, and the series was just as high quality and impressive as Breaking Bad. While this was a magnificent feat, to try and do the same thing once again would likely push things too far. Although if the creators of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul truly felt like they had an idea that was worthy of pursuing, there’s a chance lightning could strike twice regarding another spin-off; however, it does not feel likely, and it’s probably best to just let sleeping dogs lie.

9There Can Be Too Much Of A Good Thing

Breaking Bad has given audiences more than enough

Breaking Bad Kuby Huell money

When Breaking Bad ended, it felt like a worthy conclusion to the story of Walter White and represented a singular story told effectively. Although audiences craved more stories from the world of Breaking Bad, it would have been understandable if things had ended right there. Thankfully, this was not the case, and the prequel series Better Call Saul and the Jesse Pinkman-focused movie El Camino added new layers of meaning to the world created by Vince Gilligan.

These three distinct projects amounted to more than any reasonable viewer could have expected, but the desire for more failed to recognize the truth behind the saying that there can be too much of a good thing. The overarching narrative of Breaking Bad and its spinoffs have reached a satisfying conclusion, and unnaturally extending it into another series would be a mistake. The world of Breaking Bad was about as close to a perfect television universe as has ever been seen, and it’s time to appreciate it as it is.

8There Are Very Few Unanswered Questions In The Breaking Bad Universe

Breaking Bad does not have many characters whose stories need further exploration

Collage of Gus Fring, Mike Ehrmantraut, And Hector Salamanca In Breaking Bad And Better Call Saul

A third Breaking Bad show would be a terrible idea because there aren’t many unanswered questions left to address within the universe. Better Call Saul made sense because Saul Goodman’s personal history was a real mystery waiting to be unraveled. El Camino was a satisfying story to watch because, although Jesse Pinkman’s post-Breaking Bad story was not entirely essential from a narrative point of view, just what happened after he left Jack Welker’s compound was a rich story that acted as a fitting epilogue to Breaking Bad.

With these narrative threads already being addressed in two separate spin-offs, it begged the question of what a third Breaking Bad show would be about. While viewers have often suggested ideas like a Jesse sequel or prequels focused on Mike’s policing career or a young Gus Fring, the harsh truth was these shows would not make for compelling viewing. The Breaking Bad universe has already told audiences everything they needed to know about Jesse, Mike, and Gus, and a series that just spelled out the series subtext and nuances would not be a worthy successor to all that came before.

7Jesse’s New Life Is Best Left To The Imagination

Breaking Bad already told audiences everything they need to know about Jesse

Jesse (Aaron Paul) in Alaska in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

El Camino continued the story of Jesse Pinkman as he sought to make a new life for himself after the death of Walter White, and he gained his freedom from Jack’s Nazi gang of criminals. This enjoyable epilogue gave Jesse’s narrative arc a satisfying conclusion and saw him take his first step toward a new life in Alaska. From an audience point of view, there was a desire to see more of Jesse’s new life, but in practice, this would be a terrible idea that would undo the resonance of all that came before.

A sequel series focused on Jesse in Alaska would either be a boring show with no conflict about a man starting anew, or it would need to draw Jesse back into his life of crime and essentially undo all his character growth. Jesse’s new life in Alaska was best left to the imagination, as viewers could decide for themselves the struggles and challenges he would confront later in his life’s journey. Either way, there would be no Walter White around, and a Jesse-led series would lack the New Mexico setting that had characterized the universe of Breaking Bad.

6The Audience’s Expectations Would Be Too High

Breaking Bad has just set the bar too high to continue repeatedly

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman and Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the finale of Better Call Saul

Breaking Bad has returned numerous times, from the prequel series Better Call Saul to the movie El Camino and even other non-canon appearances like Walter and Jesse’s 2023 Super Bowl commercial. While it’s always enjoyable to see old characters return, the creators must face higher audience expectations every time they decide to do this. Now that Better Call Saul has ended, it felt like there were very few loose ends left in the universe, and it may be time to close the book on this world forever.

If a new Breaking Bad series were to be announced, audiences and critics would endlessly scrutinize it to the point that expectations would skyrocket to unsurmountable levels. A third series would need to live up to the legacy of everything that came before it and even exceed it in quality if it were to feel like a worthy addition to the franchise. This level of pressure would likely amount to a series that failed to recapture the magic of past glory, and Breaking Bad should not allow for the potential of tarnishing its own legacy.

5Any Breaking Bad’s Prequel Idea Has A Big Casting Problem

Breaking Bad’s cast has aged too much for any more prequels

Custom image by Yalin Chacon.

It’s been almost a decade since the first season of Better Call Saul premiered, and even back then, the actor’s age was pushing the believability of a prequel series to its absolute limits. If the world of Breaking Bad were to return for a new series, it would likely need to be a prequel, as the fates of almost all the notable characters have already been revealed. While viewers gave Bob Odenkirk a pass for looking much older than his character’s age in Better Call Saul, that was only because it aired just one year after the conclusion of Breaking Bad.

Better Call Saul felt like it naturally transitioned from Breaking Bad as the creators and writers filled in the narrative gaps about its most underdeveloped character. If any Breaking Bad characters were to now return for a prequel series, it would be over a decade since the finale had aired, and the actor’s aging would be far too noticeable to ignore. While de-aging technology has improved in recent years, the number of hoops that must be jumped through to make a prequel work signaled that a third show would be a terrible idea.

4A Gus Prequel Would Need To Recast Gus

Breaking Bad’s biggest villain worked so well because of Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and the cast of Better Call Saul as a backdrop
Custom Image by Simone Ashmoore

In the online discourse surrounding a potential new Breaking Bad series, one idea has stood out above the rest: A prequel focused on Gus Fring. For this to truly work, it would mean recasting Giancarlo Esposito’s role as Gus Fring to tell the story of his rise in the criminal underworld as a younger man. While this idea was endorsed by Esposito himself (via British GQ), it failed to recognize that part of what made Gus such a captivating villain in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was Esposito’s performance, and without that, it would not feel the same.

Another reason that making a prequel about a young Gus would not be as compelling as it initially seemed was that the Breaking Bad universe has already given enough insight into Fring’s backstory. Gus was a highly nuanced character of extreme depth, but part of his appeal was also the mystery of his motivation, relationships, and backstory. To literally spell out every last detail of Gus’s rise in the criminal underworld would feel like overkill for his narrative and undo the enigmatic mysteries that make him intriguing in the first place.

3It’s Time For Vince Gilligan And The Team To Move On

Breaking Bad’s creator deserves the freedom to pursue new projects

Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston.

Before creating Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan had an impressive career as a writer on The X-Files and as the screenwriter of the superhero movie Hancock. Following the success of Breaking Bad, Gilligan worked on some other projects, such as the comedy-drama Battle Creek, which he co-created with David Shore. However, Gilligan’s career has essentially been focused on the Breaking Bad universe for more than 15 years, and it’s time to let him move on and explore new universes and projects.

Thankfully, Gilligan has been doing just that and has been busy creating a new, currently untitled science fiction series for Apply TV+. This series will allow Gilligan to spread his wings outside of the Breaking Bad universe, although viewers will be happy to learn that Kim Wexler’s Better Call Saul actress Rhea Seahorn has been cast in the lead role. With this incredible Breaking Bad connection to entice viewers, hopefully, this new series can act as the beginning of the new chapter of Gilligan’s post-Breaking Bad career.

2There Was Already A Third Show (That’s Best Forgotten About Entirely)

Breaking Bad’s third show has already come and gone to little fanfare

better call saul slippin jimmy breaking bad spinoff

When viewers discuss their desire for a third TV show set in the Breaking Bad universe, it’s apparent that everybody has collectively decided to forget the travesty of Slippin’ Jimmy. This animated short-form Better Call Saul prequel focused on the misadventures of a young Jimmy McGill and his best friend, Marco Pasternak. As a digital exclusive for AMC+, Slippin’ Jimmy was written by Ariel Levine and Kathleen Williams-Foshee without the involvement of Vince Gilligan or Peter Gould.

The Breaking Bad universe has built up such an esteemed legacy that the existence of Slippin’ Jimmy was a baffling addition whose kid-friendly cartoon style begged the question of who AMC thought this show would appeal to. Slippin’ Jimmy was the best example of what can go wrong when a universe allows for unnecessary projects. While viewers hope a third Breaking Bad series could be equal in quality to Better Call Saul, the harsh truth was it could also end up as forgettable, disappointing, and downright pointless as Slippin’ Jimmy.

1Breaking Bad’s Story Already Had 3 Perfect Endings

Breaking Bad has already said goodbye three different times

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul and Aaron Paul as Jesse in El Camino

The most obvious reason a third Breaking Bad show would be a terrible idea was that it puts its already three perfect endings in danger. The finale of Breaking Bad was the ideal culmination of Walter White’s story, which seemed to give its protagonist something close to a happy ending while also feeling like his actions caught up with him. El Camino acted as a fitting epilogue that addressed the lingering questions about Jesse Pinkman’s life story. Finally, Better Call Saul was a nuanced character study that mimicked and inverted the themes and ideas of the entire narrative.

The fact that Vince Gilligan and all the writers managed to pull the conclusion off not once but three times was an astounding feat unmatched in television. If another series were to be produced, it’s hard to imagine it having the same impact and emotional resonance that categorized three distinctly satisfying endings. While there’s no doubt that Gilligan, Peter Gould, and the rest of the team would only return to this well if they felt it was worth it, all logic points to a new series being a terrible idea that could tarnish the legacy of all that came before it.

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