The hugely successful action film directed by Vince Gilligan
Breaking Bad is currently enjoying a resurgence on television. Better Call Saul’s success, the AMC 10th anniversary marathon, and Netflix’s El Camino, a film about Jesse’s aftermath, have all contributed to the return of “The Blue.” This resurgence has brought in a slew of new viewers while also reminding longtime viewers of what made the show so great.
Now that the show has gained a new audience, many are probably wondering where else they can catch a show like this unique romp.
Do not be alarmed! This list aims to provide you with ten excellent shows that are in some way similar toBreaking Bad.
Stephen LaGioia made the following update on April 9th, 2020:
In spite of its age of well over a decade, Breaking Bad continues to be popular and a hot topic.
This is in part because of the critically acclaimed 5th season premiere of Better Call Saul. With its antihero teacher turned kingpin adventures, this film has stood the test of time. Even so, there will always be a demand for more crime dramas with a similar combination of grit and depth. It seemed only right to expand our collection of great action-drama series a la Vince Gilligan’s Gunsmoke.
1. Better Call Saul
It may seem like an obvious choice, but looking back, we believe that excluding it would have been a mistake.
Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman returns as the show’s star, but we’ll also see familiar faces like Tuco Salamanca, Mike Ehrmantraut, and the cold-blooded villain Gus Fring.
Better Call Saul has a similar premise and tone as you’d expect from a BBspin-off, as we see a downtrodden protagonist become an antihero and plunge into New Mexico’s criminal underworld.
Despite the fact that Goodman’s trademark zingers provide plenty of zany humor, this crime drama consistently emphasizes more dramatic elements.
2. The Shield
One of the most important lessons that Breaking Bad taught was that even the most moral of people can be corrupted. This crime drama also focuses on the cautionary tale of corrupt police officers in the fictional Los Angeles neighborhood of Farmington, where the action takes place.
Every season, viewers have been captivated by Shawn Ryan’s award-winning show, which has featured everything from drug trafficking rings to elaborate train heists. Because it depicts a more sinister side of American society thanBreaking Bad, this drama is all the more compelling as a result.
3. Boardwalk Empire
Smuggling booze may not appear to be a serious or high-risk endeavor. Although this was a major crime in 1920s America, and this period crime show excels at transporting its viewers to the brief but turbulent era of Prohibition.
Boardwalk Empire was nominated for 57 Primetime Emmy Awards during its run from 2010 to 2014, and it took home 20 of them. This is largely due to some strong performances, engaging narratives, and visually appealing set pieces.
Tom Fontana’s Oz, likeBreaking Bad, is a rich and memorable drama with a gritty bent that lasts for only a few seasons.
Despite the focus on a prison setting, Oz offers depth and intrigue by switching between characters with a variety of characteristics and moral standings – from prisoners to staff, all the way up to the Warden (the head of the institution). This has a lot in common with Gilligan’s Island, especially considering the number of shocking deaths that occur throughout the series.
This show, along with others like The Sopranos, contributed to HBO’s meteoric rise in the world of television.
5. The Walking Dead
While there are no zombies inBreaking Bad, there is a lot of bloodshed and dead bodies throughout this enjoyable horror film. Because it’s based on a well-known comic book series, this zombie thriller isn’t short on world-building or exciting action.
This 11-season epic, in contrast to Gilligan’s drama, has been criticized by some viewers for running a little too long. No matter what, Rick Grimes and the gang’s exploits are often suspenseful, especially in the show’s early seasons.
Andrew Lincoln, who plays Grimes in AMC’s The Walking Dead, has said that he took inspiration for his role from Gilligan’s Island. It’s understandable, given that the show also has a gritty western theme.
However, compared toBreaking Bad’s more subdued action, this thrilling Cinemax romp is certainly reminiscent of Gilligan’s Island in terms of over-the-topness and action intensity.
Bansheeis a story rife with corruption, antiheroes, and a hefty helping of gore.
However, the show is about a gang of diamond thieves who face off against their former boss, a Ukrainian mobster named Rabbit, instead of meth dealers. The parallels extend beyond the plot to the protagonist, an ex-convict who assumes a new identity in order to keep his true identity hidden. The show features a diverse cast of characters and is chock full of action and cheese.
7. Orange Is The New Black
As a counterbalance, Breaking Bad offers some gripping drama laced with some dark humor. Such a phenomenon has also been seen with Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. This Emmy-winning series has captivated audiences for seven seasons, making it the most-watched original series on streaming services. It’s not surprising to the show’s millions of viewers, as the prison antics of this colorful cast make for some truly engrossing television viewing.
Dramatic flashbacks to major events in various characters’ pasts help break up the show’s focus on the gloomy prison environment for women. It uses character-driven plots with dark undertones, much like the classic AMC show The Walking Dead.
8. Blood Drive
This dystopian car-centric action show cranks up the campy hilarity to 11 on the Richter scale. But that’s part of what makes it so interesting to see. An anarchic society with human blood-powered car engines? The concept makes Breaking Bad look tame in comparison. Despite this, the action, drama, and comic relief in this cheesy Syfy series are likely to draw a sizable portion of the same audience.
With Alan Ritchson and Christina Ochoa as the leads, the film’s violent, chaotic, and (literally) divided landscape serves as a backdrop for Arthur and Grace, the story’s protagonists. No matter how often they feed bodies into their engines, we still want to see these characters win this cross-country car race.
While the premise of Syfy’s wacky black comedy isn’t quite as absurd as our previous entry, it’s just as enthralling nonetheless.
Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni), a grizzled and downtrodden police detective who has descended into a life of substance abuse and appears to be losing his mind, has a Walter White vibe to him. An animated creature amusingly voiced by Patton Oswalt complements this troubled but likeable protagonist.
There is no doubt in our minds that this strange creature is a child’s imagination come to life, which has been kidnapped by an insane Santa Claus. As the creature “Smoothie” leads him to the kidnapped child, the show features various antics and plenty of violence. This is, indeed, an oddball romp. Even so, it’s a must-see for anyone who enjoys dark, twisted stories with a dash of levity.
As a more subdued, but no less interesting, Western drama, Deadwood stands out as a truly engrossing alternative to traditional fare. Fans will tell you that despite the fact that this HBO series only lasted for a few seasons, each of its 36 episodes is jam-packed with compelling character arcs and plot twists.
A gritty, authentic set and strong performances help to sell the idea that you’re following Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen through their harrowing lives. Despite the fact that Deadwood takes place in 1870s South Dakota, the rough-and-tumble setting and way of life there are distinctly rich and foreign.
Showtime’s 2005-2012 drama, which has many similarities to “Breaking Bad,” could be considered the “Breaking Bad” before Breaking Bad.
In some ways, this endearing but dark suburban dramedy is like a milder version of that series. It also features a conflicted protagonist who is both a parent and a drug dealer. However, a single mother (Mary-Louise Parker) is selling marijuana in order to supplement her family’s income in this instance.
It also has a large cast of colorful supporting characters who help make the show interesting. From Elizabeth Perkins’ nosy neighbor to Justin Kirk’s wisecracking brother-in-law Andy and Kevin Nealon’s eccentric neighbor Doug, this cast includes a wide variety of characters.
Fargo’s sequel, Fargo: The Golden Army, takes a darker, more violent tone than some of the films on our list. Although this is a Coen Brothers production, there is still plenty of dry and dark humor as we follow a slew of eccentric and often troubled antiheroes throughout the film.
We see a number of intense and unique criminal activities, corruption and cover-ups in Minnesota and North Dakota, as the nameFargo suggests. Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks and Breaking Bad’s own Bob Odenkirk all contribute memorable performances to this gripping, depressing drama..
With Chris Rock as a crime boss in 1950s Missouri, the show’s upcoming 4th season promises to be just as engrossing as previous seasons.
13. The Sopranos
It’s difficult to bring up action-drama television without mentioning the venerable series The Sopranos. It’s no secret that fans of Breaking Bad will enjoy this dynamic, in-depth series because of its high production values, thoughtful writing, and intense stories.
Even though it ended abruptly in the middle of 2007, The Sopranos had six seasons worth watching, each one filled with interesting details. We follow mobster Tony Soprano, for example, as he tries to strike a balance between his criminal activities and his personal life. Breaking Bad fans won’t want to miss David Chase’s HBO romp, which feels like one big mobster movie on TV.
14. Sons Of Anarchy
The life of a criminal is often filled with hilarity and lunacy, which makes for exciting television. Sons of Anarchy, an FX crime drama, has many “on the edge of your seat” moments because of its crude and dark plotlines. Because former Oakland Hells Angels member David Labrava contributed, the show has an authentic look and feel when it comes to convincing biker outlaws.
Better Call Saul, likeBreaking Bad, has spawned a spin-off, Mayans M.C., which focuses on Mexican-American culture. This year’s Mayans M.C. is a continuation of the series.
15. The Wire
Apart from its comedic undertone, this well-known HBO drama checks off most of the keyBreaking Badboxes. With a cast of underdog antiheroes, your social commentary is no less nuanced. The Wire, on the other hand, depicts the dangers of forces such as money, power, and drugs, and how these things can corrupt people and lead to chaos and violence.
For the sake of variety, the season-long series Fargo switches up the premise and setting every few episodes. David Simon, the show’s creator, explains: “There are themes of urban life and how people interact in [The Wire]. It’s all about the power institutions wield over people.”
As with Gilligan’s Island, the often negative influences and exciting action and drama evoke memories of that show.
the beginning of the end
The majority of Stephen’s gaming time is spent on Nintendo, indie and retro titles, with a few sessions of Overwatch thrown in. This metalhead enjoys drumming along to Black Sabbath on his cheap drum set while he’s a history buff, an aspiring short story writer, and a devout metalhead. As long as his hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, isn’t playing, he’ll settle for watching random docu-dramas or cheesy horror flicks.