Better Call Saul vs. Breaking Bad — and a Lode of Storytelling Lessons

watching shows

Here’s a question sure to prompt furious debate:

Which show is better:
Breaking Bad or

Better Call Saul


If you don’t know these shows, stick with me.

There’s a heaping helping of storytelling how-to below…

…and you don’t need to know diddly about the shows to dig in. 


If you do know the shows, cast your vote.

Which show do you prefer?
Reply and tell me which and why. 


Better Call Saul is in its sixth and final season. So Bob Odenkirk (who plays Saul Goodman in both shows) is making the media rounds. 


Last week, a New York Times reporter tried to draw Odenkirk into the fray:

“…some now debate whether ‘Saul’ is actually better than ‘Breaking Bad.’ the reporter said, “Where do you come down on that question?” 


Odenkirk didn’t pick sides,

But he served up some mind-blowing perspective about why stories work.

“I think ‘Breaking Bad’ is a more universal kind of story. It’s a midlife crisis and the dangers are more striking — there’s more guns flying around and the main character is interacting with drug dealers almost immediately. That’s just not the case in our show. Our show is more internal. It’s an odder journey. It includes a lot of the ins-and-outs of being a lawyer. It’s just going to be less relatable because of the subject matter. But, in a beautiful stroke of hard work and genius, the writers have figured out ways to get people to understand some of the tensions and pressures these characters face and relate that to their own personal journeys.”

That last line is the motherlode:


The writers have figured out ways to get people to understand some of the tensions and pressures these characters face and relate that to their own personal journeys.” 


That there is some storytelling gold. 

Odenkirk all but admits that Saul’s “subject matter” ought to bore viewers. 

The “ins-and-outs of being a lawyer.” (Yawn!) 

But it doesn’t bore them, and here’s why…

Viewers can relate to the tensions and pressures!

Describe emotional journeys that your audience can relate to.

That’s the key to great television. 

That’s the key to great business stories. 

When your audience can relate, they’ll tune in, they’ll lean in, and they’ll say tell me more. 

That’s a recipe for television ratings success. 

That’s a recipe for business success.

p.s. Coaches, consultants and other business leaders turn to me to power-up their stories because most dish out the same old boring, "blah, blah, blah" content, turn off prospects and then feel frustrated and stuck. So I help them transform content from boring to brilliant, turn the marketing process from frustrating to fun, and convert results from pitiful to profitable. Bottom line, you can fire up prospects and inspire them to hire you with story-powered content that's simple to create. I'll show you how. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

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4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.