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Why Breaking Bad Fans Think Better Call Saul's Jimmy Is More Relatable Than Walt

Over its run, "Better Call Saul" has proven that the story of Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman, is much more layered than anyone might have expected back when the character was first introduced in "Breaking Bad." As portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, Jimmy's slow descent from a flawed man trying to be a good lawyer to the "criminal" attorney we see in "Breaking Bad" is incredible to behold, made all the more tragic by the fact that since "Better Call Saul" takes place before that show, the story can only end one way. Inevitably, Jimmy is going to end up on the run, managing a Cinnabon and looking over his shoulder.

While both shows follow men driven by their impulses to ruinous ends, "Better Call Saul" is notably slower in pace than its blue-sky-cooking predecessor, and the moments of violence that punctuated "Breaking Bad" are few and far between. The show prefers explosions of a psychological nature to those of a pyrotechnical variety, so whereas Walter White (Bryan Cranston) solved his problems with the front bumper of his Pontiac Aztec, James Morgan McGill solves his with social engineering and speechifying.

Some longtime viewers of the "Breaking Bad" universe may prefer one approach over the other, and the differences between the two have sparked some interesting fan discussions, particularly regarding which of the two shows' leading men they prefer. For those who prefer Jimmy, the reason is simple, as many of them revealed in a Reddit post.

Some fans think Walt is one-dimensional compared to Jimmy

In a post on the "Better Call Saul" subreddit page, u/gunbgy bluntly stated, "Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad." While perhaps the reactions would be different were the same sentiment posted to the "Breaking Bad" page, the fan reactions were largely in agreement, saying that Jimmy McGill is simply a more dynamic character than Walter White.

Theorizing that much of what makes Walter interesting is his technical know-how, u/trade_tsunami wrote, "I realized that I liked ["Better Call Saul"] better after re-watching ["Breaking Bad"] because Jimmy/Saul is actually a much more interesting, complex, and sympathetic character than Walter White. The more I re-watch Breaking Bad, the more I find Walter a boring one-dimensional egomaniac." They continued by explaining that Jimmy is an easier character to root for because his motivation, despite leading to harmful outcomes, is driven by somewhat noble goals.

Making the contrast in relatability between Walt and Jimmy even clearer, u/WakeAndShake88 noted that "Breaking Bad" "takes a supposedly 'good' man and makes him into the worst," whereas Jimmy is "a 'bad' man who is constantly in danger of becoming perfectly decent." Elsewhere in the thread, u/walkingturtlelady echoed that sentiment, observing that "Better Call Saul" is the more pathos-driven of the two shows and writing, "...it makes it that much more tragic that people who really weren't all that bad ended up doing bad things, to their own detriment."

These fan comments are in line with what outlets such as The New Yorker have posited. According to the publication, Walt was, despite his ostensible transformation narrative, a sociopath who needed the right trigger — his cancer diagnosis, in this case — to show his true colors. Meanwhile, "Better Call Saul" appears to put more effort into showing Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman, all while still showing his positive traits as a person.