Hello everyone and welcome back to this little cyberspot. Some of you may have been a little confused to see a post in unknown characters. That was my mother tongue – Hebrew. I decided to accomplish two goals, one was to expose my musings to people who either dislike reading in English (yeah, I know…) or can’t read it, and also to practice my native language so I may not forget it. I will continue to mix Hebrew and English posts and hopefully have enough to go around.

With that said, I got an email from Netflix a few days ago announcing that the final episodes of Breaking Bad were available to stream. Besides the fact that I was waiting for these so I can finally watch them and get some closure, I waited for this because of this post. You see, there were two TV series that I loved dearly these past few years. Not much more I’m afraid. And both of these featured people who either broke the law or took the law into their own hands. Both these characters were the protagonists, both these shows were massive success stories and both are my favorites (along with the ongoing House Of Cards) ever since… wait for it… Homicide, Life on the streets.

Now, comparing these two is not exactly apples to apples, but it’s also not quite apples and oranges. But I don’t really care, It’s just fun for me to try to determine which one has the edge.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is the main event of the evening, one round in the TV heavyweight division. Introducing first, airing out of the showtime corner, weighing in at 8 seasons, D-e-x-t-e-r!! Introducing next, airing out of the AMC corner, weighing in at 5 seasons and an inexplicable not 5th season but not quite 6th – B-r-e-a-k-i-n-g B-a-d!!! When the battle begins, the referee in charge is Gil Shalev.

And here we go! (Oh Yeah, SPOILER ALERT)

Concept:

Dexter

A kid witnesses his mother being slaughtered and becomes a blood thirsty psychopath. His adopting father, a respected cop refuses to “turn him in” and instead helps him to “channel his aggression” to a “just cause” by teaching him “the code”.

Well, not saying impossible… but really pushing the limits of suspending disbelief. I attribute the fact that the series worked to other aspects of this show, so Dexter gets a 7/10 on this one.

Breaking Bad

An intelligent Chemistry teacher has to work an extra job to make ends meet. When he discovers he has cancer he decides to use his skills as a scientist to make money to support his family.

Does it happen every day? Well, if it had, the show would not be made. Believable? you bet your ass. We always say we’d do everything for our families, and breaking the law is included (to a certain extent). This is nothing short of genius concept – 10/10.

Main Character:

Dexter Morgan

Brilliant character. At first glance you might think there was not much to bite into by the fabulous Michael C. Hall. After all, it’s an “emotionless psychopath”. Yet, the delivery of the actor and the way the character was written (along with the “play by play” Dexter gives) makes the character deep enough. Not to mention that despite of his actions (terrible, just terrible…), we root for Dexter Morgan pretty much as soon as he kills his first on-screen victim. 10/10.

Walter White

Oh man. I am inclined to say the best character ever, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Depth, conflict, a wide range of emotional roller coaster and a plot that gives Bryan Cranston the opportunity to show us how it’s done. How many Walter Whites did we see during these 5 seasons? and how fantastically awesome each one of them were? 10/10.

Antagonists:

Dexter

A variety of antagonists, interestingly enough, some were “on the same side” with Dexter. All piled up increasingly tougher challenges for America’s favorite serial killer. The fact that Dexter Morgan’s appeal was so strong, in fact corresponds directly to the antagonists and the antagonistic forces he faced. 10/10

Breaking Bad

Enemies without and enemies within, partners or rivals? Some brutes and some cerebral, all extremely dangerous. The antagonists push Mr. White far beyond the limits and test him again and again, thus growing his character and making us care even more. 10/10

Supporting roles:

Debra Morgan

Foul mouth, adoring sister Debra may seem a little shallow at first. She has developed very well as the stories progressed and her role grew more significant to the protagonist with every episode. The Debra who finally knew the truth about her brother was a new and improved version, not only in the written story but also as portrayed by Jennifer Carpenter. I’m undecided as to why I could see a gap between the “before” and “after” and thus 9/10.

Skyler White

Poor Skyler. Before her husband breaks bad they struggle financially. After Walt starts his enterprise she’s left in the dark and has to deal with her husband’s condition and some really strange behavior. When she finds out… How much can a woman take? and how long can she stand by her man? A great character and fantastic work by Anna Gunn. Man, did you see how much hate this good woman gets on the ‘interwebs’? for me that’s a great indication of a 10/10 performance. (And don’t get me started on Jesse, Bitch!)

Plot:

Dexter

A very nice development of the overarching journey over the 8 seasons, with nice tie ups between some of the more important story lines. I still feel like there could be slightly more natural cause and effect between the seasons and pieces, but overall a very well put progression. 9/10.

Breaking Bad

I was actually on the lookout for loop holes. A TV series stretching over more than 2 or 3 seasons can’t possibly be so well thought out, can it? Apparently it can. It all makes sense in the context of the concept, it remains believable throughout and nothing stays floating with no solid tie in. I love this show! 10/10

Ending:

Dexter

Oh my… if there was ever an anti climax. For such a fantastic TV series with so much tension built up, to have the ending go neither here nor there, it’s… disappointing. If Dexter would have died in that storm, I’d be ok. If Dexter would’ve saved his sister, and lived happily ever after in Argentina with his son and lover, I’d be great. But to go the route they did… what is the point? There was absolutely no reason to go there. That was bad… 1/10

Breaking Bad

THIS is how you tie up loose ends. This is how you give the viewer closure. This is how you end a story featuring a protagonist who’s essentially a criminal. This is how you provide a satisfying, logical, dramatic release. 10/10

The bottom line:

Ladies and gentlemen, after a round of watching, we go to the judges score cards for decision. All judges scored the fight 60/46 for the winner by unanimous decision – Breaking Bad!

In closing:

The fact that Breaking Bad took the prize doesn’t mean that Dexter is not a fantastic series. It only goes to show that Breaking Bad is simply phenomenal.

Agree? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Let me know!

And until next time…

One thought on “Criminally Gifted – Dexter Vs. Breaking Bad

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