Breaking Bad, The Sopranos or The Wire

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by marke, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. marke

    marke Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Which of these shows is your favorite? I started off really liking the Sopranos but when I watched the Wire, that was in a totally different league in terms of what a TV show could achieve- the detail, the realisation of the cop world, the drug world and the education world. There was just such scope and ambition with the series. Now I'm watching Breaking Bad and that is such an intense show about the slow decline of the main character into a morally grey abyss.

    My pick- The Wire.
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  2. subatomic09

    subatomic09 Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    I think The Wire is the most perfect drama ever created, but Breaking Bad is my favorite show of all time.
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  3. Yankee8156

    Yankee8156 Forum Resident

    New York
    Sopranos, without a doubt. One of the most enthralling hour long shows I've ever followed from start to finish.
    MarkO likes this.
  4. "Breaking Bad" followed by "The Wire". "The Sopranos" I enjoyed but I feel that the last couple of seasons the writing wasn't up to par.
  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I'd go with Breaking Bad, followed by The Sopranos, and then The Wire. The latter is by far the most realistic of the three, but you can't beat Breaking Bad for sheer intensity. Great show -- and each season has gotten better and better, which was not true for the other shows.
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  6. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    THE WIRE is my favorite TV show ever, and possibly my favorite narrative in any genre. It had an ever-growing story arc that had the virtue of growing outward, encompassing more and more of the world. The story about cops 'n' dealers organically grew into an examination of our entire society, on the level of LES MISERABLES or OLIVER TWIST. Most TV shows just grow inward, exploiting the blank canvasses of secondary characters for fresh plotlines.

    IMO, THE SOPRANOS started terrific and then started spinning its wheels and gradually became a soap opera about mobsters. The last several seasons seemed to have little purpose except to keep the franchise going. It became mere what's-going-to-happen-to melodrama. It was still better than 90% of television, but there didn't seem to be any real reason to watch the show.

    Haven't seen BREAKING BAD, even though it was described to me as a cross between the two shows . . . After THE WIRE ended its run I kinda gave up on "serious" television, because everything else seemed so simplistic and juvenile. I'd rather wait another year or two and re-watch THE WIRE.
  7. smarone313

    smarone313 Forum Resident

    Never saw the Wire, so my pick is between Sopranos and Breaking Bad. I gave the nod to the Sopranos only because I always found it entertaining....often Breaking Bad is very tough to say "I enjoyed it"'s always great storytelling and always compelling, but there is little sense of "fun".

    The difference is that the Sopranos told a story about Criminals that made them seem human with problems just like everyone. Breaking Bad tells a story that anyone, from your neighbor to your kid's teacher, can be a criminal. The latter is far scarier, IMHO.
  8. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    Breaking Bad for me, by a loooooooooong nose.
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  9. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Norfolk, UK
    I'm the lucky one here.

    I haven't seen any of them...yet.
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  10. carbonfiberone

    carbonfiberone Forum Resident

    Seattle,Wa. USA
    Love Breaking Bad so intense.Sorry it's ending but better to go out on top.
  11. riverclown

    riverclown Forum Resident

    Bradenton, FL
    You picked a good three. But if you'd substituted Homeland or Dexter for The Sopranos, it would be tougher for me to pick.

    Started to watch the Sopranos a long time ago but quit. Shows where gangsters are the main characters don't appeal to me for some reason. The Godfather movies never appealed to me very much either, though the first one was ok.

    To me it's between The Wire and Breaking Bad. And that's a choice between brilliantly written realism and brilliantly written edge of your seat excitement. Kneejerk for me is to go with Breaking Bad. Especially if I go for a while without watching The Wire - I forget how well written and interesting it is. I'd go with The Wire, with Breaking bad a very close second.
  12. marke

    marke Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nice comments on The Wire. I highly recommend Breaking Bad. Walter White is one of the most compelling characters in modern drama. His journey into the drug trade and how it impacts on him, his family and his cohort Jesse is never less than enthralling and extremely disturbing.
  13. jupiter8

    jupiter8 Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    Breaking Bad for me--although I have never seen The Wire so I am casting a tained vote. I thought the Sopranos was one of the most overrated shows ever- the first season was great but after the death of Tony's mother it never recovered. The third season had some outstanding episodes and Joey Pants was a great addition to the show. When it became all about Tony and his wife yelling at each other it lost me.
  14. jlc76

    jlc76 Forum Resident

    Austin, TX, U.S.A.
    Breaking Bad. I haven't seen the Wire (it's on my list), and grew tired with Sopranos.

    Breaking Bad is seriously one of the best TV shows I've ever seen. The writing, acting, and cinematography is all there. There's other recent shows I like a lot like Boardwalk Empire and Homeland but they aren't as consistent as BB.
  15. SammyJoe

    SammyJoe Up The Irons!

    The Wire and The Sopranos are equally great (it varies which is better) and Breaking Bad is little behind of those two.
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  16. Breaking Bad for me. Three more weeks of Dexter and Homeland and then a LONG 7 month wait for the return and finale of Breaking Bad. I consider BB to be the greatest dramatic television series...ever.
  17. *Zod*

    *Zod* Forum Resident

    New England
    Sopranos easily, albeit a weaker final season and arguably weak final curtain. Breaking Bad is amazing, but the whole 4th>5th season transition is too weird. It should have ended. Just starting Wire, so we'll see.
  18. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Sopranos is the granddaddy of them all, IMO. Breaking bad was great violent fun, but I didn't like it's characters half as much. Isn't The Wire a newspaper series? Working at newspapers for the last 12 years, I couldn't deal with the falsehood of an amped up, exciting look at working for a newspaper.. it isn't. It rewriting police faxes most of the time.
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  19. mikestar

    mikestar Forum Resident

    South Central MA
    No way for me to pick - like picking among my kids.
  20. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    East Tennessee
    I've seen all three, and I like each of them a LOT. Some random thoughts:

    I admired the hell out of the Wire for its ambition, for trying to show so MANY stories and take the show to new places - I also think this wasnt always successful. In particular the Union/dockworkers season and the newsroom season were not up to par. Yes, they were still very good, but not as successful.

    The Sopranos was great, no doubt about it, but that is one show that could have and should have trimmed a LOT of fat from the storylines. I should have more to say about it I guess, but I cant think of anything other than I'm probably one of the few who actually liked the ending quite a bit.

    I voted for Breaking Bad. I definitely don't think of it as "violent fun," but I understand where that's coming from. The main thing that puts BB over the top for me is the quality of writing, its just about the best I have ever seen on any series. Also Bryan Cranston's acting is so far above anything on the other two shows it's just ridiculous. The cinematography is also trememdous, the direction...I mean really there isn't anything on this show that isnt done at absolutely the highest level. As a series, Friday Night Lights is the only one I would rank as close to BB.
  21. musicalbeds

    musicalbeds Strange but not a stranger

    Ontario, Canada
    I'll argue that it's final curtain was the best ending ever for a dramatic hour long show. Everything that happened was foreshadowed, and the camera techniques and editing at the end were much so, that many didn't really understand what happened. There's a wonderful website that explains just how much work Chase put into that ending... it tracks down everything relevent to that final scene, and it explains in detail just how Chase achieved one of the most talked about endings in tv history.
  22. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    Then you decided not to watch the TV series based on a completely erroneous assumption. "The Wire" does not refer to the newspaper wire service, it's the wiretap the police have on a phone, pager or cell. The newspaper does not enter the story arc until the final season.
  23. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    I love all three, but my favourite is 'The Shield'. I think 'Breaking Bad' has an advantage here, as it is a current show, and for many, a far fresher experience.
  24. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I'd have to go with The Sopranos..forgeddaboutit!
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  25. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge

    Springfield, MO
    To anyone who hasn't seen Breaking Bad yet: please please please take the time to check it out. You're missing out on such a great, unique, fresh show if you don't. I especially love with how serious it is, it never forgets to throw in humor. There's almost always at least a few laugh out loud moments in each episode.
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