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Best Crime-Drama Shows to Watch If You Miss ‘Breaking Bad’

The problem with every great show is that eventually it has to end, and fans have to let go of the characters and worlds they have become attached to.

While restarting Breaking Bad from the beginning is an option, as is watching the sequel movie El Camino, viewers looking for a new crime-drama obsession have plenty of options.

Some possess stories that mirror Mr. White’s, while others explore different areas of the criminal underworld.

‘Weeds’ (2005 – 2012)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Weeds is one of the shows similar to Breaking Bad, as they both feature a normal parent in the suburbs who turns to selling drugs to make money.

Where Weeds differs is that it aligns more with the comedy genre, as it tends to take itself less seriously than Breaking Bad despite the dark subjects it often explores.

‘Barry’ (2018 – 2023)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Despite being a comedy, Barry often treads into dark territory as Barry juggles both sides of his working life. Hader is fantastic in the leading role, showcasing both his knack for comedy and drama.

In a way, his character’s arc is the opposite of Walter White’s, as Barry is a criminal searching for a normal life, whereas White is attempting the reverse.

‘Ozark’ (2017 – 2022)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Ozark proved to be a major success for Netflix, as it received critical acclaim throughout its four-season run.

Fans found it to be one of the best shows like Breaking Bad as it also examines the impact of crime on a seemingly normal family, while the criminals they associate with are also given a focus.

‘Boardwalk Empire’ (2010 – 2014)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

While it did not achieve the same mainstream success as Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire enjoyed a beloved tenure across its five seasons.

Its Prohibition setting makes it unique among other crime dramas, but its focus on a strong cast of shady characters and quality storytelling makes it a good choice for anyone searching for their next binge-worthy show.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ (2008 – 2014)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

While Jax is the focus of the series, what makes Sons of Anarchy work is the colorful cast of characters around him.

Much like Breaking Bad, some of the best moments of the show come from supporting characters, which helps to flesh out the world and provide a unique cast where everyone has their own favorite.

‘Justified’ (2010 – 2015)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Justified is a throwback to the Westerns of the past, with Givens feeling like a righteous cowboy that has been transported to the modern era.

Like Walter White, Givens is one of the best television characters of the 21st century, and Olyphant is perfect in the role while aided by a great supporting cast.

‘The Shield’ (2002 – 2008)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

While The Shield focuses on those who enforce the law, it draws similarities to Breaking Bad through its protagonist.

Like Walter White, Vic Mackey is a bad man who has committed evil deeds, yet the writing for both shows and the performances of Cranston and Chiklis makes it hard not to ultimately root for both characters.

‘Narcos’ (2015 – 2017)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Narcos differentiates itself by being based in reality, following a villain whose reign of terror was real. While Walter White ended up being a wicked character, in the end, at least he was fictional.

Narcos charts the impact such an evil character has on the real world, including those they come into close contact with.

‘Peaky Blinders’ (2013 – 2022)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Even if you have not watched Peaky Blinders, you have surely seen a picture of Shelby with an “inspirational” quote he did not say shared across social media.

Such was the popularity of Peaky Blinders across its six-season run, with many people finding its British take on the world of crime a nice alternative to the likes of Breaking Bad.

‘The Wire’ (2002 – 2008)

Best Crime-Drama Shows

Long hailed as one of the greatest television series of all time, The Wire is essential viewing for anyone.

What makes it especially appealing to Breaking Bad fans is its grounded approach to crime, with the thin line between law and chaos on display through fantastic writing and performances that rival those of Breaking Bad.

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