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Breaking Bad vs. Breaking Dawn: Not so Different After All

Breaking Bad explores the decaying emotional world of Walter White, whose own dark hubris threatens the safety of everyone around him; his story is a reflection and a distortion of the mythology of American masculinity. Breaking Dawn explores the decaying mortal world of Bella Swan, whose almost frightening obsessive love for her vampire boyfriend threatens her own safety; her story is a reflection and a distortion of the mythology of strictly gendered romantic love. The astonishingly accomplished and fascinating TV show has more in common with the wildly popular vampire series than you might expect. (Warning: spoilers for both Bad and Dawn ahead.)

  Breaking Bad Breaking Dawn
Chicken As Harbinger of Danger. Gus Fring is a brutal drug kingpin, but he fools everyone about his moral sickness by selling chicken. Bella senses her baby is a demon, but she fools herself by blaming her morning sickness on eating fried chicken.
Let's Learn About Science! Walter tries to explain how crystallography works ... the better to make your super-pure meth. Carlisle tries to explain how chromosomes work ... the better to make your pregnancy very scary.
If You're Going to Latin America, Be Prepared for Things to Get Brutal Gus heads to Don Eladio's palatial, sun-drenched and swanky estate in Mexico, where he proceeds to poison everyone and leave the place covered with bodies. The newlyweds head to the Cullen's palatial, sun-drenched and swanky estate in Brazil, where Edward proceeds to impregnate Bella with his vampseed and leave her body covered with bruises.
Serving and Protecting Walt's brother-in-law Hank is a DEA agent, and he's starting to know that something is fishy with Walt. Though he has no idea about the scope of Walt's involvement in the criminal universe, Hank's circling the truth. It's one of the show's most intricately plotted and fascinating threads. Bella's father Charlie is a police officer, and he's starting to know that something is fishy with Bella. Though he has no idea about the scope of Bella's involvement in the mythological universe, Jacob eventually just tells him. It's one of the book's and movie's dullest, most inconsequential threads.
That Baby Sure Is Inconvenient Walt and Sklyer had enough on their plates — his cancer, their money problems, a mutual but unarticulated ennui. The pregnancy made Walt's impending mortality even more tragic. Edward and Bella had enough on their plates — her being a teenager, their comical wealth, a mutual and constantly articulated infatuation. The pregnancy made Bella's impending switch to immortality even more urgent.
...And the Delivery Did Not Go As Planned Walt was busy laundering money when Skyler went into labor, so her boss/lover went with her. HOLY SHIT, BLOODBATH VAMPIRE BABY.
Photo: AMC, Summit Entertainment