AMC claims that 'Breaking Bad' is a prequel to 'The Walking Dead'
Exactly how much authority does AMC, a television channel, have over the authentic creative vision of its show runners? That's a good question. In the social media dynastic age, any possible crossover or fan theory gets carried beyond the point of shark-jumping into absolute inanity. But does AMC have the power to canonize, legitimate, to make official any theory pertaining to its shows?
In a recent episode of Fear the Walking Dead, a song from Season 2 of Breaking Bad was heard in the background of a scene, leading fans to speculate that the two shows exist in the same canonical universe.
The show runner of Fear the Walking Dead confirmed that this was intentional: "As we were looking for pieces to incorporate into this world, it had the right vibe to it. It’s a gentle nod of admiration and adoration to [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan."
Now, because I write fiction, this just rubs me the wrongest way possible.
In what way does this prove anything about either show? What does Breaking Bad have to gain from becoming a zombie show in the lifetimes of its characters? Are we truly supposed to believe that decades after the conclusion of the show, Walter White's baby became a zombie?
That. Is. Stupid. As. Hell.
Vince Gilligan did not consent to this, nor did any of the minds who wrote Breaking Bad. Fear the Waking Dead is like the red-headed stepchild to Breaking Bad's definitive heroic prodigal child. What right does a mediocre show have to posthumously rewrite the canon of a great show, simply because they share the same network?
Trust me, people, this is a dumb path we don't want to walk down. This is fan fiction becoming canon. AMC is just a network that hires managers to run their products. What right do they have at all to decide artistry at the level of world-building, without the consent of Gilligan, the man who built one of these worlds? They know nothing, I'm afraid.
Some fans even believe that Merle Dixon and his meth-head family purchased meth from Jesse Pinkman, given a line from Dixon where he mentions blue sky meth - Breaking Bad's signature product. But Breaking Bad has nothing to do with a zombie apocalypse. Breaking Bad is a realistic portrayal of early 2000s Albuquerque and a very specific period of time for a handful of closely-crafted characters.
The mere idea that all the characters from Breaking Bad are dead, and The Walking Dead takes place in, say, 2010 or something, in some fictional abomination universe that nobody intended, is absurd fan fiction. Why are media outlets covering this like it's some great groundbreaking thing? It is the death of fiction as we know it, if a network and its managerial technocrats can revise canons after shows have aired just to make headlines and get attention.
This washes together like oil and water. AMC, please delete this theory.