Better Call Saul more than most shows chooses to dwell in the gray area between good and evil, and fans seem to enjoy it. This is why we have created a list of 15 shows like Better Call Saul. The show isa complex story which goes in-depth into the psyche of its characters and what motivates them to do what they do. Sometimes these motivations are good, sometimes bad, and sometimes they simply lie in the gray.
The series follows the character of Jimmy McGill, a struggling lawyer trying to make a name for himself in the legal world. Jimmy was introduced to viewers in the show Breaking Bad, and fans found his cunning and crooked ways utterly hilarious, but beneath every character is a story, one which Better Call Saul intended to tell. We get a prolonged glimpse into what led Jimmy to become the notorious Saul Goodman in this show, and if you were entertained and gripped by the adventures of Jimmy McGill and his posse, then here are 15 shows like Better Call Saul for you to watch.
List of Shows like Better Call Saul
1. Mad Men (2007)
Mad Men is a period piece set in the 1960s. The main character is Don Draper, a creative director at an advertising agency set in New York. Like many men from that era, Don has had previous struggles with alcoholism, and it leaves him with a more troubled soul than it may seem from his cool suave exterior. Seen Mad Men? Read: Shows like Mad Men
This show makes some big statements about racism and feminism, not afraid to tackle these issues head on. Similar to shows like Better Call Saul, the show makes sure to explore these serious themes with lots of depth, recognizing its sensitivity and impact on the community.
2. Fargo (2014)
Fargo is a crime drama and dark comedy series. Each season of Fargo features a new story with a new cast of characters, all set in the Midwest. The series is an anthology, with each season exploring a different crime story, often involving murder, kidnapping, or other violent crimes.
Fargo is a show that can be immensely serious one second, and then have a goofy moment the next. This show blends moments of absurdity with intense drama, similar to shows like Better Call Saul, creating a unique and engaging viewing experience. The series will leave you deeply contemplating your sense of morality, and maybe even changing it as the episodes go by.
3. The Americans (2013)
The Americans is a Cold War saga that follows two spies sent to Washington DC, assuming the identities of Elizabeth and Philip Jennings. They cover as a married couple heads over heels in love, and have to brave the threat of being discovered and killed everyday of their lives, as long as they remain in Washington DC.
Set in the 80s, this series is a bit of a misnomer, as it has two Russian spies acting as the protagonists, which is almost always the other way around. Similar to series like Better Call Saul, The Americans shines a light on the gray, and you might find yourself rooting for these spies to complete their tasks successfully and find their way back home safe and sound.
4. The Sopranos (1999)
The Sopranos is a crime drama that follows the life of Tony Soprano, a mob boss. He is a man who is lost in the ideals of what the mob should be like, and in a way he regrets being born a little too late, and not being at his prime, at the same time as the Mafia’s peak of power in the US.
This is a series similar to Better Call Saul, due to its focus on intently exploring characters and the psychological aspect of crime. We see everyone busy fighting for their own slice of the American Dream, willing to do anything to secure it. This groundbreaking television series is widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time, and is one that you have to put on your watch-list.
Also Read: Shows Like The Sopranos
5. Narcos (2015)
Narcos is a must-watch for fans of crime dramas and true crime stories. The series is a gripping television series that gives us the rundown of all that transpired in Colombia leading to Pablo Escobar losing his cartel, power and his money. The story is mostly told through the perspective of the DEA agents tasked with bringing him and his associates down.
Narcos is true to life, especially in terms of setting, with molecular detail sometimes being put in to recreate some scenes that had been captured in real life, though news footage or old video archives. Narcos is one of the more consistently quality shows like Better Call Saul that you can watch.
6. Ozark (2017)
Ozark is a show with great acting performances from a great ensemble cast, and a story all centered around Marty Byrde, a financial advisor who is forced to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel after a failed business deal. Marty has no choice but to move to the Ozarks with his family, to help launder money for the cartel.
Similar to shows like Better Call Saul, Ozark is also known for its exceptional cinematography and use of location. It is set in an utterly beautiful locale offset only by the sinister acts that its beauty hides. The show depicts the Ozarks in a way that is both beautiful and haunting.
7. The Wire (2002)
If you enjoy watching crime drama series similar to Better Call Saul, then The Wire is another series for you to enjoy. The Wire is a groundbreaking television series that premiered way back in 2002, and even though it only grew in popularity years after it ended, is currently seen by fans and critics alike as one of if not the greatest show of the 2000s.
The show tackles tough topics head on, just like Better Call Saul, from poor education, to the drug epidemic to corruption and politics. The Wire is one of the true masterpieces of modern television shows and if there’s one show you have to reach back into the archives of the 2000s to watch, then The Wire is definitely one of them.
Also Read: Shows like The Wire
8. Breaking Bad (2008)
Breaking Bad is a prequel to Better Call Saul, and if that doesn’t sell it for you, the fact that it is one of the greatest television series should. The show tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who turns to making and selling methamphetamine after being diagnosed with cancer. One of the most notable aspects of Breaking Bad is its exploration of the transformation of Walter White from a meek and mild-mannered teacher to a ruthless drug lord.
The show explores the psychological toll that this transformation takes on Walter, as well as the effect it has on his relationships with his family and friends. This series, similar to shows like Better Call Saul, is highly recommended for fans of the show, and anyone who appreciates expertly crafted storytelling and complex characters in general. Are you fan of this prequel as well? Then Read: Shows like Breaking Bad
9. Boardwalk Empire (2010)
Boardwalk Empire is a television series set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era of the 1920s. The show tells the story of Enoch Nucky Thompson, a corrupt politician and bootlegger who rises to power during this tumultuous time in American history. The show is quite detailed, nothing is amiss and nothing pulls you out of the immersion of feeling like you are really looking into a portal and seeing a view of the 1920s
Similar to series like Better Call Saul for its crime leaning tendencies, Boardwalk Empire’s detailed wardrobe and set design are highly impressive. In addition, Boardwalk Empire also has a lot to say about greed and how it can make and break a man. You may find yourself learning a lot too.
10. Mindhunter (2017)
Some say serial killers can’t help it, who knows? Well Mindhunter shows us two detectives who’ve been tasked with knowing everything there is to know about serial killers. Mindhunter is based on the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. The show tells the story of two FBI agents, Holden Ford and Bill Tench, lead the charge to use criminal psychology and profiling in order to prevent future serial murders.
Holden and Bill simply want to stop it from even happening in the first place, and they make use of recordings of various serial killers to develop a technique called criminal profiling, a revolutionary tool which has continued to save lives till this day. Mindhunter should be your next watch after shows like Better Call Saul.
11. True Detective (2014)
Every new season is a new story and a new case to be solved in True Detective. Every season has a new set of characters too. Matthew McConaughey was the leading man in Season 1, while Colin Farell popped up in Season 2. There is an overarching murder which the characters must solve in each season of this anthology series.
Similar to series like Better Call Saul, True Detective tackles the tough topics with nuance and sensitivity. The world of True Detective is a very dark one, and unlike Better Call Saul, you have no time to breathe and let a laugh out with a bit of comedic relief.
12. Hannibal (2013)
Hannibal is based on the characters and stories from Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon and other novels in the Hannibal Lecter series. The show follows the relationship between FBI profiler Will Graham and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, as they work together to solve cases and catch serial killers.
Similar to series like Better Call Saul, the show is known for its exploration of the human psyche and the often complicated and troubled nature of the human mind. If you are a fan of horrors and crime drama series, check out our list of recommendations for shows like Hannibal.
Also Read: Shows like Hannibal
13. Ray Donovan (2013)
Ray Donovan is about… Ray Donovan. Ray is a professional fixer who works for a powerful law firm in Los Angeles. The show centers around the life of Ray Donovan, who everyone calls, especially the rich and wealthy, whenever they get into some trouble which might end up being legal, a bit similar to Saul Goodman isn’t he?
One of the most notable aspects of Ray Donovan and a series like Better Call Saul is its focus on the corrupting influence of power and money. In addition to its exceptional performances, Ray Donovan teaches the value of loyalty over money, not like the characters in this show care however.
14. Peaky Blinders (2013)
Peaky Blinders is about the Shelby family, led by their patriarch, and World War I survivor, Thomas Shelny. Called the Peaky Blinders for their distinctive and violent ways, the show plots their rise from a runty local gang into one of the most powerful organizations in the English crime underworld.
The members in Peaky Blinders hold one thing and one thing only dear, well apart from money, and that thing is family. They are very protective of one another, as well as loyal. Similar to shows like Better Call Saul, Peaky Blinders is known to explore the consequences of life of crime and how it stops us from leading normal lives no matter how we try.
Also Read: Shows like Peaky Blinders
15. Gomorrah (2014)
Gomorrah is a television series based on the best-selling book of the same name by journalist Roberto Saviano. The show is set in Naples, Italy and follows the story of a powerful crime organization known as the Camorra, a crime syndicate which has their hands in everything dirty that you can do in the city of Naples.
Gomorrah doesn’t try to sugarcoat the world of organized crime on friends, family and the society at large. Similar to series like Better Call Saul, the show is known for its gritty and realistic approach to storytelling, as well as characters with a lot of depth to them and layers to peel back and examine carefully.
Here are a few shows like Better Call Saul that didn’t make the list that you can also check out:
1. The Flight Attendant
2. Mr. Robot
4. Sons of Anarchy
5. Rotten Tomatoes