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Salon.com: Vince Gilligan: I’ve never Googled “Breaking Bad”

Vince Gilligan: I’ve never Googled “Breaking Bad”
Erik Nelson

[Original article here]


You went to the “Chris Carter School of the Dramatic Arts” with “The X-Files.”  What did you take away from there? I’m interested, as you now approach the ending of “Breaking Bad.”  Because, I don’t remember “X-Files” really ending.  I remember it just sort of dissipating.  Maybe that is unfair, but I don’t get a sense that there was closure. And is that something you keep in the back of your mind as you approach the end?

I think about it all the time because I can tell you we worked our butts off from that show. And it’s just a function of raw numbers.  We had 202 episodes of that show when we were done, after nine years. I was, I am proud of that show. I have to admit, I’m more proud of “Breaking Bad” because it is my personal baby. But it was a wonderful, wonderful job. But when you have that many episodes, you’re going to have some clunkers, especially when you’re working at the pace that one works at in network television. That’s why people say, “Oh, you know, cable is better than network.” You hear that a lot. Network is the hardest work going. My hat is off to anyone doing a network TV show because they’ve got to do 24 in a season, 25, 26 in a season, and we’re dilettanting around doing 13 or 10 or eight or whatever. And that’s the way I want it, by the way. I don’t ever want to go back.

With a show like “X-Files,” I learned a lot of lessons. Chris Carter was a great boss, a wonderful boss. And I learned how to produce television. I learned how to write for television. I wouldn’t be doing this job now. Wouldn’t know how to do it if it weren’t for “The X-Files.” But, honestly, ”The X-Files” was a bit of a cautionary tale for me, because we were busting our asses all through Season 9, but the rest of the world, in hindsight, felt like they had moved on around Season 6. They were into other things.  And that was an unpleasant feeling, and it would’ve been even more so, if I had actually created the show. So a big lesson I’ve taken away from it is I want to end “Breaking Bad” as well as I can possibly end it. But I don’t want to end it a season or two or three too late. I want to go with people wanting more. I’d rather go out with people saying, “You are absolutely out of your mind to be ending this thing now. You’re at the height of this thing, you’re crazy to end it right now.” I’d rather have people say that to me with bewilderment, than to hear people in passing say, “’Breaking Bad,’ I used to love that show. Is that thing still on?” One is far worse than the other.

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