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Face-Off: Tony Soprano vs. Walter White

Sep. 26, 2013by: Indiana Sev
In last week's article, we had nice guy Aussie Hugh Jackman vs. troublemaker Aussie Russell Crowe in a heated battle which most of you decided should go to Jackman. Our Australian edition of the Face-Off did so well that Im considering a future article pitting Air Supplys Russell Hitchcock versus his band mate Graham Russell. Itll be up to you to choose...the one that you love. Stay tuned!

With the superb AMC series BREAKING BAD airing its series finale this Sunday, it was a no-brainer to face-off mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned Meth drug lord Walter White with arguably the best mob boss in television history, Tony Soprano (from HBOs THE SOPRANOS).

Base of Operations
Like most mafia bosses, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) called Joisey his home. The stink of the Garden State and its proximity to New York provided a setting which reminded us of some great mob movies and gave us characters and accents that made it all seem very familiar and cozy. New Jersey became a character on its own and complimented T perfectly as he conducted his business, avoided the spotlight and smoked his cigars.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) took a wrong left turn somewhere and calls the city of Albuquerque in the Land of Enchantment his home. The low-profile nature of the city and the state suits W.W. perfectly as he slowly starts breaking bad in order to provide for his family in the eventuality that he dies from cancer. The barren desert scenes and the beautiful vistas are a great setting as our antihero begins creating his drug empire one blue batch at a time as he contemplates his actions and his life. All that being said, I found Jersey to be more exciting a setting for Tony's shenanigans so he gets the edge and the victory in this category.
Nicknames/Aliases
Tony was usually referred to as T and on occasion Tone, Skip or Skipper. These are okay but when you dont even have the coolest nickname in the series (Big Pussy, Little Paulie, Philly Spoons and Johnny Boy) then you have your work cut out for you.
Heisenberg wins by a landslide.
Hangouts
Satrialies Pork Store and strip joint Bada-Bing! were a couple of the usual hangouts where Tony met with his crew, chewed people out and messed around on his wife. Good sandwiches and naked ladies are not only perfect for any crime boss, but also for pretty much anybody else.
Mr. White is usually cooking in a high-tech meth lab or a low-down meth trailer and when he isnt doing that he is either at the A1A Car Wash or meeting with his sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman in his snazzy office. The office is actually the niftiest looking place in the series but its still nowhere near good enough to give Walter White the win in this category.
Second in Command
Tonys protg was Christopher Moltisani (Michael Imperioli) who was the ambitious cousin of Tonys wife Carmela. They had a very close relationship and although Tony often called Chris his nephew their relationship was closer to that of a father and son. Chris caused much grief for Tony in the series as he struggled with drug and alcohol addition, pestered Tony incessantly about being a made man not to mention dating a girl that became an informant for the FBI.

Their relationship revealed much of Tonys character in the series as "T" struggled with the love and pride he had for the kid with the trouble Chris recklessness was causing him and the family. In the end, Tony wacked Chris in one of the most memorable scenes in the entire series.
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) was Walter Whites student in his high school chemistry class before they hooked up years later to become business partners and cook some of the best meth in the land. Their relationship grows steadily as Walter teaches Jesse how to cook the drug to perfection and begins treating Jesse like his own son (in fact, Walter often seems to be more concerned about Jesse than how his own actions may affect his actual son).

In turn, Jesse shows much respect towards Walter always calling him Mr. White and feeling truly sorry for him and the situation life has dealt him. Their love and respect for one another often turns to hate, suspicion and misunderstanding as they go through a rollercoaster of emotions which results in the same dilemma Tony Soprano had with his second-in-command, Christopher to kill or not to kill? Jesse actually has a moral centre which makes their relationship just a little more interesting as the series develops.
Crime Boss Report Card
Tony Soprano made it cool again to root for the mobster. His emotional issues, family and family pressures and wandering eye made us all relate with him just like he was a regular Joe. He had charm, power and a look that would put the fear of God into you if he got angry. He was born into the family business with his uncle and father having been connected so he didnt necessarily build his crime empire from scratch. He also had the luxury of having a bunch of soldiers and capos on the streets doing his dirty work for him most of the time.

None of this takes away from the fact that he was a cold-blooded killer, a shrewd businessman and one of the funniest and most fascinating mob bosses ever on the small screen. Its not clear if he survived or not at the end of the series which makes it very difficult to judge his merits as a crime boss. After all, there is no greater way to measure success in the criminal world than not dying. Since I dont know if W.W. will die or not either, this issue becomes moot in my grading process. What earned Tony some major points in this category are his therapy sessions which revealed to us what made him tick and the many reasons he is the man that he became.

Tony gets an A+ on his report card.
Walter Whites transformation from a meek chemistry teacher to a ruthless drug kingpin who leaves a trail of bodies behind him is truly remarkable. All Walter wants to do is provide for his family before the cancer that is in him kills him. This honorable goal of his slowly had him turn his back on his humanity as he killed people and made drugs that killed people. He never expected to become the business mastermind that he became or the feared mythical drug lord either. Its the fact that he learned the ropes so quickly and with hardly any help from anyone that makes his accomplishments just as impressive than those of Tony Sopranos.

You can never quite hate Walter because at the end of the day he loves his family and their well-being has always been his only motivation. He started off with the right intentions and then accidentally became a brilliant criminal monster and for that, he also gets an A+.
IT'S A TIE!
I actually prefer the series THE SOPRANOS more than BREAKING BAD but it was very difficult for me to choose which of these two characters is better than the other. Although the character of Walter White is one in a million it doesn't change the fact that Gandolfini's Tony Soprano has became a legend and revolutionized how we look at mob bosses on TV and in the movies. Considering how iconic the character of Tony Soprano has become it's a win in itself for Walter White just to have earned a draw with him. The final call is yours so let's see which way you're leaning...

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8:23PM on 09/27/2013

Get off the god damn hype-train

Are you high Sev? Taking the late Gandolfini greatest character and putting it on par with Cranston's Walter white seems like blasphemy. I believe Bryan's greatest character he has portrayed was the dad in Malcom in the Middle, didn't they create Breaking Bad with that charcter in mind? Never the less... Yes Breaking Bad is trending right now, but this is in poor taste.
Are you high Sev? Taking the late Gandolfini greatest character and putting it on par with Cranston's Walter white seems like blasphemy. I believe Bryan's greatest character he has portrayed was the dad in Malcom in the Middle, didn't they create Breaking Bad with that charcter in mind? Never the less... Yes Breaking Bad is trending right now, but this is in poor taste.
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5:06PM on 09/26/2013

Walter White

The Sorpranos blasted open the doors for a show like Breaking Bad to exist. Still, there's no denying Walter White is a far more complicated and compelling lead anti-hero.
The Sorpranos blasted open the doors for a show like Breaking Bad to exist. Still, there's no denying Walter White is a far more complicated and compelling lead anti-hero.
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6:43PM on 09/26/2013
I said the same thing but got a negative 7 likes lol. One guy wants my address for saying Walter is better. Oh well. to each his. I some people can't take a joke. Especially a funny one that references Justin Long's character from Zach and Miri make a Porno. This is a movie fans website isn't it. Sheesh!
I said the same thing but got a negative 7 likes lol. One guy wants my address for saying Walter is better. Oh well. to each his. I some people can't take a joke. Especially a funny one that references Justin Long's character from Zach and Miri make a Porno. This is a movie fans website isn't it. Sheesh!
2:33PM on 09/26/2013

And the winner is.....

Looks like everyone is picking Walter White over Tony. There are a few Tony lovers out there but thats because they secretely want him to drop his hairy nuts into their eager mouths.
Looks like everyone is picking Walter White over Tony. There are a few Tony lovers out there but thats because they secretely want him to drop his hairy nuts into their eager mouths.
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4:07PM on 09/26/2013
Watch your goddamn mouth, you peanut-head looking motherfucker. Just because you're a trailer park trash meth head doesn't mean you have to pick on the Tony fans.

Now, give me your address and I'll start you off with the first season of Sopranos...

Watch your goddamn mouth, you peanut-head looking motherfucker. Just because you're a trailer park trash meth head doesn't mean you have to pick on the Tony fans.

Now, give me your address and I'll start you off with the first season of Sopranos...

+8
2:18PM on 09/26/2013

wait what Second In Command

Tony's second in command was his consigliere, Sil (aka Silvio Dante) not Christopher... Sil was badass, funny but no nonsense when it came to business and ultra loyal... and also was played by Steven Van Zandt, the lead guitarist of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.
Tony's second in command was his consigliere, Sil (aka Silvio Dante) not Christopher... Sil was badass, funny but no nonsense when it came to business and ultra loyal... and also was played by Steven Van Zandt, the lead guitarist of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.
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1:41PM on 09/26/2013

No Tie

Tony wins this easily.
Tony wins this easily.
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1:02PM on 09/26/2013
If The_Soloist says it's Walter White, then it's clearly Tony Soprano.
If The_Soloist says it's Walter White, then it's clearly Tony Soprano.
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12:55PM on 09/26/2013

If Sopranos ended yesterday, You would all say Tony, have some perspective

The only reason people are choosing Walter White over Tony is because Breaking Bad is in its final episodes as we speak, Sopranos was almost ten years ago, The Sopranos only launched the premium cable channels to being television producers and not just movie channels, the show changed the face of television and entertainment forever, have some fucking perspective people, fucking TONY.
The only reason people are choosing Walter White over Tony is because Breaking Bad is in its final episodes as we speak, Sopranos was almost ten years ago, The Sopranos only launched the premium cable channels to being television producers and not just movie channels, the show changed the face of television and entertainment forever, have some fucking perspective people, fucking TONY.
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12:45PM on 09/26/2013
I never watched The Sopranos, so I don't see myself as really being able to judge here. But, draw or no draw, this was a face-off that actually had me invested. Just imagining what a Walter/Tony confrontation would be like (it would be easy to think Tony would win, except for Walter's penchant for manipulation and betrayal). Both of these characters have made enough of an impression on TV viewers that the only way to avoid being tarred and feathered (or dissolved in acid) is to let the people
I never watched The Sopranos, so I don't see myself as really being able to judge here. But, draw or no draw, this was a face-off that actually had me invested. Just imagining what a Walter/Tony confrontation would be like (it would be easy to think Tony would win, except for Walter's penchant for manipulation and betrayal). Both of these characters have made enough of an impression on TV viewers that the only way to avoid being tarred and feathered (or dissolved in acid) is to let the people decide.
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+0
12:26PM on 09/26/2013

The W

Cant go wrong with Heisenberg.
Cant go wrong with Heisenberg.
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11:59AM on 09/26/2013

Not even close

Not even close. Read my comment below. If you love both shows then yes its a tie. But from a non bias point of view my points are solid and can't be argued. Walter is King.
Not even close. Read my comment below. If you love both shows then yes its a tie. But from a non bias point of view my points are solid and can't be argued. Walter is King.
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6:45PM on 09/26/2013
Walter would bitch slap Tony S. anyday of the week. We're done when I say we're done!!!!!!!
Walter would bitch slap Tony S. anyday of the week. We're done when I say we're done!!!!!!!
5:47PM on 09/26/2013
Fact: johngotti6 thinks his opinions are Facts:
Fact: johngotti6 thinks his opinions are Facts:
4:26PM on 09/26/2013
Right on the money, Glinda.
Right on the money, Glinda.
3:11PM on 09/26/2013
Look up the definition of biased. You didn't watch Sopranos, you have no points to "argue." You don't know what you don't know. Watch it and then give your opinion. Most here, no matter who they chose, at least know both characters.
Look up the definition of biased. You didn't watch Sopranos, you have no points to "argue." You don't know what you don't know. Watch it and then give your opinion. Most here, no matter who they chose, at least know both characters.
11:54AM on 09/26/2013

No contest, All the way Walter White.

I didn't watch the Sapranos but I'm guessing Tony was born in a crime ''Family'' of some sort. So he was handed everything to him. Walter was a high school teacher who created his empire. As far as operations go when he was with Gus they were making hundred of millions of dollars a week! I don't Tony Soprano was bringing in that kind of dough ever. The hat/ alter ego is way cooler than the tired old Mobster look. Fresh and unique to his own. He may not have the goons Tony has but he is superior
I didn't watch the Sapranos but I'm guessing Tony was born in a crime ''Family'' of some sort. So he was handed everything to him. Walter was a high school teacher who created his empire. As far as operations go when he was with Gus they were making hundred of millions of dollars a week! I don't Tony Soprano was bringing in that kind of dough ever. The hat/ alter ego is way cooler than the tired old Mobster look. Fresh and unique to his own. He may not have the goons Tony has but he is superior in intelligence and at his height was vast more successful. He also did it in less than a year! People forget Breaking Bad all the seasons take place in a single 12 months except for the last couple episodes. Hands down, no contest, without a doubt the pound for pound king is Walter! WE'RE DONE WHEN I SAY WE'RE DONE!!!!!!
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5:49PM on 09/26/2013
Jesus, you based your argument on incorrect assumptions about a show you admitted not to watching?
Jesus, you based your argument on incorrect assumptions about a show you admitted not to watching?
+6
11:39AM on 09/26/2013

hmmm

Not easy for me and you've made great points, but in the end I have to go with Tony. While I agree Walter loves his family dearly and in the beginning they were his sole motivation, I believe that somewhere along the way his greed and his Heisenberg ego took over - blinding him to the real dangers he put his family and everybody that he cared about into. His ego and need to be known for his achievements caused him to make some poor decisions along the way. I always hated the way he treated
Not easy for me and you've made great points, but in the end I have to go with Tony. While I agree Walter loves his family dearly and in the beginning they were his sole motivation, I believe that somewhere along the way his greed and his Heisenberg ego took over - blinding him to the real dangers he put his family and everybody that he cared about into. His ego and need to be known for his achievements caused him to make some poor decisions along the way. I always hated the way he treated Jesse (probably my favorite character of all time in any show). I have to go with Tony, who i loved and adored from day one and never wavered. I can never hate Walt though, deep down I love the guy still, somehow...
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4:28PM on 09/26/2013
Yeah, I agree with this totally. Tony's character is superior, and it never really seems to waver.
Yeah, I agree with this totally. Tony's character is superior, and it never really seems to waver.
+5
11:37AM on 09/26/2013

I have nothing against the columnist...

...But it really makes me wonder if they read the comments because people (LOTS of people) have complained about it being a cop-out the last couple of times "Face Off" has resulted in a tie, and then here we get yet another one.
...But it really makes me wonder if they read the comments because people (LOTS of people) have complained about it being a cop-out the last couple of times "Face Off" has resulted in a tie, and then here we get yet another one.
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10:31AM on 09/26/2013
Both of these guys are two of the greatest characters on TV of all-time. The fact that it is a tie makes sense because two people could argue days and days on why Walt is better or why Tony is better. This is one of the very few times I can agree on the tie.
Both of these guys are two of the greatest characters on TV of all-time. The fact that it is a tie makes sense because two people could argue days and days on why Walt is better or why Tony is better. This is one of the very few times I can agree on the tie.
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+6
9:12AM on 09/26/2013

Ugh

T, duh. And what other mob bosses are there on TV?
T, duh. And what other mob bosses are there on TV?
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9:10AM on 09/26/2013

Walter White

Walter White.
Walter White.
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+21
7:34AM on 09/26/2013

C'mon

Grow some balls and pick a winner in these columns.
Grow some balls and pick a winner in these columns.
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6:55AM on 09/26/2013

The fact that this is a tie

There's some subjects for which this feature has worked, but pitting two universally appreciated characters against each other is pointless - and your outcome is the evidence. Also, I've said it before - use a consistent, universal rubric of areas of comparison for every column. If the subjects aren't relevant to the rubric, then they have no business being compared (like this one). It will make this feature consistently work - which it currently does not.
There's some subjects for which this feature has worked, but pitting two universally appreciated characters against each other is pointless - and your outcome is the evidence. Also, I've said it before - use a consistent, universal rubric of areas of comparison for every column. If the subjects aren't relevant to the rubric, then they have no business being compared (like this one). It will make this feature consistently work - which it currently does not.
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12:59PM on 09/26/2013
You are a hundred percent correct, they choose categories based on how they want the end result to turn out, if this was who win in a fight, or who was more badass, but they choose things that are just particularly relevant to having a close contest. Bullshit.
You are a hundred percent correct, they choose categories based on how they want the end result to turn out, if this was who win in a fight, or who was more badass, but they choose things that are just particularly relevant to having a close contest. Bullshit.
11:58AM on 09/26/2013
Are Batman and Superman not universally appreciated characters?

We're comparing two of TV's biggest anti-hero figures. Also, the column has typically run with universally appreciated characters; Are Batman and Superman not universally appreciated? Yet, still they divide. In the end, people will always have their favorites, which is why this will never be a column that everyone agrees on and part of the fun of it. Personally speaking, I think Tony Soprano was the smarter of the two and would
Are Batman and Superman not universally appreciated characters?

We're comparing two of TV's biggest anti-hero figures. Also, the column has typically run with universally appreciated characters; Are Batman and Superman not universally appreciated? Yet, still they divide. In the end, people will always have their favorites, which is why this will never be a column that everyone agrees on and part of the fun of it. Personally speaking, I think Tony Soprano was the smarter of the two and would be the clear winner, even though I like Walter White better as a character. I'm sure some would disagree with me and that's cool. That's what makes the debate fun (and sometimes infuriating).

11:34AM on 09/26/2013
Amen, brother.
Amen, brother.
4:35AM on 09/26/2013
As useless as this face-offs are, I somehow find them interesting anyway.
As useless as this face-offs are, I somehow find them interesting anyway.
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+8
3:53AM on 09/26/2013

I Said his name

Walter White
Walter White
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+4
3:35AM on 09/26/2013
I knew it was a tie and didn't even read it.
What's that, Indiana Sev (whoever that is)?
Afraid of having some opinions?
I knew it was a tie and didn't even read it.
What's that, Indiana Sev (whoever that is)?
Afraid of having some opinions?
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3:29AM on 09/26/2013

Face off's that end up a draw are a waste of time.

Come on, if you're going to pit characters against each other one has to win otherwise it just turns into - Why I like these two characters, which would be a different article completely.
Come on, if you're going to pit characters against each other one has to win otherwise it just turns into - Why I like these two characters, which would be a different article completely.
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