The Good Girls creator used Breaking Bad as a lesson in what not to do

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“Good Girls” follows Beth (Christina Hendricks), her sister Annie (Mae Whitman) and their best friend Ruby (Retta) – three mothers with their backs to the wall in different ways. Their first foray into the world of crime is driven entirely by desperation: they’ve played by the rules all their lives, and it clearly never got them anywhere. Their decision to rob the grocery store where Annie works is strategic, both for its low risk and high reward. Although they learn fairly quickly that it’s impossible to dabble in crime without getting their hands dirty, it was important to Bans that their moral centers remain intact (more or less) throughout the series.

Right off the bat, this sets “Good Girls” apart from “Breaking Bad.” Seeing how far Walter White was willing to take his rapidly advancing criminal enterprise was a big selling point for the series. “It didn’t take much for him not to become a good person,” Bans told Variety. It was rare, at the time, to see someone so willingly give in to their basest desires – and let any chance of redemption slip away completely – but it made for ultra-binge-able television. Beth, Ruby, and Annie, on the other hand, couldn’t go too far too fast:

“I think these women are good people, and they have strong moral centers and they’re still mothers and take care of their families and their lives… I think the conflict on the show for us comes from them who struggle to stay good people while they’re in these heightened situations and they broke the law and got themselves in hot water.”

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