Go Rent Better Call Saul

April 3rd, 2015

You’re lucky; you can binge watch it instead of waiting for each episode like I did!

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Anyone else watching Better Call Saul?

The spinoff from Breaking Bad is sort of a prequel to all the hullabaloo surrounding Walter White and his shenanigans as he broke from being good to being very, very bad. Except he’s not in this at all.


But several of the people Walter associated with in Breaking Bad are here, depicted several years earlier. First up, there’s Saul Goodman, obviously, the ne’er do well lawyer. Bob Odenkirk plays Saul, but he is now called Jimmy. Or, he was called Jimmy; we’re dealing with the past here.

We get a quick glimpse of him in present day (hint: remember back in “Bad” when he went on the lam and said something like, “best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha?”). But then the first season is taken up with his back story. And it is riveting television. We even get a hint as to how he got his new moniker, Saul Goodman.

Vince Gilligan, the creator of both shows employs his old wonderful cinematography to wonderful affect. The long, slow pans, the color palette, the dead space between dialog, all of these and more make for great, iconic storytelling.

I want to say that if you miss Breaking Bad, watch this show. So I’m going to. If you miss Breaking Bad, watch this show. It’s definitely not as dark, certainly not as evil. And there’s a lot more fun mixed in with the drama too.

Jonathan Banks reprises his role as Mike  — everyone’s favorite stoic, old, disgraced cop. His past is poignant, deep and serves as a duel narrative throughout this first season. I can’t get enough of the guy.

There is at least one drug dealer we remember from earlier (or, uh, later) and rumors abound as to cameos by several other Breaking Bad figures. Odenkirk was a bit cagey about who’d show up — but what else would you expect from “Saul,” telling CinemaBlend:

“Here’s what you need to know: the writers have a board in the writing room, and it has all the characters from Breaking Bad on it. Like, little characters who just walked through or were referenced. So if you go into that world, I think you’ll see four or five of them. I don’t have the number in my head, but you’ll see more, or hear about more. Sometimes it’s just a reference.”

New characters show up as well. Michael McKean is Saul (or Jimmy’s) brother. He isn’t quite part of society, but he used to be. It’s a far cry from his days as Lenny on Laverne & Shirley, or even his rocker in Spinal Tap.

Rhea Seehorn is fantastic as Saul’s friend Kim. You may remember her from the short-lived Whitney, but she’s been in lots of other things too. Smoldering is the best adjective for her, but it’s a smart, suffering, creative smoldering.

There’s a ton to see and yes, even feel in the first ten episodes. Surely they will be re-shown and available for more viewing after the season finale this Monday. It’s already been renewed for a second season and I just can’t wait.

Do yourself a favor and binge watch this show. It’s addictive as its meth-fueled predecessor, or, uh, successor.

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