Friday, February 13, 2015

Better Call Saul is a worthy spinoff of Breaking Bad

Better Call Saul is two episodes in, and I'm already hooked. The first episode (called Uno) pretty much started us out by showing us the ashes of the man we knew as Saul Goodman, and that he indeed ended up in Omaha working as a manager of a Cinnabon. More importantly though, the black and white montage lent itself to the quiet contemplation of history to a time when a young aspiring lawyer looked forward to making his mark on the world. The history of Saul is complex. We've only up to this point seen him as Walter White's attorney. So I guess the story this time around is going to answer the question as only Vince Gilligan can: how did Jimmy McGill come to represent slimeballs so well?

Lawyer dramas are very popular on television. So I'm a little surprised at myself when I think that I hesitated to watch this show. Admittedly, perhaps I thought I was going to be disappointed. That there's no way it could ever live up to the storytelling heights of Breaking Bad. Sure, from the two episodes I watched one could say that it's probably too early to be saying, "This thing is a masterpiece." But the dialogue is so well written and the characters so colorful and oftentimes terrifying that I can't find the strength to turn away.

For those of you familiar with Breaking Bad, Saul is a prequel. Mike works as a parking lot attendant for the courthouse, Saul isn't even "Saul" but Jimmy McGill, and Tuco the psychopath isn't quite a psychopath yet. But he's working on it. If you don't recall Tuco from season one of Breaking Bad, he was the drug kingpin of Albuquerque that snorted crystal meth off of the blade of his knife, he beat his own bodyguard to death and then said "Tight! Tight! Tight!," and has cousins that are better known for not speaking and just murdering people with axes. It's obvious that some of the story is going to focus on these characters that we know so well building/constructing their empires. What's more interesting to me though is the answer to the question I posed at the end of the first paragraph above.

Jimmy McGill came to represent slimeballs because he did something stupid. He cooked up a scam to get money from some crooks and used two idiots, only it didn't work. And in failing, he attracted the attention of Tuco and Tuco's crew who pull him into a world of some very dangerous folks out to make a ton of money. It sounds awfully simple, yet oftentimes its the deceptively simple things that are the most captivating.

13 comments:

  1. It's going to be a great series. Watching him down spiral is half the fun.

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  2. I've watched both episodes and I'm interested, but not yet hooked. Saul wasn't one of my favorite characters on Breaking Bad, but it is building, ever so slowly. Yet it's good enough for me to continue watching.

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  3. I don't like Sad Sack Jimmy quite as much but I hope it will pick up soon. I don't know, what's wrong with his brother with all the electromagnet?

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  4. I was pleasantly surprised by just how good the first two episodes turned out. Here's hoping they can keep the ball rolling like that. *crosses fingers*

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  5. I had to kinda skip over this post today because I want to see this show (On Demand) this weekend. THEN I'll read your review. For once I want to catch a series from the very beginning!

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  6. My dad was raving about this show.

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  7. I haven't even watched BB yet

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  8. sorta quote: the only way this car is worth $500 is if there was a $300 hooker sitting in it.

    Yep, excellent dialogue. I am also hoping this program lives up to the Breaking Bad series. So far so good.

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  9. Breaking Bad - a show I plan to binge-watch very soon in my future.

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  10. I've been holding off watching this show but it sounds like it might actually be good. Will check it out, though might wait and watch them all in one go as is i did with BB.

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  11. My husband and son are watching this. I'll have to ask them what they think.

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