Better Call Saul, Season One (USA, 2015)

Better-Call-Saul-Season-1-Poster-AMCCreated by: Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. For some reason, I started this one months ago and after one or two episodes, I gave up. I don’t know why—I thought it was a good show, but I just wasn’t in the mood. As soon as they announced this show, though—a prequel spin-off of this minor character on this amazing show—I thought it was pretty slim odds that it would actually be decent. Even though a lot of folks, friends included, raved about the show, even to the point of saying that it was better than Breaking Bad, which almost kind of pushes me in the other direction. But then again, I loved this character, I loved Bob Odenkirk’s performance of him, and I loved the way Vince Gilligan tells a story visually. Now that I’m through the first season, it’s pretty clear that this is a good show, and maybe even a great show. I really appreciate when each episode of a season, each plot point, connects with and contributes to the others, how the episodic nature of the show is actually building up like chapters in a novel. The characterization is fantastic, especially regarding the core relationship of Jimmy and his brother (by the way, fantastic to see Michael McKean in there!), and the rivalry between Jimmy and the slick lawyer guy. Mostly I love how they have built this character of Jimmy aka Saul, who hasn’t become Saul yet (and I can already see the faux-biblical allegory built into the idea of him “becoming” another identity after he sees the light of, in this case, being an unprincipled hack lawyer), as a likeable, intelligent, resourceful, hilarious, flawed, and endearing character, but still with the same fast-talking idiocy that made him so fun to watch in Breaking Bad. They really had their work cut out for them—how do you make a show all about a character sleazy as Saul Goodman? This is how. My metaphorical hat is off to you, good sirs, you really did it. And maybe this show isn’t “better” than Breaking Bad—it’s too early to tell—but so far it’s definitely a bit funner to watch.

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One response to “Better Call Saul, Season One (USA, 2015)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

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