So What Did You Think Of Better Call Saul?

So What'd You Think Of Better Call Saul?

We haven't spent a lot of time talking about Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff-prequel that wrapped up its first season last night, which is too bad. Because it's stellar.

In just 10 episodes, the folks behind Saul have crafted a story that is on par with if not better than the adventures of Walter White. It's clear that the same driving forces are at work here — you can see it in everything from the tight plotting to the sweeping shots of New Mexico's skies — but unlike Breaking Bad, Saul doesn't meander. There's no wasting time with Marie's shoplifting or the incessant whining of Walt Junior — Saul's story-tellers are confident and assured, carrying over all the lessons they have learned over five seasons of blue crystals. (And most importantly, we're getting a healthy dose of Mike Ehrmantraut.)

Plus, Saul feels far more human than Walt ever did — though Bryan Cranston obviously did remarkable work as the lord of meth, it was often difficult for anyone with a sense of decency to understand why he made some of the choices he made. Saul is relatable. His transformation from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman is triggered not by greed or selfishness but by betrayal and hopelessness.

But enough from me — what do you guys think of the show so far? What do you want to see in season two? When are we gonna get some Gus Fring action?

Picture: Ursula Coyote/AMC


Comments

    Too many shows on, or have just finished. I need to focus on GoT and getting started on the final season of Justified.

    I haven't watched episode 10 yet, but based on the rest of the season I'll just say that it's excellent. I was extremely skeptical. Spin-off series' have a history of being underwhelming to downright terrible and I didn't really see how they'd be able to hang a series off the character of Saul.

    Suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised. It's excellent. I don't know that I'd agree that it's better than Breaking Bad. I didn't view much in Breaking Bad as being time wasting and I thought the way that they got you to relate so strongly to a character and then show that character's descent into madness, dragging you along for the ride, letting you relate with their terrible decisions was confronting and extremely compelling. ...Obviously I related with the character of Walt a little differently than Jason.

    Better Call Saul seems like it's doing something sort of similar, but Saul feels even more like a victim of rotten circumstance than Walt did. Breaking Bad was tragic largely because of the effects of the protagonist on other people, whereas this is tragic because of the effects of other people on the protagonist. So far Saul's been a bit more restrained, as a show, than Breaking Bad was, but then again BB didn't start getting really bombastic until after the first season, either. Be curious to see what the second season of Saul is like.

    So... some familiar characters, slightly different take on a similar kind of story/theme set, still exceedingly well crafted in every respect... Yeah, it's pretty good.

    I really must get around to watching breaking bad

      You sure must!

        and also dexter apparently, with arrow, flash, supernatural and castle all finishing up in the near future and my schedule being downsized to just GoT I am sure I can make some time

          Don't waste your time on Dexter. It's totally oversold by its fans. B-grade at best. I watched it after years of people telling me how great it is but I was sorely disappointed.

            Seasons 1-4 = A good show
            Seasons 5 - 8 = What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge?

          I'll save you the trouble with The flash, it's terribly cheesy with at least 1 moment per episode where someone says "you can't take them on Barry, it's not safe", 'slow zoom into Barry's face' "But I have to", "No Barry!" wooosh. It's terribly cliché

            But it is also quite a bit of fun. I don't mind the cliche so much partly due to its source and others like it practically inventing a lot of them. SG1 was another show that embraced its cliches whilst still being self aware enough to acknowledge them as they came up.

              to each their own I suppose, I can battle through the odd cliché's with The Arrow, and actually quite like that, but the flash is just too thick with them, feels like it was scripted in the Mid 90's when Jim Carrey was the spandex riddler.

                possibly the only good thing about that movie :P
                Put the largest ham in the hammiest role and see what sticks

          Castle started off okay but by the time third season rolled around, I felt meh.

            The current season seems to have lost touch with what made the show fun, I actually didn't mind season 3 and I thought it tied up the story arc pretty well. The largest issue I have with castle at the moment is the length of time between arc episodes now. we had the 3XK double and that was pretty decent but to leave the opening episodes as is was poor writing and very out of character for castle himself

    Breaking Bad, or Mr Chips meets Scarface, I think brought out a lot of uncomfortable ideas in us, such as 'How far are we willing to go to get what we want?' and 'How much do we have to justify something to ourselves in order to do the bad thing?' With Better Call Saul, it seems to be 'How much can the world shit on you before you hold up your middle finger and scream F.U back at it.'

    I'm loving the show. I love the fall from faux-grace that Jimmy has had. I was hesitant at first, spinoffs are rarely good (Angel, Frasier and a rare few others being exceptions), but this has quickly carved out it's own land in the Alberquerque crime universe quite comfortably. It's not relied on old established characters with pre-determined fates but for those we need and it's gleefully used those same characters as springboards to find newer, more interesting characters we can enjoy and not know the fates of (Tuco -> Nacho! Jimmy -> Chuck!)

    While I can see how, going into later seasons this inevitably will become a problem at some point (as we litter the show with more and more characters who do exist and will exist beyond Breaking Bad for instance) I look forward to seeing Gus Fring, Tuco, Hector Salamanca and if the good lord allows us their presence, Badger and Skinny goddamn Pete!

    Sauls cinematography tops even Breaking Bad, which is fine. Breaking Bad was a down and dirty show, it was meant to feel that way, it was magnificently shot but you can immediately tell with the first episode of Saul, that they brought their finest A game and then some. It's not without its faults, as stated earlier, reliance on older characters, some slow moving plot threads (the old peoples lawyer thread) and a few other little quirks, but overall, I'd give this season a solid 9/10. The final episode though slow moving was incredibly poignant, and when taken as a whole and the effect it had on Jimmy (no spoilers), it's not a wonder in the world this man chose to be come Saul Goodman, because quite honestly, it's the only destination on his travel through life he could end up at.

    That's just my thoughts :)

    TLDR? I loved it. Next season is 13 episodes! Rejoice!

    I've really enjoyed the empathic and thoughtful representations of mental illness in Saul. Too often people with mental illnesses are just plot devices or savage crazy people on TV, so to see a complex, sympathetic character like Chuck has been really fantastic.

    I loved it and, yes, I think it's been better than Breaking Bad so far. I was expecting it to be a sort of fucked-up version of LA Law, with a self contained and amusingly odd story each week. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a narrative series.

    And it's turned out to be the best thing on TV at the moment.

    i thought it was awesome, despite the underwhelming finale. saul was never my favourite character on breaking bad, really just more of an annoyance, and when i heard that he was getting his own spin-off i didn't think it would be something i'd be into. i was completely wrong. from the first episode you could see that it was going to be great. some weeks when it ended it was like 'what the fuck you can't end it there!'. but yeah, really enjoyable. looking forward to the second season.

      I really do implore you to give the finale (infact the WHOLE SEASON) a second watch! I've watched every episode around 3 times now, and each time I'm finding new angles to view things, new reasoning for characters etc. Hindsight in Breaking Bad and BCS is always 20/20 of course. The finale was underwhelming in comparison to the 2nd last episode, I mean how can you outdo Chucks revelation? Heart rending, soul shattering stuff. I think it should possibly have been shuffled around with the 2nd last episode, but that was the case with Ozymandias from BB as well. The very best BB episode, was it's 3rd last episode. The finale, though brilliant, didn't hit the heights Ozymandias did. Even Gilligan said Ozymandias was to him, the true finale, Granite State and Felina, were the 'cherry on top' for the audience.

      So with that in mind, I went back and watched the season finale and I have to admit, it was a lot better. I think it's main fault is there's a bit of a pacing issue tbh, especially at the beginning, the bingo scene just goes on too long. B but that's potentially to emphasise the conflict in Sauls mind, the morality twisting and bending. But by the time the credits roll, everything in his life is gone, he's 'free' for once of everyone and everything, money in his pocket, no responsibilities and no ties to the past. He can finally 'start again' and Saul Goodman will be the havoc he wreaks upon the earth.

      That's just my opinion anyhow :)

    Liked the show, the second episode was the best (the breaking legs episode).
    But all along I've been waiting for 'Saul' to show up. He finally does in the final minute of the last episode and then it ends!

      Saul doesn't show up until he stops caring about his clients and goes all for the money.
      He's about a third of the way there.

      I still can't believe the woman Jimmy was with was portrayed by Jamie Luner who used to be a redheaded bombshell in Melrose Place.

    it was great, but episode 10 was a little bit of a let down, even though it CLEARLY sets up the whole of Breaking Bad

      It's back next year for season 2, 13 episodes! Like BB, they've planned a 5 season arc at this point apparently.

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