(Warning: If you haven’t seen the first two episodes of ‘Better Call Saul’, do yourself a favor & go watch those FIRST….then, come back.)
Like many of you (probably, I mean — not like I know you all personally), I hate admitting to people I was wrong about something. Anything. No matter how small, or forgettable, or easily-mistaken. Oh, sure, I am wrong about many things, on many occasions; it’s just not an admission I’m all that willing to make 99% of the time (let alone, publish it online).
However, in this case (and, maybe, never, ever again), I’m willing to swallow my pride.
I admit, guys — I was 100% wrong about Better Call Saul.
When rumors began circulating that Vince Gilligan was thinking of creating a Breaking Bad spin-off featuring Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy criminal attorney, I thought to myself, “wow, that sounds like an awful idea”. Later, when this news was confirmed (amid obviously false reports that there would be a season 6 of BB), I truthfully was stunned. I thought Gilligan & AMC were insane to try to resurrect the world of Breaking Bad with a “prequel” featuring a secondary character.
Honestly, at that point, I had zero intention of giving Odenkirk, Gillian, and Saul a shot.
If you’ve been following along ’til now, you know already: somewhere, between Walter White’s demise and last Sunday, I did a 180 on Better Call Saul. Though the first and second “teasers” provided little content — that, and the year-plus of anticipation, were enough to get me excited.
Though only two episodes have aired so far, and it is only February, I’m confident that Better Call Saul will be on my top new shows list of 2015. In the top three, matter of fact.
Gilligan & Peter Gould have created a story with Better Call Saul that stands on its own. Sure, we’ve seen appearances by Tuco Salamonca and Breaking Bad favorite Mike Ehrmantraut (who will remain a regular on the show) — and, there was that whole opening scene featuring Saul, as he ironically prophesied, living in Omaha working at a Cinnabon. Regardless of these tie-ins to the mothership, Better Call Saul feels like a new journey with familiar characters; sort of how Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Intent were still cop shows based in New York — yet, completely different tales than in the Original Recipe.
Odenkirk is (and always has been) brilliant as Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill; and, though its surprising to me, he really does have the chops to carry a show on his shoulders. With Gilligan & Gould at the helm, Saul is the Breaking Bad prequel none of us fans knew we wanted — and now that we have it, couldn’t imagine why we didn’t get it sooner.
Many people (including myself) didn’t start watching Breaking Bad until the show was on a few years (and, therefore, binged our way through the first season or two); so, it may be tough to remember the early days of the series — with all of the slow-buildups, black comedy, and gross-out scenes that accompanied it. It took a few years for Bad to develop into the dark, sordid tale that its most remembered for. That said, I anticipate we’ll see a similar trajectory for Better Call Saul; while I thoroughly enjoyed the first two hours of the program, I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.