9 comments on “Better Call Saul

  1. Thanks. I don’t have the day off, but I’ll probably be home in the afternoon so I can hopefully catch most of it (along with the usual 8 million scam online university and class action lawsuit commercials).

  2. I hated the show after the first episode but I think it was because it just wasn’t Breaking Bad. After a couple episodes it realized how good it was. Some of the situations Saul goes through are just insane.

    The episodes with Tuco were just awesome.

  3. I watched the whole thing yesterday. For you, ILA, I endured an incessant stream of commercials from every scam outfit imaginable. Does AMC have any sponsors who aren’t degenerate cockroaches barely operating within the law? Such a fall from the days when they were competing with TCM and still had a modicum of class.

    Anyway, I enjoyed much of the series. I like the ongoing theme of Jimmy’s moral redemption. He’s an interesting Faustian character who can’t escape a relentless series of challenges to do the right thing. Unlike Faustus, he more often than not gives in to his better side, though unwillingly and never happily. This is good writing, I’d say.

    The show should really be called “Better Call Saul and Mike,” since half of it is about the latter character. Jonathan Banks aces this guy by maintaining a perfect grimdark understanding of how his world works. The Jimmy character has his work cut out for him in competing with Mike for audience attention/sympathy, but Odenkirk does a good job.

    The other cast members are strong, too. I especially like Kerry Condon, who plays Mike’s daughter-in-law, and Michael McKean as Chuck.

    I don’t think the series is nearly as potent as Breaking Bad, maybe because Saul/Jimmy can never be Heisenberg/Walter. The opportunities for craziness and nightmare just aren’t there, so I may unfairly be expecting a lot more to happen than actually happens.

    I like the use of flashbacks to show how Jimmy evolved into Saul, though I think the writers need to tighten up some other plot threads that get ignored for too long. If you’re doing a serial, you need to do more interleaving of these strands instead of leaving them on the floor for two episodes. Sometimes I wasn’t sure whether I was watching a serial or a stream of episodes with occasional nods to events in previous episodes. The difference is pretty big.

    So I don’t know whether I like the show well enough to keep going. I mean, I appreciate what they’ve done. I think it’s good for what it is, but it just doesn’t compel me to keep up with it the way some other series do. Anyhow, it’s still interesting to see what happened to Saul and Mike.

  4. The writers admitted that at first they thought it was going to be easy and quickly realized how hard it was going to be to create the story.

    Their hands are kind of tied I guess because we all know what happens to Saul and Mike in the end. They become Saul and Mike from Breaking bad. So no matter what happens in the show or how sensational the plots become, we always have in the back of our minds that they make it through.

    Sorry about the commercials. I don’t really pay attention to them because I’m usually Guild Waring or something on the computer while I’m watching.

  5. It’s kind of like the difference between The Closer and Major Crimes. Captain Raydor is interesting in her own right, but Brenda is a nut. Raydor is thoughtful and canny. Brenda is a combination of Dirty Harry, Sherlock Holmes, and Lucy Ricardo. Easier to keep people watching a nut.

  6. Yes, agree about the writers’ handicap. It’s a tough show to pull off. All in all, I think they succeed, but they have a hard act to follow.

  7. That’s a good comparison. The spin off shows are really good in their own right but they will never live up to what they were hatched from so they will always be looked upon as flawed no matter what they do.
    Fear The Walking Dead suffers from the same thing.

  8. Yes, about those commercials. I won’t blame you if you can use your influence to tone them down. See if you can talk them into a better class of sponsors. I didn’t see a single J.G. Wentworth or blubbery Humane Society ad, so even they didn’t want to be grouped with PC Matic and Capella University. See if you can fix this.

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