Monday, May 2, 2016

Better Call Saul - Season 1

This prequel to Breaking Bad is almost everything you expect it to be; it has the same story telling beats, same scenic shots, same type of misleads and then reveals, and the list goes on... It is of course good TV, but not a much-watch like Breaking Bad.

As the name suggests, this is the story of Saul Goodman, or as he was known back then, Jimmy McGill. The show is set five years before the first season of Breaking Bad, which means six years before Saul meets Walther White for the first time. So the showrunners have a rather large window for telling their story until we catch up with Breaking Bad. And of course, they could show what happened to Saul after the finale of Breaking Bad. We only see a short glimpse of that in the pilot, but I found it pointless - why would they just show him for three minutes and then never do another flash forward? It's a cheap trick to assumedly keep the audience interested...

Coming back to the show itself: At the beginning of the season Jimmy is a lawyer who has recently started his practice. He is a shameless, opportunistic, down on his luck ambulance chaser... Through some flashbacks and dialogue with Jimmy's brother (Chuck), you learn that Jimmy used to be scheming charlatan back in Chicago. After an altercation with the law, he absolves himself of the "Slipping Jimmy" persona and tries to walk on the path of righteousness. But as we all know from Breaking Bad, Jimmy is one day going to become Saul Goodman the criminal lawyer.

If I want to summarize the arc of this season, and perhaps the whole show, in one sentence, I would say: Jimmy became righteous for a while, but then broke bad again.

The show is well made, but it is a little too similar to Breaking Bad. I wish it had a more distinct voice. They initially proposed it as a 30-minute comedy series. Wish they had experimented with that idea... As I mentioned, it is still good TV and perhaps in the 80% percentile of what is on TV, but I don't think I'd miss much if I had skipped this show altogether. Overall, I'd give it 7.5/10.

"Need a will? Call McGill"

No comments:

Post a Comment