Better Call Saul

Better-Call-Saul-e1378943426595

I have just finished watching the first 9 episodes of the ten episode first season of Better Call Saul. Rather than wait until the end, I feel compelled to right this review now. This show is awesome; it is a worthy spin-off to what I still believe to be one of the best shows on TV, Breaking Bad. Even considering the extremely unlikely chance that next weeks’ finale is the first miss of the season, my opinion wouldn’t change. The preceding 9 episodes have earned this show the critical praise it has been receiving.

This series is actually a prequel to Breaking Bad and has a similar tone. It is a drama with dark comedic interludes. Do you need to be familiar with Breaking Bad to follow this show? I don’t think so. I do think you may enjoy it more if you have familiarity with the characters. But seriously, if this is the question that you are asking then my reply would be – What is wrong with you? Go watch Breaking Bad! Problem solved.

Bob Odenkirk is phenomenal as Saul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill). We meet him as a lawyer who is  hustling as a public defender and trying to build his practise. We witness his gentle caretaking of his older brother Chuck (Michael McKean). Chuck is a brilliant lawyer and partner of a highly regarded firm who is incapacitated by electromagnetic sensitivity. We meet Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), ex-cop and future “fixer” as a parking attendant at the court house. Breaking Bad fans know what the future has in store for Jimmy/Saul and Mike but the slow-burn journey is the prize of this series. So far, everything has been a delight to watch. It is a character study of these 2 men. It is a story about sibling ties. It is a story about the “American Dream.”

This show has intelligent writing, tight storytelling and clever visuals. It doesn’t spoon feed me anything, so every detail matters. This show demands my undivided attention. The acting is brilliant. The camera work is inventive. This show has filled the void in my heart that Breaking Bad left. I am still waiting for something to fill the one left by Spartacus. I am open to suggestions.

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