Better Call Saul if Breaking Bad left you wanting more

Better Call Saul if Breaking Bad left you wanting more

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Giovanni Solano, Opinions Editor

 

“If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’ll be managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.” This throwaway line from the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad turned out to be the opening sequence in AMC’s new show, Better Call Saul.

Better Call Saul is a prequel to the acclaimed show Breaking Bad, both created by director and writer Vince Gilligan. The prequel is set in 2002 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and revolves around Saul Goodman before he became the sleazy criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman. We get to see him as Jimmy McGill, a struggling public defender, in massive debt, working out of the back of a nail salon, who just can’t seem to get a break.

Given that it’s a prequel you don’t really need any prior knowledge of Breaking Bad to start watching the show. But for fans who did watch all of Breaking Bad, there are guest appearances from notable characters.

Jonathan Banks reprises his role as Mike Ehrmantraut, this time as a slightly antagonistic parking lot attendant. Raymond Cruz reprises the role of Tuco Salamanca, a violent drug kingpin capable of killing his own men without remorse.

Now some of you might be thinking this show is just a way to milk more money out of the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad.

Some of you are probably thinking this is going to be like most prequels (cough Star Wars cough), where it won’t be as good as the original. You might also be thinking who decided to give this supporting character an entire show on their origin?’ Or you may think ‘but I know where he ends up, why should I watch it?’

Well, put those thoughts aside because this show is good and it’s telling a phenomenal story. It’s not another boring courtroom procedural. This show is dramatic and has a dark sense of humor.

I’ve found myself laughing during a very serious and life-threatening kidnapping, and odds are, if you watched it, you laughed, too.

Bob Odenkirk is great as Jimmy McGill, the lawyer with the fast mouth who just can’t get a break. The mere fact that Tuco is involved should give you an idea of what the first two episodes deal with in terms of opposition.

But, that’s just short-term conflict, as with his previous show Vince Gilligan uses familial, internal, short-term and overarching conflict with such mastery.

The first two episodes foreshadow: Jimmy struggling with his morals; a rift forming between him and his successful, but sick, house-bound brother—who is also a lawyer; and potentially facing off against a larger more successful law firm.

As far as origin stories go, Better Call Saul is worthy of your time. With 6.9 million people who watched its premiere—the biggest in cable history—and a second season already in the works, you’re definitely guaranteed an amazing viewing experience.

 

4.5 out of 5