Throughout my whole life, I’d never indulged in binge-waching TV series. Checking out a couple of episodes and then forgetting about the rest was like a rule of thumb for me. This has changed for me recently after the discovery of “Breaking Bad” (it’s high time, I’d say), the famed crime drama with excellent acting and a captivating story. I couldn’t unglue my eyes from the screen until the last minute of the very final episode. So it came as no surprise that I got “slightly” pleased with the announcement of a spin-off of “Breaking Bad” named “Better Call Saul”. It’s based on one of the most engaging characters of the whole “Breaking Bad” drama – Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk.
Saul from “Breaking Bad” is a slick, outspoken, CRIMINAL lawyer who runs his own not-so-legal practice after a promise not to ever step into the courtroom anymore. In “Better Call Saul”, however, the promise is still a thing of the future. We meet Saul as Jimmy McGill, which is his true identity. Jimmy is struggling in the Public Defence department, earning mere seven Benjamins per case. He has a once-quite-renowned brother who happens to be a shareholder in a prominent law firm. Yet, the brother is currently unable to work due to his “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”. Not to spoil too much for you, the story of Saul at this point seems to revolve around fighting the demons of his past. He is trying not to “break bad” again, as opposed to “breaking bad” for the first time of Walter White from the original show.
Yes, it might sound like a hoary old chestnut, but apart from the topos of “breaking bad” (which is, honestly, not exactly the same), the new series is very distinct from its predecessor. The main protagonists have their own unique characteristics and they come from different walks of life. Although the producers resort to a set of old tricks known from “Breaking Bad”, they also apply a bunch of new shooting techniques and plot patterns to keep us at the edge of our seats. Even the genre of the show shifted more towards black comedy, but frankly, this might have been forced by the choice of the main character.
Do I think it will be as good (godlike!) as “Breaking Bad”. Maybe, but not necessarily. There is already one actress whose performance I dislike for now. It’s Rhea Seehorn and her acting is way too stiff, even for the role of a stiff lawyer that she was given. “Breaking Bad” had basically zero unsatisfactory performances, at least to my tastes. It is way too early to pass overall judgements, but the expectations after “Breaking Bad” are inhumanely high. I fear that “Better Call Saul” won’t be able to live up to them no matter how hard the producers try. I’m sure it will be very good though. Well, it already is!
…at least I can’t waste time binge-watching it, but I will have to bite my nails waiting for each new episode instead.