‘Better Call Saul’ Review: Who Ya Gonna Call?
More often than not TV spinoffs are a terrible idea. Remember Joey, the Friends offspring that no one really cared enough for? Or That 80s Show, which was just as bad as it sounds? Or even more recently, Seth MacFarlane’s disastrous Cleveland Show?
So when AMC announced that Saul Goodman, the wheeling-dealing sleazeball lawyer from Breaking Bad is getting his own show, you can understand why everyone wasn’t so chuffed about the idea.
Slate.com said of the announcement back in 2013: “Perhaps after someone writes a script they’ll all decide that this is a bad idea. Or maybe they’ll shoot a pilot and decide they don’t like it”. Time.com put out a verdict asking Mr. Goodman and Mr. Gilligan to tread lightly. While Screen Robot put it succinctly, “Bad idea, bitch”. Even creator Vince Gilligan, who had once already been burnt by short-lived X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen, had his doubts: “I am worried that… it may turn out that this was a mistake.”
Better Call Saul finally did come to fruition and boy did it make its mark. Season 1, which premiered in 2015 kept up with the familiar tense, dark-comedy tone and style that we so loved in Breaking Bad. Lead actor Bob Odenkirk and fans are quite familiar with the Saul Goodman character but that’s not who the show gives us.
Just like Walter White’s 5-season long transformation into Heisenberg, Better Call Saul journeys to show us that Saul Goodman wasn’t always, well, Saul Goodman. Everybody has their story and this is the one about how a small time con-artist named Jimmy McGill transformed into a garish styled “criminal” lawyer. Apart from Goodman, other old favorites from Breaking Bad like Mike Ehrmantraut and Tuco Salamanca appear in the first season too.
But just how good is Better Call Saul? Good enough for Forbes to name it their best show of 2015 beating out the likes of Fargo, Mad Men and Game of Thrones. And good enough to win a Golden Tomato thanks to its 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes which makes it the best reviewed new TV show of 2015 over Master of None and Marvel’s Daredevil.
With all this acclaim, it’s no doubt that Better Call Saul is crafting its own place in the pantheon of iconic TV dramas, right beside its almighty predecessor.
Season One was just recently (Feb 1) made available on Netflix. Ample time to binge on it before the second season premieres this February 15.