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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Why I'm loving Better Call Saul.

Just so you know I'm still absolutely loving Better Call Saul. The Breaking Bad spin-off is an entirely different beast than the series it came from, but feels just as well formed. Some have criticized the series of late saying it's taking too long for James McGill to become the flawed, money grabbing Saul Goodman that we knew and got to love in the original series. Those people are missing the point. The whole point of Better Call Saul is that we're watching the slow evolution of the character. If, three episodes in we'd seen the moment he become Saul Goodman I'd feel cheated out of his backstory. James McGill is such a moral man, he's down on his luck, he's scraping a living whilst caring for his older brother, the character we're with here couldn't be further removed from the person we know James will become.

Some have been quick  to criticise the show for taking its sweet time, but I think those people are forgetting what a slow burner Breaking Bad was. If I'm honest I wasn't truly hooked until mid way through the third season, and at times only stuck with it because I wanted to see if it lived up to the mammoth hype. Needless to say it did (so needless to say I decided to say it!). Although inevitable that Vince Gilligan's new show will get constantly compared to his last masterpiece, I think ultimately unfair. I'm enjoying so much that even if Breaking Bad had never existed (don't panic I'm only being hypothetical, that'd be an awful world) I would still be finding this both enjoyable and intriguing. There's a nice balance of lighthearted  moments tinged with moments of absorbing drama and that's what's keeping me so glued. The most recent episode saw Jimmy trying to capitalize on his 'heroic' actions of the previous episode where he 'saved' a man dangling from the top of a billboard. Following his appearances on local news and a headline piece in the local paper Jimmy finds himself inundated with calls.  As we've come to expect nothing really works out for poor ole Jim and most of the calls lead nowhere. It's during these lighter/comedic moments that Bob Odenkirk can flex his funny bones, as Jimmy is asked to represent someone who wishes to supersede the United States and a wacky potty training toilet that praises the child in a 'sexual' way. Those moments are quickly forgotten though when James learns his brother Chuck is in hospital after being Tasered by police.

This shows the softer of McGill which fans of Breaking Bad will be less familiar with. So the real question here, is what is it that turns a man with morals and love for his family so moral corrupt? Sound familiar? James McGill is the new Walter White!

We're halfway through the series now and I'm still as intrigued and impressed by the show as I was at the beginning. It's important that AMC have already commissioned a second season of the show so I wouldn't be surprised if it ticks along at this pace for a while, but whatever happens I'm along for the ride.

New Episodes of Better Call Saul arrive on Netflix in the UK every Tuesday.

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