The moment that Breaking Bad fans have been waiting for finally arrives! But does our favourite attorney at law have enough charm to carry a show of his own? Read on to find out.
The official description from AMC:
Jimmy works his magic in the courtroom. Unexpected inspiration leads him to an unconventional pursuit of potential clients.
Despite being late to the party, as far as Breaking Bad goes, I was nonetheless a huge fan, finding it’s gritty tone, and wonderful narrative to be utterly gripping. The way that it slowly turned main character Walter White from innocent chemist, to bad ass meth cook also had me hooked, with the emotional twists never failing to captivate. So when I heard there was going to be a spin-off, starring criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, I was initially intrigued, curious to see what Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould would produce.
Opening with a monochrome scene, devoid of dialogue, we are quickly reminded of the consequences that Walter White’s drug empire has caused, with Saul’s new life as manager of a Cinnabon in Nebraska, definitely not being to his liking. The way that this allows current fans of Breaking Bad a look into the character’s future, whilst also allowing new fans a soft, insightful introduction, is extremely clever, with the transition bound to leave new views curious as to how Saul got there. Moving on, we are re-introduced to this comical character, as he tries to make a name for himself as James McGill, aspiring attorney. Showing us a more mundane side to Saul, pre-Breaking Bad, “Uno” acts as the perfect starting point for his story, with his struggle to pay bills, and earn money, allowing us to almost feel sorry for him. As for fans that we’re hooked to the fast paced, drama of Walter’s antics, don’t fear, as though it’s not quite to the same standard as Breaking Bad (yet), there are some exciting moments to Saul’s time as James McGill.
Bob Odenkirk always impressed during his time on Breaking Bad, and does so once again in Better Call Saul. Giving a slightly different, yet familiar portrayal as Saul Goodman/James McGill, Odenkirk is certainly the shoulders on which this series are resting on, with the depth in his acting amazing from start to finish. It is however the learning curve for his character that truly impresses, as straight from the transition to his time as James, it is evident that he is only just learning the tricks that he has used to defend his criminal clientele. Joining Odenkirk, we also get some solid performances from Michael McKean (Chuck McGill), Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) and Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler), as though nothing special, they do their jobs. Oderkirk isn’t the only familiar face from Breaking Bad to make an appearance, with Saul’s go to guy, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) making a brief appearance as a parking lot attendant.
Better Call Saul certainly gets off to a good start, as though we never expected it to rival the sheer awesomeness of Breaking Bad, it is also avoiding the mediocrity that we feared it may tread. Giving a wonderful insight into Saul Goodman’s past, this is a series that all Breaking Bad fans must watch, being the perfect introduction point for new viewers.