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Read More: 'Better Call Saul': Finding Its Own Voice While Haunted By the Ghosts of 'Breaking Bad' Now that 'Better Call Saul' has concluded its freshman season, the creative team is looking back on James 'Jimmy' Morgan McGill's transformation from straight-laced lawyer into Saul Goodman, the Albuquerque underworld's favorite legal shark. Watch Vince Gilligan, Melissa Bernstein, Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk sound off on Jimmy's (Bob Odenkirk) evolving relationship with cleaner Mike (Jonathan Banks) and his failed attempts to assimilate into the traditional legal profession above. Read More: TV Shows are Becoming the New Film Franchise, and That's a Very, Very Bad Thing
- Helen Z. Carefoot
Read More: 'Better Call Saul': Finding Its Own Voice While Haunted By the Ghosts of 'Breaking Bad' Now that 'Better Call Saul' has concluded its freshman season, the creative team is looking back on James 'Jimmy' Morgan McGill's transformation from straight-laced lawyer into Saul Goodman, the Albuquerque underworld's favorite legal shark. Watch Vince Gilligan, Melissa Bernstein, Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk sound off on Jimmy's (Bob Odenkirk) evolving relationship with cleaner Mike (Jonathan Banks) and his failed attempts to assimilate into the traditional legal profession above. Read More: TV Shows are Becoming the New Film Franchise, and That's a Very, Very Bad Thing »
- Helen Z. Carefoot
As the spinoff of a beloved series like “Breaking Bad,” the odds seemed stacked against AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” But it has both been embraced whole-heartedly by critics while also emerging as the highest-rate new cable series of the broadcast season.
And for good measure, it also helped AMC plant a scripted flag on Monday nights.
For the season, “Saul” averaged 5.9 million viewers, including 3.7 million adults 18-49 and 3.6 million adults 25-54, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3″ estimates (which include three days’ worth of DVR playback). The show got a big launch courtesy of “The Walking Dead,” but after seeing an expected decline the following week, it held at a strong level during the rest of its 10-episode run.
Last Monday’s season finale average 5.1 million viewers, including 3.1 million adults 18-49 and 3.3 million adults 25-54 in “live plus-3.” In 18-49, that tied it for seventh among all scripted dramas »
- Rick Kissell
Breaking Bad was one of the most critically acclaimed series of the past few years, a lot of which had to do with the world the show created. Vince Gilligan and AMC’s proposal to revisit that world, this time with a focus on Saul Goodman, was met with both excitement and trepidation. After all, could the creative team capture lightning in a bottle twice and create something equally good? The first season of Better Call Saul seems to have put all those concerns to rest, as the ten episodes have exceeded expectations, delighting fans of Breaking Bad by expanding the story without taking anything away from what came before.
But how did the show play for those who haven’t seen Breaking Bad? Does the series work as effectively for someone unfamiliar with the world of Albuquerque, New Mexico as seen through the lens of Gilligan and Co.? And »
- Deepayan Sengupta
If you believe one Charles McGill, Esq., then you might just agree with my column title this week. Charles, or just Chuck to his brother James – err, Jimmy – is quite the cantankerous coot when he wants to be. And when he’s not being cranky, he’s stripping his brother’s soul away, through a cruel and twisted life-view. It’s enough to drive a guy to throw years of attempted redemption down the drain in lieu of cheap wins and morally ambiguous behavior. And it’s a damned beautiful shame.
I’m of course talking about the recently completed first season of Better Call Saul, the progenitor to Breaking Bad. To be totally fair, Saul isn’t what one might truly dub a prequel per se. Instead, it’s a same-universe flashback, fleshing out of an otherwise ancillary character into a fully developed lead, worthy of his own show. »
- Marc Alan Fishman
When news of the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul was first announced it’s safe to say that more than a few fans of Vince Gilligan’s classic drama were apprehensive about how it would turn out. After all, spin-offs have a tendency to be considerably inferior to the source material which inspired them.
Plenty of people certainly breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out it wasn’t going to be a half hour sitcom, but once the first episode hit television screens those sighs turned into collective cheers as it became immediately apparent that Better Call Saul wasn’t about to disappoint anyone. And as the series progressed, filling in the backstory of Breaking Bad characters Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman) and Mike Ehrmantraut as well as introducing a host of new faces, the true high calibre of the show really started to shine through. »
- Andrew Dilks
Better Call Saul bows out on a restrained season one finale, fitting for the beautifully observed, low-key character drama it really is...
This review contains spoilers.
“Dalai Lama’s got nothing on me,” says Jimmy McGill, with just the tiniest hint of bitter sarcasm. It’s a funny line, but a telling one too – already, Jimmy has started to internalise his brother’s comments about him, and the remainder of this (mostly) restrained season finale sees him taking more crucial, incremental steps on the road to that office in that strip mall.
At first, Marco’s pointedly low-key feel took me by surprise. I was fully expecting things to blow up, for Nacho to reappear, for guns to fire, for blood to spill. Perhaps even a tense cliffhanger. But no, what we got were a number of long scenes that filled in more detail about Jimmy’s character and his supporting cast, »
Better Call Saul, Season 1, Episode 10: “Marco”
Written by Peter Gould
Directed by Peter Gould
Airs Mondays at 10Pm Est on AMC
In the crushing aftermath of Chuck’s betrayal in last week’s penultimate episode, the season finale moves at a surprisingly quiet pace, working mainly as a character study for the man who will one day be known as Saul Goodman, while filling in some of the blanks of the timeline as established thus far.
“Marco” opens with another flashback sequence, this time taking place the moment after Chuck bailed out Jimmy and just before Jimmy got on the plane to Albuquerque. Though it initially seems like a throwaway bit to give us another look at how Slippin’ Jimmy turned it around, this is later shown to be false, as a key scene has Jimmy returning to that exact bar in a state of disillusionment.
However, before that, »
- Mike Worby
Spoiler alert: Please do not read if you haven’t yet watched Monday night’s finale. James McGill went from a more-or-less good guy to a dude with bad intentions by the end of “Better Call Saul’s” first season — sound familiar, fans of Vince Gilligan‘s New Mexican AMC universe? “Without a doubt, he … broke bad,” co-creator Peter Gould told TheWrap in an interview on Monday. “Jimmy McGill … reverted to his old life as Slippin’ Jimmy.” The Bob Odenkirk character’s brother Chuck (Michael McKean) backstabbing the protagonist was the catalyst that “really changed outlook on life,” Gould explained of the switcheroo. »
- Tony Maglio
I was really pleased with the season finale of "Better Call Saul," and even more pleased with the first season as a whole. (In my review last night, I suggested it had gone a long way towards the "Frasier" end of the spin-off spectrum than the "AfterM*A*S*H" one.) But I did wonder where exactly the show goes from here, if Jimmy McGill had apparently committed to his Slippin' Jimmy persona, which seems just a hop, step and a jump away from Saul Goodman. "Saul" co-creator Peter Gould, though, suggests we shouldn't assume too much about Jimmy's decision just yet, and said that as he, Vince Gilligan and the show's other writers work on the 13-episode second season, they're wrestling with a challenge they didn't expect to face: "We like Saul Goodman, but we love Jimmy McGill." Earlier this afternoon, we spoke about how much of Slippin' Jimmy we should expect next year, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Origin stories usually move pretty fast. A radioactive spider bite, and voila, you’re Spider-Man.
By contrast, “Better Call Saul” – which capped off its first season on Monday night – took the slow boat in establishing this “Breaking Bad” prequel/spinoff, gradually charting the descent of Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, to the money-grubbing drug lawyer he played for comic relief, Saul Goodman, on that earlier series.
The goodwill invested in “Breaking Bad” fostered patience, which was largely required to reach Monday’s finale (and Spoiler Alert if you haven’t watched), which pointedly marked the moment when Jimmy shed any higher aspirations and decided to embrace an anything-for-a-buck mentality presumably leading into the grimy world he will eventually occupy.
That decision followed two vital events: The betrayal by his brother Chuck (Michael McKean), who was exposed as having no respect for Jimmy as a lawyer; and his return to his con-man ways, »
- Brian Lowry
A review of the "Better Call Saul" season finale coming up just as soon as I know what a Chicago sunroof is... "I know what stopped me. And you know what? It's never stopping me again." -Jimmy There's a moment early in "Marco" where Jimmy and Kim walk past the dented trash can in the Hhm parking garage — a reminder of so many of Jimmy's early frustrations with his brother's law firm — and he assures her that he's at peace with what he learned about Chuck. It seems, just then, that the "Better Call Saul" creative team — most of them (like co-creator Peter Gould, who wrote and directed the finale) veterans of "Breaking Bad," a show largely defined by the patient way it moved through its arcs — will be playing a particularly long game in getting us from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman. Chuck's betrayal was a brutal blow, »
- Alan Sepinwall
"Breaking Bad" rests comfortably in the pantheon of all-time great television, there is little doubt of that. The chronicling of the transformation of "Mr. Chips into Scarface" is well known, well discussed, and well done. Emphasis on done. Walter White's journey has a very clear beginning, a terminal cancer diagnosis, and a very clear ending which will not be exposed here for fear of spoiler retribution. This begs the question, what ultimate goal would be served by returning to a time prior to the events of the seminal series to focus on a secondary characterc The transformation from Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) certainly doesn't sound as compelling on paper. Hints to Saul Goodman's past are sprinkled throughout "Breaking Bad", but few offer any burning reason to travel back in time. However, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are less interested in filling minor gaps in continuity than they »
- Michael Hindle
“We always wanted to keep it going,” Duchovny told Variety on Thursday at NBC’s Summer Press Day in Pasadena, Calif., where he was on site to promote his upcoming drama “Aquarius,” which premieres May 28. “We always envisioned a movie franchise when we stopped the TV show, and we did two — the second one did well, but I guess not well enough to do a third, and we were all kind of disappointed that didn’t happen that way.”
“The X-Files” reboot will return to Fox with original creator Chris Carter for six episodes, which Duchovny says was appealing to him. “Television started to change in that now there are limited runs.” He added: “I think it’s the way »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Bob Odenkirk’s more than well-deserved winning streak continues on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has ordered With Bob and David, a new sketch series from Odenkirk and longtime comedy partner David Cross, not unlike their Mr. Show series on HBO. The series will run for four half-hour-long episodes, in addition to an hour-long making-of special that will be available at the same time as the episodes. The episodes and special will be produced while Odenkirk is on hiatus from his regular gig on Better Call Saul, which has already been renewed by AMC for a second season under Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. [caption id="attachment_136636" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via IFC[/caption] There is no current release date for With Bob and David, but both Cross and Odenkirk are keeping busy elsewhere. While Odenkirk is wrapped up with Better Call Saul, he has a number of projects in the pipeline, including the horror-comedy »
- Chris Cabin
Netflix, this could be the continuation of a beautiful friendship.
The streaming service has ordered to series With Bob and David, a sketch-comedy show from longtime pals and collaborators Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and David Cross (Arrested Development), according to our sister site Deadline.
RelatedAsk Ausiello: Spoilers on Leftovers, Masters of Sex, Flash, Bones, Castle, Grimm, Empire and More
The deal calls for four half-hour episodes — plus an additional one-hour “making-of” special.
Deadline reports that the duo are describing their new project as follows: “After being dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, Bob and David are back serving our »
“I’ve known good criminals and bad cops. Bad priests, honorable thieves. You can be on one side of the law or the other…you’re now a criminal. Good one, bad one, it’s up to you now.” - Mike Ehrmantraut in this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, “Pimento” I absolutely love Breaking Bad. While it may not be my “favorite” show of all-time, it is, to me, the “best” show that has ever graced television. The story of Walter White is the most well-crafted character piece ever written, and Breaking Bad will be studied and loved for years and years to come. Being such a huge fan of Breaking Bad, the announcement of Better Call Saul left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I was incredibly happy that Vince Gilligan was going to give us more from the world that he created. On the other hand, »
- Jasef Wisener
USA Network’s Dig has been getting a surprising amount of good buzz off of its first few episodes, due at least partially to its sense of geography and the specific way the creators, directors, and writers portray life in Jerusalem. The continuing investigation into the murder of an archeology student, found not far from the Ark of the Covenant, has proved immersive, especially considering the weight of Hebrew mythology involved in the show, most prominently in the image of the red heifer. Collider has an exclusive clip from the next episode, "Emma Wilson's Father," which premieres tomorrow night. The press release summarizes the plot of the episode as such: Peter (Jason Isaacs) delves further into Emma’s (Alison Sudol) mysterious past, which ultimately leads him to uncover an ancient symbol that has been hidden for centuries. At the compound in New Mexico, someone from Debbie's (Lauren Ambrose) former life attempts to rescue her. »
- Chris Cabin
Read More: Watch: Fox's 'Weird Loners' Introduce a Dating App for 30-Somethings in Funny or Die Spoof To celebrate April Fool's Day, Funny or Die brings us Dips: Cruelly short (as in, one-and-a-half second) videos of our favorite pop culture figures -- seriously, there are too many to count: Showrunners, actors, athletes, bands and even talk show hosts. Below, we've culled from a lengthy list to present our 15 favorite "Dips" from the series. Click the links to watch the blink-and-you'll-miss-it videos, and be sure to watch Adam McKay and Richard Linklater's introduction to the series above. Hannibal Buress: He's having a panic attack, or something. Vince Gilligan: The Heisenberg hat! Baby steps, Vince. Baby steps. Tony Hale: Who knew Buster Bluth could be so terrifying? Jon Hamm: No doubt channeling his supremely awful "Bridesmaids" character here. Nick Offerman: Dippity-dip. Lizzy Caplan: »
- David Canfield
Better Call Saul's excellent penultimate episode sees a bond irrevocably broken. Here's our review of Pimento...
This review contains spoilers.
It seems so obvious now. So obvious that when Howard went to burst Jimmy’s bubble in last episode’s opening flashback, he was acting on Chuck’s say-so. But because I wanted to believe, like Jimmy, that Howard was the bad guy, the major asshole standing in his way, it never occurred to me. At worst, I thought Chuck was a coward who couldn’t bear to break the news to his brother, that he’d been overruled and was embarrassed about it. But now, after Chuck’s behind-the-scenes machinations, sabotaging Jimmy once again, and after the painfully harsh words spat during their final confrontation, it’s all so obvious.
That, to me, is a mark of great writing – that rather than pick up on what’s now so obvious, »
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