Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad that explores the early years of Jimmy McGill and the lives of those he touched and, in some ways, ruined. Each passing season has drawn the story closer to Breaking Bad and Season 3 is no exception with several notable cameos and new-old character introductions.
Better Call Saul Season 3 stars Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando, Giancarlo Esposito and Michael McKean.
Bonus features include:
Cast & Crew Audio Commentaries for all 10 Episodes
Emmy-winning “Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training” Videos
“Gene of Omaha” featurette
“In Conversation: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Rhea Seehorn” featurette
“It’s a Bad, Bad World” featurette
“Signs of Saul” featurette
“The Return of Gus Fring” featurette
Deleted & Extended Scenes
Including “Jimmy Calls
The film “follows a young Midwestern couple (Micucci, Huntington) who take a chance on moving to L.A. when they find an apartment with impossibly low rent. It’s soon revealed that the former occupant was an enigmatic cult leader (Taika Waititi) who ended his life in the claw-foot bathtub. Now, a steady stream of his eccentric cult members break into the apartment to kill themselves in the tub in honor of their leader. Unable to afford another move, they soon find themselves inexplicably drawn into the cult, all the while navigating the inquiries of a beleaguered Lapd detective (Harmon) obsessed with selling a screenplay based on his own life.”
In addition to Micucci,
Five Things You Didn’t Know About Rhea Seehorn
This doesn’t mean that “The Crown” or “The Handmaid’s Tale” won’t win Best Drama, but it’s noteworthy that they weren’t among the editing nominees. Neither were “House of Cards” or “This Is Us,” the other Best Drama nominees, as “Stranger Things” and “Better Call Saul” each got nominated for two episodes.
However, while “Better Call Saul” significantly saw Jimmy (nominated Bob Odenkirk) getting more Saul-like from “Breaking Bad,” it’s very much the dark horse. The real smackdown is between the dueling sci-fi newcomers, “Stranger Things” and “Westworld.” Both have their advantages (the Upside Down versus the robot
Here are the nominees: Thomas Golubic (“Better Call Saul” — “Sunk Costs”), Susan Jacobs (“Big Little Lies” — “You Get What You Need”), Manish Raval, Jonathan Leahy, Tom Wolfe (“Girls”— “Goodbye Tour”), Zach Cowie, Kerri Drootin (“Master of None” — “Amarsi Un Po”), and Nora Felder (“Stranger Things” — “Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street”).
The results included three female supervisors (Jacobs, Drootin, and Felder) and demonstrated the brand power of HBO (“Big Little Lies,” “Girls”) and Netflix (“Master of None,” “Stranger Things”). But in the end, it came down to a battle of dueling playlists.
“Better Call Saul” — “Sunk Costs”
In the third season of the “Breaking Bad” prequel, Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) gets
The cable network has ordered up 10 all-new episodes that will debut sometime in 2018. Exactly when is anyone's guess based on the late renewal.
Showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have publicly addressed the late renewal and placed blame on staff shakeups within Sony. Apparently everything has been ironed out and the writer's room can officially convene.
Better Call Saul Season 3 wrapped up a little over a week ago by propelling the series ever closer to its inevitable collision with Breaking Bad. Chuck (Michael McKean) finally ran out of reasons to live and painfully set his house on fire, leaving viewers wondering if he made it out alive.
Now the painful wait to catch up with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), Kim (Rhea Seehorn), Mike (Jonathan Banks) and the rest of the gang officially begins.
RelatedCable/Streaming Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s On the Bubble?
Saul will return for a 10-episode Season 4 in 2018, the network announced on Tuesday. Bob Odenkirk stars as Jimmy McGill, the charming schemer who will go on to become Walter White’s lawyer Saul Goodman. The supporting cast includes fellow Breaking Bad alum Jonathan Banks, reprising his role as hard-nosed fixer Mike Ehrmantraut, along with Michael McKean and Rhea Seehorn.
It’s at times easy to forget that “Better Call Saul” is a period piece, if only because its 2002-2003 setting isn’t always noticeably distinguishable from the present day. But then every once in a while, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould slap us in the face with a reminder that this show is happening in the past. It can be as simple as a trip to a video store — but not just any video store.
Read More: ‘Better Call Saul’: The 7 Times Jimmy and Kim Kissed On Screen, And How That Makes It The Most Rewarding Romance on TV
It’s something we all accepted as routine, just 15 years ago: Want to watch a movie? Go to Blockbuster Video. So in the Season 3 finale, “Lantern,” Kim (Rhea Seehorn) asks her assistant Francesca (Tina Parker) for a ride to what was once the dominant source for Americans in search of movie rentals, and we then get to see her browse the aisles in search of the perfect comfort viewing, following her near-fatal car accident the episode prior.
Executive producer Gennifer Hutchison, who wrote the season finale, told IndieWire that the decision to have Kim visit a video store came in the writers’ room, as the team discussed what Kim might possibly do after deciding to relax following her accident. “I just really loved the idea of her renting a bunch of videos and sitting around watching movies and eating junk food. Just because it’s something I relate to, it’s something I like to do when I destress. And I feel like it’s not something you see a lot of on TV and in movies,” she said.
And as a result, Gould — who directed the finale — got very excited about the idea of Kim going to not just any video store, but Blockbuster in particular. However, don’t think that this was an easy choice for the show — because according to production designer Michael Novotny, “it was a total nail-biter.”
Novotny told IndieWire that as soon as he received word that “Saul” wanted to recreate a Blockbuster, he got his team to work — specifically, the graphics department. “I can always do a set. A set’s the easy part. The hard part is the graphics and all of the art work you’re going to turn out,” he said.
But that process started before the show had actual permission to recreate a Blockbuster. “We started to build it without approval. That’s part of the nail-biting process,” he said. “It wasn’t until the day before we shot it that we got approval.”
This is because, as anyone who works in production might tell you, trying to depict a real brand on screen can be an incredibly difficult task. And the “Saul” team wanted to actually use Blockbuster iconography, which isn’t the easiest thing given that it’s a brand name you haven’t probably seen in the wild in years.
Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010, and “roughly a dozen” stores currently exist today. Thus, the set was built on one of the show’s Albuquerque soundstages, and in fact, a great deal of what was on screen was made from scratch by the “Saul” production team, including the big Blockbuster sign hanging in the wall and the period-accurate movie covers.
One thing they were able to buy: the shelving units came thanks to an ironic stroke of luck and an Albuquerque video store that was going out of business. The production was thus able to buy those displays, which Novotny made sure were shortened so that, as they shot the scene, Kim and Francesca could be seen walking through the aisles. That framing was based on Gould’s storyboards, which were altered slightly during the production process, but otherwise didn’t require any major additional construction.
But really, here’s what people care about — the movies that are being considered, as Kim prepares for an epic binge in the pre-Netflix days. None of the titles are fake, and Novotny did work carefully with his team to carefully curate the movies that appeared on screen during the scene, all of which were drawn from a list provided by Peter Gould and the writers. Here are just some of the ones we happened to spot while freeze-framing:
“A Knight’s Tale” “Lawrence of Arabia” (the 40th anniversary special edition) “Love Liza” “The Mothman Prophecies” “Punch-Drunk Love” A Richard Pryor stand-up special “Beverly Hills Ninja” “The Cheap Detective” “Hanky Panky” “Blue Thunder” “American Sledge” “Darkness Falls” “Night of the Living Dead”
They’re all movies that feel appropriate to the era at least within a year or two or as classics, though unfortunately a quick Internet search can reveal whether a film in question would have been available on DVD in the year 2003. Perhaps the most glaring oversight is the appearance of Tim Burton’s “Big Fish,” which was released in theaters December 10, 2003 and made available on DVD April 27, 2004 — something Hutchison’s husband (who actually worked at Blockbuster in the past) noticed while watching the final product. “We don’t always get it right,” she admitted.
Novotny acknowledged the “Big Fish” error, but he was relatively zen about it, given the intense pressure of making the scene happen in the first place. “It really was a down to the wire thing,” he said. “If that’s as much as I’m wrong… I’m sad to hear that but at the same time I’m happy that it went as good as it did.”
Update: On Twitter, Gould offered a little clarity as to why “Big Fish” might have time traveled back a year:
And that #BigFish they mention? Could be a shoutout to my former student @johnaugust… #YesYouReadThatRight
— Peter Gould (@petergould) June 23, 2017
Hutchison couldn’t remember every one of the 10 films Kim officially rented, though such a list was made during production. Beyond “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Monty Python,” she said the rest were mostly legal dramas, though she did make sure to include the Luc Besson sci-fi romp “The Fifth Element.” “That was one for some reason I was really stuck on making sure was in her stack,” Hutchison said.
While hardly the most memorable scene of the finale, it still sticks in the mind because of how it triggers memories of an experience we’ve largely lost, traded in for the convenience of Netflix.
“I like the idea of physically walking around and choosing movies,” Hutchison said. “There is something about actually going into a store, having everything broken down by genre. Sometimes with the streaming services it’s a little overwhelming, but having that physical space… I don’t know. It was like a ritual.”
And depicting that ritual was just more proof that “Better Call Saul” will always find a way to surprise us with the seemingly mundane.
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Shane Smith is a year into his multi-prong TV extension of the Vice brand and he remains bullish — as he should be. Vice Media just landed a $450 million investment from asset firm Tpg, which puts its valuation up to $5.7 billion. Not bad for a company that started as an edgy street magazine in Canada.
Now Vice Media’s assets include the TV network Viceland, the nightly HBO news program “Vice News Tonight” and the HBO documentary series “Vice,” several digital channels, and a film unit, among many other things. Viceland is on tap to expand into 80 territories. And in a world where Facebook and Google dominate, Smith is growing Vice’s library to be what he calls the largest collection of millennial intellectual property out there.
IndieWire’s Turn It On sat down with Smith to discuss the status of Vice’s expansion, plus running a company that prides itself on reporting the truth despite living in a time of a president who spreads lies and is stirring up hatred against the media. Listen below!
Smith has ambitious plans for Viceland over the next year and a half, as he looks to the future and realizes that only the strongest networks will be included in “skinny bundle” offerings.
“Online and TV, it’s all going to merge,” he said. “If you look at skinny bundles, it will be skinny bundles for cable but also Ott [over-the-top] providers. Unless you’re in on the skinny bundle on both sides, you’re going to be screwed. We want to get into the top 30 [of networks], that’s our goal for the next 18 months.”
How might Viceland reach that goal? “Having the largest library of millennial IP is important for us,” he said. Smith is also watching as other networks – such as Pivot and Esquire – fade away. “People are looking at us and mimicking what we’ve done,” Smith said of using a linear platform to build up that video library.
As for operating multiple operations with multiple partners (A+E, HBO), Smith admits that there is a bit of confusion out there. But he lays it out this way: News goes to Vice News via the HBO properties, and lifestyle goes to Viceland via A+E. “The good news for me as a megalomaniac is that I vote the board, 95% of the parent. I can Napoleon or Stalin it between the networks.”
While we live in an age of outrage, Vice built its brand on usurping tradition and occasionally courting controversy. “If you are trying to manage out of fear of what will happen, you’re not going to do anything new or innovative,” he said.
But Smith said Vice has gotten more careful: “In this day and age of opposition research, we have to be buttoned up and squeaky clean. At some point there has to be a backlash. Everyone goes after everybody. It becomes mud slinging.”
As for his partners, “I think they’d like us to be a little more controversial because controversy brings in ratings. They would like to see more Kim Jong-un [who appeared on the first episode of “Vice” on HBO] in the mix.”
How does Vice navigate the current Trump administration? “Early on we said we can’t fall prey to the crack cocaine that is Trump because if you get addicted to it you have to ween yourself off,” Smith said. “What we did say to differentiate ourselves was we were going to follow policy. Trump can tweet and do all these things but, what does it mean to have [Scott] Pruitt running the Epa who tried to shut down the Epa? What does it mean to have [Rick] Perry running the Department of Energy when he campaigned to undo the Department of Energy?
“What does it mean that the entirety of Trump’s cabinet are climate change deniers? Thats being lost in the headlines. We are literally marching backwards as fast as we can. Not just for the environment but social justice, Lgbtq rights, and were obsessed with lunatic fringe tweets. It’s the greatest reality show ever but the symptoms are dire.”
With Vice reporters risking their lives in hotspots around the globe, Smith is particularly sensitive to Trump’s attacks on the press.
“He calls the press the opposition, but that’s the press’ job,” Smith said. “Without free press there is no democracy, it’s just propaganda.”
Does Smith think he could get anything out of interviewing Trump? “Anyone who gets an interview with him is going to get something. He’s not like Putin, who’s sort of strategic and well thought out. He’s got buttons that you can push.”
IndieWire’s “Turn It On with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “Turn It On” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.
Listen: How to Recover From the End of a Great Show — Very Good TV Podcast
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When viewers first see Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) together in the pilot episode, the scene proves to be a memorable introduction: He finds her smoking in the Hh&M parking garage, and barely touches her as he plucks the cigarette from her mouth, taking a drag before returning it to her lips.
The moment speaks to a pre-established intimacy between two people we don’t really know yet, and as the series has continued, there’s still a lot to be uncovered about who these two people are, and what it means when they’re together. Part of that comes from how subtly creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have woven their love story into the narrative, most notably avoiding the sort of physical
Now that the smoke has cleared — sorry — on Better Call Saul‘s third season, we’re left with plenty of burning — again, sorry — questions. Did Chuck actually die in that fire? Will this tragedy push Jimmy further towards the dark side and becoming Saul Goodman? And where did they find a functioning Blockbuster store to film in??
RelatedBetter Call Saul Finale Recap: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
TVLine reached out to Saul executive producer Gennifer Hutchison, who penned the finale, and she graciously agreed
It's now safe to say that,
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