Arts & Entertainment

‘Better Call Saul’ scores across the board

By: Grant Vance ~Staff Writer~

After five seasons of methamphetamine- making greatness, the conclusion of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” left a hole in the cable network’s primetime line-up.

Since its bitter-sweet conclusion, fans have craved the stylized antics of a developing antihero as frantically as a junkie of Heisenburg’s very own crystal blue. Walter White’s story may be concluded, but the world of “Breaking Bad” still has some juice left to squeeze through the likes of everyone’s favorite comedically maniacal defense attorney, Saul Goodman. Though its relations to

“Breaking Bad” are welcome, this is very much Saul Goodman’s show. Bob Odenkirk is a master at playing the character. It’s great to see his eccentric ethos get the spotlight.

Saul Goodman, the sleazy lawyer who made a short appearance in the “Breaking Bad” series, stars as part of his own spin-off series that premiered to record ratings and critical acclaim overall.

Saul Goodman, the sleazy lawyer who made a short appearance in the “Breaking Bad” series, stars as part of his own spin-off series that premiered to record ratings and critical acclaim overall.

The Goodman-oriented spinoff, “Better Call Saul,” proves its worth seconds into the pilot’s cold open and doesn’t let up until the episode’s final shot.

Created by Vince Gilligan (creator of “Breaking Bad”) and Peter Gould (writer and executive producer of “Breaking Bad), “Better Call Saul” chronicles the upbringing of Albuquerque, N.M.’s notoriously slimy attorney, Saul Goodman, and all the misadventures that lead him to his inevitable involvement with Walter White’s massive drug empire.

In the pilot episode (titled “Uno”) viewers are re-introduced to Goodman as Jimmy McGill, an under-confident, theatrical, courtappointed attorney trying to make ends meet.

Unhappy with his low wages, McGill begins to seek alternative means of finding work, thus planting the early seeds of the character he creates for himself, Saul Goodman.

“Better Call Saul” captures the heart and style of “Breaking Bad” perfectly, while adding an additional layer of enhanced dark comedy to set itself apart from its predecessor.

Not only is it very similar by providing a complex character study, but “Better Call Saul” also leaves a forensic trail back to its conclusion in numerous ways, including a unique cinematic style, as well as plenty of crowd-pleasing cameos.

“Uno” is a huge success and a great alleviator of anyone doubting the necessity of “Better Call Saul.”

This isn’t a money-grabbing ride on the coattails of “Breaking Bad’s” success, but rather a complementary fan-fare distinct in its ability to use just the right amount of its ingredients.

“Better Call Saul” airs at 10 p.m. on Mondays on AMC.

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