Nobody is talking about Better Call Saul...yet. As it is only a newborn baby in the terrifyingly hostile world of television with a handful of brilliantly crafted episodes. If it survives, which it certainly will, it's the one and only rightful heir to Breaking Bad's holy throne.
Fantasy is what most crave, and we can see this through the success of franchises such as Harry Potter or [The Avengers](movie:9040) etc. While there is no doubt these are movies that deserve your respect and are wondrously entertaining, there's little about their writing that's impressive. A wizard or a superhero is gripping in and of itself and requires no craftsmanship with a pen, so to speak. So you get a storyline that's mostly predictable and laid out in tiles of classic archetypes that've been around since the Epic Of Gilgamesh.
I'm a fan of realism in film (a proper amount of it anyway, I don't want to watch a movie about the everyday life of an accountant at a mid-level firm in Wisconsin). Of course, I too desire some level of 'probable' fantasy. Take the mind-bendingly brilliant mini-series Fargo for example--Spoilers for [Fargo](series:1076400) ahead, you should've seen it by now--where you root for a seemingly very nice man called Lester because the creators of the show give you a sense of amnesia about the fact that he's actually a murderer and the villain.
The same brilliance, not so surprisingly, is shown by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould in [Better Call Saul](series:1028213). The character of Saul goes against everything the audience is used to calling the hero. Here's a list of things most protagonists have that Saul doesn't:
That's right, the list is infinite. Saul (or should we call him Jimmy for now?) has got nothing. He's an unattractive, dull, bland, witless, cowardly, unsuccessful nobody that you would give no s**ts about. Or so it seems at first. A few minutes into the Pilot, you realize that there's so much more to Saul. By the end, you even truly care about him. You realize that he's loyal to a fault, he's caring beyond measure, that he's a good-samaritan, but perhaps most importantly he NEVER gives up on himself. So there you are, presented with a man who, with all his mistakes, failures and faults, conquers your heart, earns your sympathy and, more importantly, your empathy.
The show is a comedy brilliantly disguised in the darkness of its world. It's tragically comical and comically tragic. This marathon-worthy show takes you on a ride along with Jimmy McGill (Saul) through the tales of his misfortunes. You are also rewarded with the largely mysterious pasts and the presence of some characters from Breaking Bad. The show also comes with perhaps one of the best theme songs to a TV Show, ever. Bob Odenkirk, after Bryan Cranston for the role of Walt, is probably one of the best casting decisions ever. He's so inexplicably awesome!
Better Call Saul is without a doubt the most brilliant show of 2015 so far. I bet all of you a pint right now that it'll snatch away an Emmy with ease.
If you've enjoyed:
- True Detective
- [Breaking Bad](series:200567)
- House of Cards
...you are going to love this show!