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Average User Score: 8.8Apr 9, 2016Though the quality of the individual scenes is generally quite good, what they add up to is aimless and devoid of any tension.
At the endThough the quality of the individual scenes is generally quite good, what they add up to is aimless and devoid of any tension.
At the end of the first season, Saul remarks (on why he didn't take the money): "I know what stopped me. And it's never stopping me again." It seems to promise a new direction for the show, one where Jimmy is sleazier and greedier than ever--a hint that the protagonist is progressing into the dirtbag we meet in Breaking Bad. Then in Season 2, he immediately returns to walking the straight and narrow path, with a cushy job at a law firm in Santa Fe. It takes him 7 more episodes to come back to the realization he made in the Season 1 finale. Jimmy didn't spend the majority of this season developing; he spent it floundering.
Like every other television spin-off, Better Call Saul is first and foremost a cash grab. But I think I speak for everyone when I say there was a lot of confidence in Vince Gilligan to create something interesting and worth watching in its own right. Unfortunately, it's looking like that's not the case, and this show simply exists to coast on the success of its predecessor. Many of the scenes seem to have the purpose of filling a ten episode season rather than entertaining us with thrilling and funny serialized episodes.
To be fair, Gilligan is as adept as ever at showing rather than telling. He imparts to the viewer a great deal of information with zero dialogue. But this does not matter if what we're being shown is uninteresting or irrelevant.
Consider, for example, the baseball card subplot. In the grand scheme of the show, what purpose did it serve? It didn't progress the plot or help any of the relevant characters grow. It simply served to take up about one episode's worth of time. At best, it's entertaining, and at worst, filler. Call me cynical, but this is also how I feel about many of the other characters in the show. Mike's arc this season is barely connected to Jimmy at all, and Kim's is simply not that interesting. The showrunners, aware that Jimmy's depth alone could not fill ten episodes, went for breadth instead, and spread the show perilously thin.
Part of this frustration stems from the fact that the show is a prequel. The destination is already determined, and its in AMC's best interests if it takes several seasons to get there. But what's best for AMC is not necessarily best for the viewer, and in this case, it shows.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jun 16, 2015This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In pursuit of shocking and buzzworthy moments, Game of Thrones Season 5 lost sight of what made the show special.
The best example of this would probably be Sansa being moved to Winterfell. In the books she continues to develop her politicking and manipulation (as Season 4's ending hinted she would.) In Season 5, any progress her character had was discarded so that she could play useless victim for another full season, just so we could have a shocking rape scene.
Similarly, the writers elected to have a small mission by Ramsay Bolton (who has a fraction of Stannis's battle experience) completely incapacitate Stannis's entire army so that the season could culminate in his death.
Both of these examples illustrate the problems that have emerged with Season 5. As the writers simplify and modify the story (which in itself is a noble pursuit), they sacrifice complexity and cohesiveness. The first two thirds of this season felt like moving dominos into place just so that we could watch them all die in episodes 9-10. It feels like rather than telling an interesting story that may lead to a shocking twist down the line, the writers have settled for telling a mediocre story that becomes interesting solely due to a twist. But in many cases it doesn't work, since if the character isn't engaging, their death won't be either.
Hopefully the writers don't neglect the story's complexity in lieu of plot-hole ridden simplifications in further seasons, as the ones preceding this one were all excellent.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Sep 3, 2014I gave this show a 10, because once you get past the godawful first three episodes, it grows into something unique that I haven't really seenI gave this show a 10, because once you get past the godawful first three episodes, it grows into something unique that I haven't really seen done by any other comedy. I'd describe it as a mix of Entourage, Family Guy, and The Stranger by Albert Camus.
The middle episodes aren't laugh-a-minute, but they have some genuinely hilarious jokes, a ton of great references, and really engaging characters. By the penultimate episode, you'll be feeling genuine emotions for horse- and cat-people.
I'd give it a shot, each episode is only 25 minutes long anyway.… Expand