If I began watching Better Call Saul! as a skeptic, the first three episodes have mostly made me a believer. There are nods to the parent show--and those are among the more emotionally affecting parts of this young series--but Saul quickly learns to function as its own thing.
It’s less brooding than its progenitor, less emotionally wrenching (at least at first), and its references to the “Breaking Bad” mythology could ultimately become tiresome. But it’s also entertaining and smart and, like its piteous semi-hero, persuasive.
By the third episode of the three sent to critics, the bits and pieces of apparent flotsam from the earlier episodes have begun to form a direction for Better Call Saul and as they do, the series becomes less a comedy and more a serious exploration of a Falstaffian character who may be much more than the buffoon he seems on the surface.
Given that Breaking Bad is a masterpiece, being its prequel is a very difficult and demanding task. There are very high expectations. And yet, I'm glad to say Better Call Saul manages to be a very worthy prequel. Interesting, well-written story and very solid performance from the actors. If you liked Breaking Bad, you'll like Better Call Saul.
I gotta be honest. I thought that this season was okay. Not really what I expected, but okay. I didn't really enjoy it that much, probably because I thought it was gonna be like breaking bad, but I was completely wrong. It is one of the weaker seasons in the bb universe.
I find 'Better Call Saul' an incredibly frustrating experience, much like the time I invested in 'Breaking Bad'. As with it's predecessor, 'Better Call Saul' has moments that are fantastically written, thoroughly entertaining and brilliantly acted out. However, for every one of these moments, there's at least 15 minutes of can be loosely classed as character development, but is more akin to filler material. In short, the show is slow. I found that these personal gripes with the writing and execution to be present in 'Breaking Bad', but I managed to persevere as, broadly, the series was more engaging.
It may be that Vince Gilligan's work just doesn't quite cut it for me, in 'Better Call Saul' (more than with, but still present in, 'Breaking Bad') I can't shake the feeling of certain parts being contrived and the show carrying an air of pretension.
However, the acting is solid and cannot be faulted; with Bob Odenkirk really pulling off the multiple dimensions to Jimmy's character. As with the acting, the cinematography and music are brilliant, but this is, in my opinion, to be expected when you're following up one of the biggest TV shows of all time.
To the show's credit, it makes the series accessible to those who haven't seen 'Breaking Bad'. This being said, those that haven't seen the series may have certain elements of the show and cameos lost on them. I did feel that at one time in particular, a cameo was a cheap way to get people interested and was somewhat shoe-horned into an already meandering and muddled storyline (i.e. 'Oh look who's here! It's this character from 'Breaking Bad' - weren't they great!').
Would I recommend 'Better Call Saul'? I wouldn't steer people away from the series, but there's much better television out there (i.e. House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black). You need patience for 'Better Call Saul', and you need to be willing to invest the time for not much reward - as I felt the series only just got going in the final episode, but this may set up season 2 well.