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Better Call Saul (AMC) - Season 1

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by joshEH, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    They sure do.
     
  2. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    As was the case with Breaking Bad, there are multiple significant characters and multiple (although interconnected) story lines, and it takes some time to set them up properly.


    I am looking forward to whatever developments cause Jimmy McGill to turn into Saul Goodman. It wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't happen in Season One.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, when there's clearly talented people involved, I think audiences should give the creators and the show some time to see where they go or build to. When I think about all the TV shows that I love, I can't think of too many (maybe even any) that had their best episodes within the first three shows.
     
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  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Best music since Fargo used Eden Ahbez's Full Moon?


    So, it seems the current plan is for Saul to run five seasons and then roll right into a 30-minute sitcom starring Anna Gunn and RJ Mitte called "Bringing Up Holly." According to casting sheets, they want a six-year-old in the first season and a 12-year-old in the second just to spoof that convention. Also, Holly's choice of snack is blue rock candy supplied by The Candy Lady (the real-life confectioner who made the candy they used as meth for early seasons of Breaking Bad) For her catchphrase, she takes a bite, looks at the camera, and winks as she says, "Just like daddy used to make!" The studio audience roars.


    That is, of course, completely false. But, I might watch it.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    True, but there are some shows that you know you won't like, even if "everybody" likes them. To each his own and in this day and age, if you give up on something and want to try to catch up later when it gets some buzz, it's pretty easy. As for shows that had their best episodes in the first three, I'll give you Battlestar Galactica with "33" and "Water" quite possibly the two best eps of the series, and comfortably in my top 10. They hooked me.
     
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  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yeah, no show is going to appeal to everyone. I'm just saying that it's exceedingly rare for a show to come out with its best episodes first so I like to give things some time.


    Speaking of good early episodes, the BSG mini-series is one my favorite episodes of that show (if you want to count that as one episode or the first episode). And the episode of Lost called Walkabout (the first flashback of Locke) was the second episode made after the two-hour pilot and it's one of my favorite episodes of TV ever.
     
  7. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Normally I would too but I'm not a big fan of stories with despicable protagonists. No matter how well they are done.


    For those that are enjoying the show, I hope it continues to deliver enjoyable entertainment to you.
     
  8. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    I hear what you're saying, but dramatic shows with non despicable protagonists are pretty hard to come by these days. By the end, Walter White was just as despicable as Saul.


    That's one of the reasons I was such a fan of the short-lived 'Magic City'. It was a dramatic show in the mold of a Boardwalk Empire/Mad Men type with a protagonist you could really root for.
     
  9. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Walter was worse than Saul by the end. The true beauty of Breaking Bad to me is they put me firmly in Walter's corner before he went dark so I kept hoping for him to be redeemed.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    When Walt was still just trying to provide for his family before he kicked, I was with him but once he was rich beyond comprehension and still chose to stay in a truly evil business, I began to hate Walt and began rooting for Hank. Maybe it speaks to my pessimistic nature but in my mind, Walt had done too many terrible things to be redeemed.
     
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  11. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Agreed -- by the time Season 5b started, I couldn't wait for a Hank-takedown. No exaggeration, there are people who feel this way about Walt throughout the whole series. But you have to expect extreme reactions (and everything in between) from any great anti-hero. The notion of "identifying with a fictional character" is amped up in TV serials, to almost ridiculous degrees.


    There are actually fanboys out there who still think Walter White was unfairly maligned by the DEA and the press on the show for what he did, and deserves to be venerated as a badass gangsta who did badass gangsta shit:


    [​IMG]


    People seem to really determine a show's worth by how much they identify with the characters. So of course, that goes double when it's the main protagonist. Look at how many Mad Men fans seemed to turn on the show in Season 6 mostly because they lost any (all?) former identification with Don's character.


    But to balance it out, there's just as much lack of nuance as the above illustration, when one describes the remembrance of Walt's legacy -- in the whole context of Breaking Bad -- as "unpleasant." Or implying you can only be a deluded Heisenberg fanboy, if you continued identifying with any negative aspects of Walter White down the wire.


    But yeah, we all percieve a piece of media with our own personal biases. That's the point of any piece of fictional art. Hell, Gilligan openly admitted that he found getting into Walt's head extremely unpleasant in Season 4 and the first half of Season 5. The showrunner openly admitted to despising his main character by a certain point in the series, which is pretty interesting. So it's definitely fair if Walt "loses" your identification late in the storyline.


    But the show isn't the great show it is, if Walt didn't make the MAJORITY of the audience feel conflicted about relating to things during his whole journey. And as Gilligan said, what was more important to him (especially in the later seasons) wasn't so much getting the audience to "continue identifying," as much keeping him "interesting." I definitely think they succeeded at that, and I definitely think Better Call Saul is headed in the right direction, as well.
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That is the key for me. I didn't need to like many, most or all of the characters on The Sopranos, The Shield, Mad Men, Breaking Bad or even Girls but I've always found them interesting. I think that some viewers have been conditioned to like the main characters by decades of movies and TV shows so they forgive all sins just so they can continue to like the leads.



    Also, I want that St. Walt card given away at my funeral.
     
  13. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    "It's a given you don't do it in her ear."


    It's basically always been my lifelong fantasy for a girl to ask me out to see John Carpenter's The Thing. This show gets me.


    This episode was directed by Breaking Bad vet Colin Bucksey, who also directed Fargo's masterful blizzard-shootout last season, which won him a richly-deserved Emmy. That whole sequence up on the billboard tonight was like nothing Breaking Bad ever attempted visually, which demonstrates that Gilligan's promises of a new visual style are definitely being delivered on.


    That billboard stunt was fucking genius; I still nearly fell for it, despite the opening Rolex-scam. When Jimmy started dressing exactly identically to Hamlin and that judge delivered the cease-and-desist order, I figured he was playing some sort of long con, but for the life of me, I couldn't guess what it was.


    (I'm just going to pretend that Jimmy's Cicero, IL friend runs off to Colorado, takes a job as a Greendale College security guard, and that Better Call Saul is also a Community prequel, as well.)
     
  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I knew it was a scam, but my palms were sweating watching him climb. It's not an unusual reaction for me with sequences like that. I can picture my hands slipping off the rungs.


    Besides a publicity stunt, Jimmy basically got a judge to agree that he can use his own name, so HHM's original approach is off the table.


    More great music. Besides the Brubeck for the media blitz sequence, I'm thinking the massage chair music was maybe Jobim followed by Walter Wanderley.
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I assumed the billboard was a publicity stunt but the Rolex scam completely fooled me and was pretty smart. I expected the cops to show up and that Jimmy was going to be on the hook for the whole deal (thus explaining why he was locked up for at the beginning of last episode).


    She was on the cutting edge too since at that time, The Thing's reputation was building but it wasn't quite what it is today.
     
  16. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    Ah, but they already made it clear that was due to a "Chicago sunroof". :lol:
     
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  17. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    I love this show. It's smart and incredibly fun to watch Saul fight his own character flaws. No matter how beaten down Jimmy (Saul) gets, you can always see the little gears turning in his mind. That billboard con was brilliant. Kim's slight smile after seeing it was perfect.


    Can't wait for the next episode from week to week. In a few years, this show along with Breaking Bad will make a handsome pair on the shelf.
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I liked the Groucho reference because it was also a callback to a Vince Gilligan co-written episode of The X-Files where Mulder and Michael McKean reenacted the mirror scene from Duck Soup.
     
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  19. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Is it my imagination, or did Chuck steal Carol's newspaper? Which would place his house directly across the street from Walter White and family?


    I'm really hoping they can sustain this level of quality over the entire series. So far, it's functioning very, very well as its own show, which is damn rare for a spin-off. Especially one so early into its run.


    Right now, I'm of the opinion that every episode has been better than the last. The groan that escapes my lips when the end credits hit is getting louder every week. The billboard scene really had me on the edge of my seat, not because of the risk to Jimmy, but because of what it meant for the momentum of the story to follow. Once he gave the low-five, I let out the most uncomfortable sigh/giggle.


    I love that this show exists in a reality where even an asshole character like Hamlin drops Marx Brothers references like they're nothing (along with Jimmy mentioning Tony Curtis's "curly hair" in Spartacus).


    And a three-for-one movie reference this week -- just noticed that Slippin' Jimmy's partner in the flashback was Henry Gondorfe of Luther St. Fittings, since they're running a Sting in Chicago, and all.
     
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  20. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I don't know how this is doing in the ratings, but I hope enough people are watching that it helps bring "butthole" back. That's an insult with more weight to it than the common and boring "asshole."
     

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