The Breaking Bad spin-off/prequel now available on Blu-ray and DVD is going to leave you strung out and in need of a spell in rehab.
1. Hate Shows About Lawyers? So Does Better Call Saul
TV generally depicts lawyers as inhabiting a glossy, glamorous world filled with mahogany desks, billionaire clients and gold-plated sexiness. You can be a Good Lawyer or an Evil Lawyer, but either way you’ll be slick, competent, well-off and cool.
At its outset, Better Call Saul flips that tired trope on its head by having its lead protagonist be the brokest, bitterest, shonkiest lawyer ever, working the crappiest cases imaginable from a pitifully titchy office/home in the back of a nail salon.
Sure, he’ll engage in some dastardly underhandedness – a classic Evil Lawyer manouvere – but it’ll mostly be of the tragicomically low-rent variety, and will inevitably come back to bite him on his cheaply besuited arse.
2. It’s Kind Of A Mess
Now, granted, “it’s kind of a mess” wouldn’t normally be a selling point with a TV show, but be assured that in Better Call Saul‘s case the messiness is A) 100% intentional and B) totally exhilarating.
The show ricochets between being a jet-black comedy, a moving character study, an edge-of-the-seat whodunnit and a balls-to-the-wall action thriller, sometimes within the space of a single scene. You genuinely never know what’s going to happen next, which is a precious and surprisingly rare commodity in telly shows.
3. That Delicious, Dirty Dialogue
Just as Breaking Bad gave us lines so instantly quotable that they’d go on to adorn mugs and T-shirts – see “Let’s cook” and “I’m not in danger – I am the danger” – Better Call Saul demonstrates that Vince McGill hasn’t lost his knack for crafting harsh, sharp, hilarious lines.
We rest our case, your honour.
4. Bob Odenkirk Is A Goddamn Genius
It takes a lot of skill and charisma to make a lizardy sleazeball – albeit a loyal one – seem endearing and root-able-for, but that’s exactly the trick Bob Odenkirk repeatedly manages to pull off in Better Call Saul. Saul Goodman instantly became a breakout character on Breaking Bad, and much of that was to do with Odenkirk’s scene-stealing performances.
5. It’ll Ease Your Breaking Bad Withdrawal Symptoms
Better Call Saul is by no means Breaking Bad II: Breaking Badder – it’s a different beast altogether, less harsh, more thoughtful. But it will definitely help fill that gaping hole that opened up within you when BB went away (sob – RIP).
Because while the overall tone is different, a lot of the things that made
Plus: Mike from Breaking Bad is in it! Remember Mike? Mike! Yaaay, Mike’s back.
6. It’s Totally Binge-Able
If you do find yourself addicted to Better Call Saul – and, fair warning, that’s pretty much a foregone conclusion – then be assured that it’s entirely suited to devouring in gloriously decadent multi-episode binges.
Because, as you doubtless know, some shows are just not suited to binge-watching. Breaking Bad, for example, could be so flippin’ stressful at times that watching anything more than two in a row would leave you feeling on the verge of a heart attack. Amazing show, but yeesh – ex-haus-ting.
7. Origin Stories Are Cooool
At the start of Better Call Saul, the Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad – slick, sly, successful – is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the downtrodden sod is still going by his real name, Jimmy McGill. Similarly, hardcore hitman Mike Ehrmantraut is stuck manning a car-park booth.
So – what’s the deal? How did they wind up becoming who they are in Breaking Bad? What the hell happened to ’em? Don’tcha wanna know?! ‘Course you bloody do.
8. You’ll Quickly Develop A Physiological Dependence On It
Studies have shown that abruptly discontinuing Better Call Saul triggers a time-limited withdrawal that will occur within 24 hours of the last dose. 87.9% of chronic users will experience extreme withdrawal symptoms that will usually persist for three to four weeks.
No, wait… That one actually is crystal meth.
9. You Love Anti-Heroes. Love ‘Em!
Tony Soprano, Don Draper, Nucky Thompson, Carrie Mathison, Omar Little, Dexter Morgan, Walter White… If there’s one thing we love watching, it’s an anti-hero – and they don’t come much more anti-heroic than Jimmy ‘Saul Goodman’ McGill. He’s about to become your new favourite wrong’n.