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(Onion AV Club)   Jonathan Banks joins the cast of Better Call Saul   (avclub.com) divider line 39
    More: Cool, Better Call Saul, Jonathan Banks, Bob Odenkirk, spin-off, Vince Gilligan  
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3987 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 28 Jan 2014 at 1:29 AM (11 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



39 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-01-28 01:34:41 AM
And suddenly, I'm far more interested in this show...
 
2014-01-28 02:03:23 AM
As long as Bill Burr and Lavell Crawford are in it I'll watch every episode.
 
2014-01-28 02:06:14 AM
He was quoted as saying "I really started liking this idea when they told me how much I was getting paid."
 
2014-01-28 02:14:00 AM
So this could mean that Gus might make a return as well depending on how far back they're going with show and how long Mike worked for him.  That would be interesting for sure and could help broaden the scope of the show.
 
2014-01-28 02:56:55 AM
I was really hoping for this!  Without Mike, I don't think the show would be interesting enough to last more than a couple seasons.  Throw Gus into the mix with the right writing and that's Emmy material.
 
2014-01-28 03:17:32 AM
yay! this show is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
 
2014-01-28 04:23:06 AM
Banks trifecta in play.
 
2014-01-28 06:33:11 AM
::Mike grumble::
 
2014-01-28 06:57:55 AM
As as a general rule, I hate "prequels".  I'll reserve judgment on this, but not sure how they're going to work Mike in smoothly into a prominent role.
 
2014-01-28 07:10:18 AM
They made a spinoff for the wrong character.

As a side character, Saul is fine.  The actor is animated and the character feels real enough to suspend disbelief despite having some almost cartoonish qualities.  He really fits in the show to break up the cycles of Violent Brown PersonTM, Heinlein Competent Man, Unlikeable FemaleTM Doing Something Ironically Disastrous and Jesse Being Stupid.  Thing is, while he really stands out in a show of idiots and megalomaniacs, in any way that matters he's virtually indistinguishable from any other exaggerated slimy lawyer.  The guy's goofy mannerisms are different from Lionel Hutz, for example, but both are slimy self-interested lawyers with no imagination.  He's got no arc, doesn't need one to fulfill his purpose and frankly this isn't the sort of character you want to have an arc.  What hell kind of ridiculous story would it be to create an arc for what's largely a comic relief and Deus Ex Machina character??  My point is that adding him to Breaking Bad was a much more significant decision than any originality built into the character itself.  Bob Odenkirk does a good job bringing the character to life, but that's not gonna be enough to carry a show when the character itself is two-dimensional.

The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus.  A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story.  Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.
 
2014-01-28 07:51:21 AM

dragonchild: The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus. A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story. Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.


We got Gus' story.  It was told in flashback over the last couple of seasons he was on the show.  The only piece that was never fully connected was how and why a German multi-national was running cover for him, and the only reason we didn't get that was the character who could have explained it committed suicide.
 
2014-01-28 08:02:32 AM
This pleases phenn. I adored Jonathan Banks and especially his portrayal of Mike.
 
2014-01-28 08:09:13 AM
That's pretty cool. This is supposed to be a comedy right? Adding Mike could add some very dark humor which would be a nice contract to the kind of ridiculousness that you get from Saul Goodman.
 
2014-01-28 08:20:32 AM

Dwight_Yeast: dragonchild: The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus. A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story. Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.

We got Gus' story.  It was told in flashback over the last couple of seasons he was on the show.  The only piece that was never fully connected was how and why a German multi-national was running cover for him, and the only reason we didn't get that was the character who could have explained it committed suicide.


We got that he cooked meth with his implied gay lover and that he was exacting cold revenge in New Mexico because his partner was murdered by the cartel.

Don Ice Cream even said, "The only reason I don't kill you too is because of who you were in Chile."

I was starting to think the show was playing Lost with me. Who was Gus in Chile and why did he leave?
 
2014-01-28 08:28:43 AM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Who was Gus in Chile and why did he leave?


I always assumed he was a Pincochet henchmen or something, and had to get out of dodge.
 
2014-01-28 08:44:28 AM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Dwight_Yeast: dragonchild: The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus. A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story. Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.

We got Gus' story.  It was told in flashback over the last couple of seasons he was on the show.  The only piece that was never fully connected was how and why a German multi-national was running cover for him, and the only reason we didn't get that was the character who could have explained it committed suicide.

We got that he cooked meth with his implied gay lover and that he was exacting cold revenge in New Mexico because his partner was murdered by the cartel



Yes! Thank you for bringing this up! I watched it with the boyfriend and he didn't see the gay implication AT ALL. That particular episode was kind of heartbreaking for me for that reason, not to mention Gus and his completely devastated facial expression.
 
2014-01-28 08:54:41 AM

cookiefleck: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Dwight_Yeast: dragonchild: The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus. A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story. Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.

We got Gus' story.  It was told in flashback over the last couple of seasons he was on the show.  The only piece that was never fully connected was how and why a German multi-national was running cover for him, and the only reason we didn't get that was the character who could have explained it committed suicide.

We got that he cooked meth with his implied gay lover and that he was exacting cold revenge in New Mexico because his partner was murdered by the cartel


Yes! Thank you for bringing this up! I watched it with the boyfriend and he didn't see the gay implication AT ALL. That particular episode was kind of heartbreaking for me for that reason, not to mention Gus and his completely devastated facial expression.


Huh, for some reason I didn't pick up on that. The scene by the pool makes more sense now.
 
2014-01-28 09:05:33 AM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: We got that he cooked meth with his implied gay lover and that he was exacting cold revenge in New Mexico because his partner was murdered by the cartel.

Don Ice Cream even said, "The only reason I don't kill you too is because of who you were in Chile."

I was starting to think the show was playing Lost with me. Who was Gus in Chile and why did he leave?


I think it's somewhat open-ended: the obvious guess is that he was in the drug business in Chile and left because of his relationship with the other half of Los Pollos Hermanos ("The chicken brothers").  But there was never anything explicit about him having a gay relationship.

Personally, I don't think everything has to be explained for a story to work: I don't need to know who killed the chauffeur in The Big Sleep or what happened to Rosencranz and Gildenstern in Hamlet for those stories to work; not every loose end needs to be wrapped up with a bow.
 
2014-01-28 09:11:17 AM

Dwight_Yeast: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: We got that he cooked meth with his implied gay lover and that he was exacting cold revenge in New Mexico because his partner was murdered by the cartel.

Don Ice Cream even said, "The only reason I don't kill you too is because of who you were in Chile."

I was starting to think the show was playing Lost with me. Who was Gus in Chile and why did he leave?

I think it's somewhat open-ended: the obvious guess is that he was in the drug business in Chile and left because of his relationship with the other half of Los Pollos Hermanos ("The chicken brothers").  But there was never anything explicit about him having a gay relationship.

Personally, I don't think everything has to be explained for a story to work: I don't need to know who killed the chauffeur in The Big Sleep or what happened to Rosencranz and Gildenstern in Hamlet for those stories to work; not every loose end needs to be wrapped up with a bow.


it wasn't explicit at all, but it was also implied by the intonation used by the cartel during the flashback.
 
2014-01-28 09:21:05 AM
Four words:  The Skinny Pete Chronicles
 
2014-01-28 09:28:09 AM

rocinante721: Four words:  The Skinny Pete Chronicles


I'm fine with Skinny Pete. It was Badger that I found obnoxious.
 
2014-01-28 09:38:44 AM

dragonchild: They made a spinoff for the wrong character.


I think you're missing the point here. This is a comedy starring Bob Odenkirk, who's done some very good comedy shows. The fact that it is based in the same world as a very violent and dramatic show really just adds the ability for satire.

Jonathan Banks is already on Community and will probably play a similar role as a straight man to the other ridiculous characters, like this.
 
2014-01-28 10:18:59 AM

odinsposse: dragonchild: They made a spinoff for the wrong character.

I think you're missing the point here. This is a comedy starring Bob Odenkirk, who's done some very good comedy shows. The fact that it is based in the same world as a very violent and dramatic show really just adds the ability for satire.

Jonathan Banks is already on Community and will probably play a similar role as a straight man to the other ridiculous characters, like this.


I agree. Just because the show's premise in centered on Saul doesn't mean all the stories have to center around his character being super hilarious. He's just the center of the show, like Jerry is in Seinfeld. Jerry was pretty much the straight man in that show; the surrounding characters are what supplied the the laughs.
 
2014-01-28 10:19:57 AM

odinsposse: I think you're missing the point here. This is a comedy starring Bob Odenkirk, who's done some very good comedy shows.


I don't think I am; if anything I lauded Odenkirk's acting.  The actor is not the problem.  The weakness here is making a Deus Ex Machina comic relief character of a serious show the core character of another show, comedic or otherwise.  As a stand-alone character, Saul just doesn't have much substance.  The careful rationing of his screen time (alternating with much darker, more violent scenes) kept his antics fresh, so I believe fans will quickly tire of a show focused on him.  I expect the tone will be dark episodic comedy, but something's gotta drive the jokes.  I'd imagine the easiest way to do that would be a revolving door of overwhelmed criminals (not unlike when Walter & Jesse first walked into his office), but then there's the whole prequel thing hanging over it like a premise that needs to be dealt with.  The initial core fans will be followers of Breaking Bad eager to see the connections, but any emphasis on that will drag down a series based on one of the most overachieving two-dimensional characters of the original show.  Either the characters will start out pre-established or they'll arc, and neither strike me as particularly good options for a prequel comedy.  No one watched Saul and gave a rat's ass where he came from; he was entertaining as a background piece.  But if he starts out static, where does the show go?

Could it work?  I guess, if you throw an army of writers at it with a damn good showrunner, but I don't think this brilliant plan was well thought out.  Seems quite risky when the producers were really aiming for a safe, quick buck off the success of Breaking Bad.

Hey, I could be wrong, and I won't lose sleep if that's the case.  If it turns out to be a quality show, everyone wins.  I'm just not as enamored with the idea as the people selling it.
 
2014-01-28 11:08:12 AM

dragonchild: I don't think I am; if anything I lauded Odenkirk's acting.  The actor is not the problem.  The weakness here is making a Deus Ex Machina comic relief character of a serious show the core character of another show, comedic or otherwise.  As a stand-alone character, Saul just doesn't have much substance.  The careful rationing of his screen time (alternating with much darker, more violent scenes) kept his antics fresh, so I believe fans will quickly tire of a show focused on him.  I expect the tone will be dark episodic comedy, but something's gotta drive the jokes.  I'd imagine the easiest way to do that would be a revolving door of overwhelmed criminals (not unlike when Walter & Jesse first walked into his office), but then there's the whole prequel thing hanging over it like a premise that needs to be dealt with.  The initial core fans will be followers of Breaking Bad eager to see the connections, but any emphasis on that will drag down a series based on one of the most overachieving two-dimensional characters of the original show.  Either the characters will start out pre-established or they'll arc, and neither strike me as particularly good options for a prequel comedy.  No one watched Saul and gave a rat's ass where he came from; he was entertaining as a background piece.  But if he starts out static, where does the show go?


I wonder if they will make it a client of the week type of show. The kind of thing where Saul is the main character, but at the same time pretty much everything is driven (at least in the episode to episode plots) by the crazy client he is representing that week. I mean before he started working with Jesse and Walt he was basically a small time lawyer probably doing things like personal injury and DUI cases.

Although I would love an explanation of how a lawyer who was doing crap like that was able to pull off some of the legal moves he did on Breaking Bad. I mean stuff like how he got Jesse's parents to sign over the house to him, or how he got a restraining order against the DEA to protect Mike.
 
2014-01-28 12:42:29 PM

Dwight_Yeast: dragonchild: The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus. A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story. Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.

We got Gus' story.  It was told in flashback over the last couple of seasons he was on the show.  The only piece that was never fully connected was how and why a German multi-national was running cover for him, and the only reason we didn't get that was the character who could have explained it committed suicide.


We also never heard why Gustavo was "Generalissimo" in Chile.
 
2014-01-28 12:50:06 PM

dragonchild: They made a spinoff for the wrong character.

As a side character, Saul is fine.


No, they picked the perfect character.   In essence the is really about the greater Breaking Bad Universe pre Walter White, with one character as the central hub they all touch too.    Saul has his fingers in every pie and can touch to all characters, and you can spin off any number of story lines from his associations.   He's the perfect hub character ... From good cops to dirty cops to low end hustlers to king pins.

There is no story arc to go with Gus, other than to create another rags to riches  Drug Kingpen story ... ie The Breaking Bad Scarface Electric Boogaloo Part 2 that's been told a million times before, and specifically already told in this setting.
 
2014-01-28 01:15:55 PM

InmanRoshi: No, they picked the perfect character. In essence the is really about the greater Breaking Bad Universe pre Walter White, with one character as the central hub they all touch too.


Sigh. . . OK.  One more time.  I know what they are trying to do.  I don't need this explained to me, again.  I get it.  I got it before you tried to explain it.  I get what Saul's role is, and why they think he's the perfect character to make a spin-off story around.  And you know, maybe they're right.  I just happen to disagree.  Saul is a central hub because his role in Breaking Bad was a mentor variant of deus ex machina -- the guy who always knows the right guy.  His role is largely unquestioned because it's downplayed with comedy -- a wise move, I might add -- but any show featuring him will have to explain why a two-bit slimeball knows all the big players in town.  That may make for a great volume of writing material. . . but I don't think it'll be good writing because as a premise it's rather implausible.  Or they can play it safe and have a revolving door of clowns like Walter & Jesse were when they first met Saul, which makes for a much easier premise and well of jokes, but will leave the core fanbase impatient for Breaking Bad tie-ins.  Or they can try to mix the two, which I daresay has the best chance for sustained success but this will require a kick-ass Grade AAA showrunner to pull off.  This is really a question about format & execution -- show me and mechgreg are on the right track, here.  Can it work?  Maybe, but I think it will be very, very hard -- much harder than I think the creators realize.

To reiterate, me being wrong won't be a loss, because that gives us another quality show to watch.  I just think this idea is far riskier than it looks on paper.  However, while I may be as wrong as a porn star on a quiz show, simply re-stating the plan on paper to me doesn't make for much of a discussion.

InmanRoshi: There is no story arc to go with Gus, other than to create another rags to riches Drug Kingpen story ... ie The Breaking Bad Scarface Electric Boogaloo Part 2 that's been told a million times before, and specifically already told in this setting.


Yeah, I know. . . I was the one who specifically pointed that out.
 
2014-01-28 01:25:18 PM
The more important question is, did they sign the guy who plays Huell?

Depending on how far back the prequel is set they should hire a really skinny dude to play Huell, and then each progressive season just have him get fatter and fatter.
 
2014-01-28 02:33:06 PM

dragonchild: Sigh. . . OK.  One more time.  I know what they are trying to do.  I don't need this explained to me, again.  I get it.  I got it before you tried to explain it.  I get what Saul's role is, and why they think he's the perfect character to make a spin-off story around.  And you know, maybe they're right.  I just happen to disagree.  Saul is a central hub because his role in Breaking Bad was a mentor variant of deus ex machina -- the guy who always knows the right guy.  His role is largely unquestioned because it's downplayed with comedy -- a wise move, I might add -- but any show featuring him will have to explain why a two-bit slimeball knows all the big players in town.  That may make for a great volume of writing material. . . but I don't think it'll be good writing because as a premise it's rather implausible.  Or they can play it safe and have a revolving door of clowns like Walter & Jesse were when they first met Saul, which makes for a much easier premise and well of jokes, but will leave the core fanbase impatient for Breaking Bad tie-ins.  Or they can try to mix the two, which I daresay has the best chance for sustained success but this will require a kick-ass Grade AAA showrunner to pull off.  This is really a question about format & execution -- show me and mechgreg are on the right track, here.  Can it work?  Maybe, but I think it will be very, very hard -- much harder than I think the creators realize.


We've already seen this format succeed.  It's The Wire.    The Wire wasn't built around one central character, and they also didn't have a revolving door of "wacky" characters.    They shifted narratives and followed narratives of compelling characters where the story organically led them to.    When the Avon and Stringer story played out, the show reset and introduced the kids.    It's not to create volume, it's to create narrative freedom.   If this Breaking Bad's writers have shown one major talent, it's writing compelling characters.  From Tuco, to Mike, To Gus, to Saul, to Jessie.    A defense attorney is where the lines of law enforcement and criminals intersect.   The writers have the ability to go down any path they want to go down when one particular character goes into a particularly compelling place, or they can change courses anytime they feel like something isn't working.


   That's why having a show built around Gus is pants on the head retarded idea.   The entire show is married to one character's plot with no wiggle room.  It's a plot where the audience has very little invested in it because they know how it all ends and it's been done a million times before..
 
2014-01-28 04:14:52 PM

dragonchild: That may make for a great volume of writing material. . . but I don't think it'll be good writing because as a premise it's rather implausible.  Or they can play it safe and have a revolving door of clowns like Walter & Jesse were when they first met Saul, which makes for a much easier premise and well of jokes, but will leave the core fanbase impatient for Breaking Bad tie-ins.


I don't think so. At least not for me. Breaking Bad is done. It was brilliant, but Walt's story, and all the other central characters, they're wrapped up for me. I want Better Call Saul to succeed because I want more good directing, good writing, good acting and particularly I want more of Bob Odenkirk's sexy lawyer voice.
 
2014-01-28 04:41:30 PM

dragonchild: They made a spinoff for the wrong character.

As a side character, Saul is fine.  The actor is animated and the character feels real enough to suspend disbelief despite having some almost cartoonish qualities.  He really fits in the show to break up the cycles of Violent Brown PersonTM, Heinlein Competent Man, Unlikeable FemaleTM Doing Something Ironically Disastrous and Jesse Being Stupid.  Thing is, while he really stands out in a show of idiots and megalomaniacs, in any way that matters he's virtually indistinguishable from any other exaggerated slimy lawyer.  The guy's goofy mannerisms are different from Lionel Hutz, for example, but both are slimy self-interested lawyers with no imagination.  He's got no arc, doesn't need one to fulfill his purpose and frankly this isn't the sort of character you want to have an arc.  What hell kind of ridiculous story would it be to create an arc for what's largely a comic relief and Deus Ex Machina character??  My point is that adding him to Breaking Bad was a much more significant decision than any originality built into the character itself.  Bob Odenkirk does a good job bringing the character to life, but that's not gonna be enough to carry a show when the character itself is two-dimensional.

The character that could carry a prequel series isn't Saul; it's Gus.  A guy working his way up from obscurity to becoming an organized crime leader makes for a compelling story.  Only problem is, that's exactly what Breaking Bad is already about.


Given that they've stated that they want to flip the comedy/drama content for this show, where they said Breaking Bad was 80% Drama and 20% Comedy, they want to make this show 80% Comedy and 20% Drama, I'd say it's probably a good choice of character.
 
2014-01-28 06:23:57 PM

InmanRoshi: We've already seen this format succeed. It's The Wire. The Wire wasn't built around one central character, and they also didn't have a revolving door of "wacky" characters. They shifted narratives and followed narratives of compelling characters where the story organically led them to. When the Avon and Stringer story played out, the show reset and introduced the kids. It


One of the other tricks that worked for The Wire was that each season was specifically about a different topic: one was about the War on Drugs, two was about our Ports and immigration, and the last season was about newspapers and the death of actual journalism in this country. But instead of resetting for each story, each season arc built on the last and the characters carried over.
 
2014-01-28 06:46:58 PM
Jonathan Banks LOVED playing Mike and, from what I recall, broke down and cried when his character was killed off.

I don't normally like Jonathan Banks but I loved him in that role and I'll be happy to see him again.

He had plenty of dark twisted humour as well so it'll mesh well.
 
2014-01-28 07:24:20 PM

jake3988: Jonathan Banks LOVED playing Mike and, from what I recall, broke down and cried when his character was killed off.

I don't normally like Jonathan Banks but I loved him in that role and I'll be happy to see him again.

He had plenty of dark twisted humour as well so it'll mesh well.


it's hard not to love a character that's a complete bad ass, yet is sweet to and spoils his granddaughter.
 
2014-01-28 09:04:40 PM

stonelotus: Banks trifecta in play.



i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-28 10:21:17 PM

InmanRoshi: We've already seen this format succeed. It's The Wire. The Wire wasn't built around one central character, and they also didn't have a revolving door of "wacky" characters. They shifted narratives and followed narratives of compelling characters where the story organically led them to.


Yeah, that works when the show is called The Wire. . . I think the showrunner's hands are a wee bit more tied when the show is called Better Call Saul.

fdlgrl: I don't think so. At least not for me. Breaking Bad is done. It was brilliant, but Walt's story, and all the other central characters, they're wrapped up for me.


Sorry, I wasn't too clear here.  I don't mean that people will watch the new show expecting it to be Breaking Bad: The Prequel, per se.  The plan, as I perceive it, is that the world -- and Saul -- are rich enough source material that they can expand the world using Saul as a central character, but I disagree in both cases.  Breaking Bad had some good execution and Odenkirk was functional as Saul, but precisely because of the tight execution, I think both the world and character have far less depth than fans of the show are led to believe.  It's your usual vanilla working-up-the-crime-ladder story with a few tweaks to make the recipe fresh, and a two-dimensional slimeball caricature brought to life by some decent acting & writing.  It didn't work because it was a fountain of creativity; it worked because the talent made the most of the premise.  My point, then, is that I think the material has very little carryover value for a spinoff.  What's supposed to be a seedling for creativity from the Breaking Bad tree may well be an albatross for the writers.  Again, I may be wrong, but I'm just expressing an opinion here.

LrdPhoenix: Given that they've stated that they want to flip the comedy/drama content for this show, where they said Breaking Bad was 80% Drama and 20% Comedy, they want to make this show 80% Comedy and 20% Drama, I'd say it's probably a good choice of character.


What other character would they pick for that formula; Walter Jr.??  I think you have that exactly backwards, anyway.  It's not like they decided to make a comedy and then went, "Hmm, what character should be base it on?"  Saul was a fan favorite so they decided to make a spinoff about him, and given his character was goofier than others they decided to make the spinoff a comedy.  Again, I wasn't in the meeting rooms when this was all planned so it's pure speculation, but the idea of this show really doesn't strike me as some brilliant plan.  Build off the success of a popular show by recycling a fan favorite?  That's kind of par for the feeble brainpower of a network executive.
 
2014-01-29 03:40:04 AM

jake3988: Jonathan Banks LOVED playing Mike and, from what I recall, broke down and cried when his character was killed off.

I don't normally like Jonathan Banks but I loved him in that role and I'll be happy to see him again.

He had plenty of dark twisted humour as well so it'll mesh well.



He was the character that needed the spinoff. His character was the fixer. The guy that was liked or at least respected by the whole Albuquerque criminal scene, yet was a soft-hearted family man at home. He was the kind of old fashioned hard-boiled tough guy that countless criime films and TV shows wish they had. There were dozens of directions the showrunners could have taken that character.

Saul was just the comic relief with a catch phrase. The guy's been an ambulance chaser his whole life. There's no mystery about him or reason to care. From everything I've read, I have the feeling that his show is going to just be nods to fans by implying "Hey, remember when this happened on Breaking Bad?"

I can't say I'm optimistic about Better Call Saul.
 
2014-01-29 07:35:52 AM

stoli n coke: Saul was just the comic relief with a catch phrase. The guy's been an ambulance chaser his whole life. There's no mystery about him or reason to care. From everything I've read, I have the feeling that his show is going to just be nods to fans by implying "Hey, remember when this happened on Breaking Bad?"


More or less how I feel about it emotionally, but I'll quibble on a couple things:
1) I think there's plenty of mystery as to why a two-bit ambulance chaser has connections to some of the highest-ranking and most dangerous organized crime rings in the country.  But it's a mystery that, if they try to develop on his show, I feel it's going to be ridiculous and not in a good way.  This is a character you don't want to explain because depth isn't what makes him appealing.  His role is similar to that of Yotsuya in Maison Ikkoku or, to be perhaps less obscure, Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito's character) in L.A. Confidential.  This is a guy you don't want to see too much of, much less know too much about, because he's a one-act that serves a vital purpose but otherwise quickly grows stale.  That's why I think he makes a very poor choice for a central character.
2) I don't think they'll go the "Remember this?" route; after all, it's a prequel.  That said, they are recycling Saul for a reason, and I think that reason is misguided.  Saul was the salt that made the Breaking Bad recipe delicious.  He was indispensable in measured doses, but imagine how a dish that's more than 50% pure salt would taste.*

*Five-buck Chinese buffets don't count
 
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