Jay

BETTER CALL SAUL

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That's not it. It's messing with my Sunday night schedule. I could watch Breaking Bad with a clear conscious. Walter White is a horrible despicable person. All us us here are better than that piece of white trash.

But then we're not fictional except Stefan.

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I went to watch the first episode last night and Marcy didn't want to watch it. I was shocked! So now I gotta find time on my own to watch the show. Usually she is willing to give any new show a try of at least one episode but just had no interest in this. Maybe she'll change her mind tonight. So weird.

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Rachel was excited but the first ~3/4 of episode 1 bored her. For her sake, I hope that the show keeps up it's scheming ways from the end of Ep 1, because otherwise she won't watch it (and that means there's little chance that I'll be able to watch it, since whatever little TV time we have is usually spent watching things together).

Haven't watched Ep 2 yet - likely we'll give it a try tonight.

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I liked the first two episodes, very much in line with Breaking Bad's visual and writing style.

But... I still need to be convinced there is a series there. Still not convinced Jimmy/Saul is enough to carry several seasons. Not sure how they can develop this character in interesting ways. Especially if we know where he ends up... Although, the teaser for pilot might slightly defy that my expectations, which is good.

Breaking Bad had too a very unlikely premise, true. But the first episode gives a perfectly good idea what the show is all about. It's was a marvellously constructed pilot.

Here, I feel like riding on a good will and seeing if there's anything to it.

But I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store.

Karol

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The second episode convinced me too.

Do we need to use spoilertags here?

The desert scene is classic Breaking Bad. And while the inclusion of Tuco might point a bit too much as a meaningless reference to it's oparent show, it does help establish the danger of the situation, since we already know Tuco is a fucking maniak. Also liked the fact that it was more the lives of the twins that was on the line, rather then that of the main character of who we already know will survive).

Interested in the exact nature of Chuck's illness

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Better Call Saul 1x01 Uno

 

Well, I liked it! Even after seeing the trailer for the season, I didn't really know what to expect from the show, which turned out to be a good thing since the first episode is written to keep you on your toes.

 

It starts with a great, lengthy black and white sequence showing Saul post-Breaking Bad managing a Cinnabon. During this sequence there were so many good shots, and details in the shots, and a good use of source music ("Address unknown"). When Saul sees a scary looking dude seemingly staring him down, you feel the danger Saul is feeling. I wondered how they would justify calling a show Better Call Saul when his name will be Jimmy McGill when the show starts, so it was nice to show him watching a tape of his old commercials to end the opening sequence. Though realistically, wouldn't a man trying to hide from prosecution not keep evidence like that around?

 

Then we establish Jimmy's life - trying to start his own law firm but lacking in clients; Making barely any money as a public defender; Bills piling up he cannot pay; And a brother (?), Chuck, suffering from some kind of mental illness that he is trying to help out as best he can. I loved the way how Gilligan reveals that Chuck left the firm because of his illness, and Jimmy feels he has earned a 17 million payout, and the rest of the firm would be happy to keep paying him a small salary. Loved the touch that since they would have to liquidate to give them the $17 million, that would cost 100s their jobs and the end of the firm, etc. All good stuff, and most of it wasn't revealed until after Jimmy is already confronting theme about it, so you are playing catchup.

 

Funny how Jonathan Banks gets second billing in the credits, yet all he had was a single scene as a court parking lot attendant. You know he'll eventually play a bigger role, even without having seen Breaking Bad, because of the billing. Also Rhea Seehorn gets main credit, but her character is quite mysterious for now. She had no lines in the conference room, then it's unexplained why she is waiting for Jimmy in the parking garage, or what the nature of her relationship with Jimmy is.

 

While watching the show, I found myself not only interested in this six-years-before-Breaking-Bad, already-middle-aged Saul and how he gets from there to BB Saul, but also interested in his even earlier life. Luckily, his early life is touched on once he got to his Slipping Jimmy story. Good stuff.

 

The ending with Tuco was a nice "ha-ha!" moment, but hopefully the Tuco storyline won't be dragged out for more than another episode. We'll see.

 

 

Side-note 1: It's funny that Quint thought this would ever be a case of the week show. LOL.

 

Side-note 2: I have no clue how Stefan missed that this was set in 2002. Both times they showed checks, Saul's $700 court check and the $26,000 lawfirm check he ripped up, it clearly showed 2002 on the check in a nice, easy to read way. (The court check was dated May 13 2002 and the law firm check May 9 2002). I liked this method of establishing the year the show is set in.

 

Side-note 3: I really liked Dave Porter's score to the episode! With Breaking Bad, frankly I almost never noticed the score, and when I did it was just that the music was appropriate for the show, maybe even elevated it - but it was nothing I'd ever seek out to listen to separately. Uno, however, had some nice score cues, such as the one where Jimmy is alone in his "office" going through his bills, or when the skate-board kids where getting ready to run the scam.

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Jason, in my country check's are almost nonexistent. It didn't occur to me that they might have a date.

I noticed the music in both eps. The orchestral piece for Saul's (or is it Jimmy's) court montage was great.

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Liked the first episode, but LOVED the second one. Except for the ending. I felt it was kind of a letdown, considering how awesome the rest was. Still, I remember season one of BB had some of those endings too, so it's no biggie.

Can't wait for the next one. (I have also started watching BBC's Sherlock and the opposite happened: Adored the first episode but the second one was just ok in my opinion. We'll see about the third one)

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Each season of Sherlock has one episode that's weaker than the other two. I'm trying to remember now, but I think episode two of Season 1 was indeed the weaker one there.

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Im guessing like the first one, it was originally a 1 hour script, which they stretched to 90 minutes.

Each season of Sherlock has one episode that's weaker than the other two.

While still being awesome! ?

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Just watched the two episodes.

First one was nice, but like Karol said, it didn't quite sell me on a who,e season behind it. The scene in the desert was really great though and sold me on its potential.

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Ep 3 was another good one.

The camerawork on this show is a lot darker then on Breaking Bad. The ABQ sunshine isnt quoite as prominent and some of the nighttime scenes, or the scene in the interrogation room are almost Godfather like in it's darkness.

Liked the opening which features a Chuck when he was still sane as a Jimmy who's in trouble with the law. Promising to stay out of trouble if Chuck helps him out. (neither actor very convincingly look like younger versions of themselves.)

What works is that Jimmy isnt quite the same person as Saul. Yes he plays the field, trying to scam people, but when things go bad he worries. He actually has some morality still. Much like Walter in BB, a seemingly innocent little action in one episode slowly leads to Jimmy getting himself into more trouble.

Finally we see him having a few scenes with Kim. And Mike gets to step out of his booth and be rather awesome.

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Hero

The most low key episode so far. But some very cool stuff.
Starts again with Saul as a low life hustler scamming money from people.
Unlike BB he actually takes a bribe. But only because his usual "retainer" trick doesn't work, because people don't wanna hire him as a lawyer because it makes them look guilty.

Jimmy seems to have Walt levels of stubbornness in his willingness to provoke a battle with Hamlin.

The best scenes were the ones between Jimmy and Kim, and Chuck venturing outside to grab a newspaper.
Obviously Chuck was the one who brought Jimmy on the straight and narrow, and with him out of action sitting in a dark house fearing electricity his influence is waning.

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Better Call Saul 1x02 Mijo

 

Another solid episode! Loved how the Tuco storyline concludes... .everything that happened made sense, and never felt like a shameless return of a BB character. Loved the following moment with Jimmy unable to bed an interested lady (it was so well shot, edited, and scored!), and REALLY loved the long montage of Jimmy back to work, taking public defender cases. That was a great montage that was even better shot, edited, and scored. David Porter's work on this show is really good! I loved the still shots of time lapse stuff, and when the one shot changed into a dolly shot. Neat!

 

Jonathan Banks continues to get second billing despite just being a grumpy parking attendant (you know he'll eventually be more important, of course, but only if you've seen BB), and Rhea Seahorn continues to get third billing despite doing nothing. Last week she had no lines in two scenes, this week she appears in one shot, as Jimmy notices her in the courtroom.

 

Michael McKean is great, a really strong addition to the show and universe. He's so good, it's so great to see him back on TV, but really he's just really good in this role. Every nuance of his performance when Jimmy came home, didn't ground himself and left his cell phone on, and the entire conversation afterwards, ending with him putting the "space blanket" back on, was so good!

 

Finally, Nacho showing up at Jimmy's "office" and wanting to rob the Kettleman's was interesting! I guess we are bout to see the turning point where Jimmy becomes a good-intentioned lawyer that used to scam people for money, to an outright crime accomplice. Can't wait!

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Better Call Saul 1x03 Nacho

 

Another solid episode. This show is very good! Loved the opening flashback, showing Chuck get Jimmy out of some kind of trouble, some unspecified amount of time before the show's main timeline (2002). The wigs and makeup on these two are really good! (As is Jimmy's wig in the main setting.... it's perfect really, so why did they give Walter White such an awful wig in the final episode of BB?) This was a nice way to get Michael McKean into the episode that he otherwise had no space to be in, and also helps explain why Jimmy is so willing to help out Chuck presently.

 

Finally Kim (Rhea Seehorn) gets not only lines but a bunch of stuff to do. Like this character a lot! I like the small hints we got this week into her and Jimmy's past, I hope it's explored more. Also, Mike (Jonathan Banks) finally gets to get out of the booth and do something as well. I liked his little story about the hiding bookie and now it leads Jimmy to find the Kettlemans.

 

The interrogation room scene with Nacho and Jimmy was nice, as was the preceding phone booth montage and foot chase, plus the sequence where Jimmy figures out what's going on, and eventually finds the Kettlemans and their money. Good episode!

 

Special shout-out to Dave Porter. 3 episodes in and I am loving his score to this show! I barely ever noticed the music in Breaking Bad, but he's excelling here. Hopefully it gets an OST release.

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