So we’ve all waited – breathless after the breath-taking “Breaking Bad” – to see the prequel to the hit series featuring shameless attorney with the bad shirts and ties, Saul Goodman.
So how was it?
Let’s check what the media say:
First, Mashable, who explain that the series immediately flashes back to 2002, six years before Saul even meets antihero Walter White, where we learn his origin story as an unknown public defender struggling to support himself and his ailing older brother Chuck McGill (played by Michael McKean).
The prequel introduces us to Jimmy McGill — Saul’s real name before he acquired his professional alias — who spends an alarming and entertaining amount of time practicing his over-the-top courtroom dialogue in the courthouse’s bathroom mirror.
Aesthetically, the series is beautifully pieced together with suspenseful closeups of Jimmy’s animated expressions, zoomed-in action shots and the anticipated sweeping panoramic desert shots. The filming style is very Breaking Bad, for better or worse.
The comparisons and differences are sure to draw mixed reactions, though in reality, Saul doesn’t have to live up to Breaking Bad because not many premieres can or will ever stack up. Remember: It took time for Breaking Bad to build its massive audience.
And some others:
“There’s an incredible amount of payoff for fans of the original series with subtle nods and references to the parent show. For those of you who may be groaning and rolling your eyes, don’t worry. The show doesn’t overdo it. If you’re not looking for the references, you most likely won’t even see some hidden in plain sight.” – Kirsten Acuna, Business Insider
“What’s arguably unheard of with Better Call Saul is that it’s a spin-off from one of the greatest dramas in TV history, a feat not attempted by The Sopranos, The Wire, or (at this point) Mad Men. That’s a risk that’s fascinating and bold. Whether it’s one that’s worth watching will settled in the weeks and months (and maybe years) ahead. But there’s no question that Gilligan and Gould have earned the right to attempt this. So going along for the ride, no matter how it unspools, seems absolutely essential.” — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
“In that way, the broad arc of the series is similar to that of “Breaking Bad,” which Gilligan always pitched as “We’re going to take Mr. Chips and turn him into Scarface.” Jimmy’s journey isn’t as extreme at either end — he’s not Atticus Finch here, nor will he become Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate” by the time he acts as Walter White’s consigliere — but it creates a parallel narrative, even as the new show does the best it can to establish itself as something different.” — Alan Sepniwall, HitFix
“Better Call Saul is off to a captivating start and is taking its time in answering the big questions that fans want to know the answers to. Season 1 looks like it’s going to focus largely on the origins, and that’s perfectly okay in our book. Breaking Bad fans will appreciate the references to the original series and have reason to stick around for the long haul.” — Andrew Sims, Hypable