Ah Breaking Bad. When I think back on my time watching (and re-watching) Breaking Bad, it reminds me of that blissful lack of worry that a baby has while playing with a toy rattler. Somehow, this is what Vince Gilligan is able to achieve with his unequivocal writing, direction, and production of the Breaking Bad series. The downright cinematic experience of boarding yourself up in a room and watching Walter White battle with morality and personal ethics in terms of life, finances, and relationships with the world. It achieved a narrow painting of the societal lines between drug kingpins and the stereotypical chemistry teacher boring you to death in the 5th grade.
But while I would love to write a full blown 2,000-word essay about my love for Vince Gilligan and everything he has done, this is more so about the continuation of the Breaking Bad legacy. What we see (all too often) in film and television these days is the concept of the “Cinematic Universe.” I mean, hell, soon we may have a spinoff from the marvel cinematic universe spinoff exclusively streaming at BP gas station pump televisions. Well, a few years ago, Stephen Colbert locked Vince Gilligan in a basement and ordered him to write more Breaking Bad.
Alas, as he emerged from his shackles, here comes the Breaking Bad cinematic universe. Case-in-point: James “Jimmy” McGill a.k.a. Saul Goodman. When we last left our favorite semi-crooked lawyer in the Breaking Bad world, he was stuck between a methamphetamine rock and a hard place. The last time we were with Saul, he had been preparing to change his identity, stating “If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”
Open to interior of an Omaha mall, black and white, as a man kneads and churns sticky cinnamon bun dough in all his glory. While this may have made some amazing marketing for the Cinnabon corporation, this is the social tier where we find Jimmy McGill as the series starts up in all of its Breaking Bad-
While this may have made some amazing marketing for the Cinnabon corporation, this is the social tier where we find Jimmy McGill as the series starts up in all of its Breaking Bad-esque glory. Vince Gilligan’s power is extraordinary in the fact that he was able to take the polarizing character of Saul Goodman and lend his ability to bring out an original tenderness and all around lack of control over his life.
We saw this in the very beginning of Breaking Bad as Walter White had little to no control over his own life (not including Skylar’s dictatorship of a marriage), and we can immediately see the same within Saul’s life. It is in many cases a tale of the ugly duckling for Jimmy McGill, as he battles the problems that a newly emerging, mediocre (at best) lawyer would run into from the start of their career while juggling a successful brother with a severe case of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.
If my word means anything to you (the reader) that have made it this far in the article, let this sit in with you. Better Call Saul is going to progress to become one of the best shows on television, and this may very well become real with the emergence of season two. After having binged my way through the first season, (which is now available on Netflix), I have absorbed one singular Vince Gilligan pornographic image. I’m pretty confident in this theory, because, well, I can convince myself of basically anything.
When the dust settled from the incredible finale of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan booted up his Netflix account and re-watched his meth infused masterpiece to come to the final conclusion that his progression of Walter White went a bit too quickly. Granted that is in good part due to the fact that he found out about his cancer in episode one. Things progress pretty quickly when that shit hits the proverbial fan. In the more thought-out life of Jimmy McGill, Gilligan is able to hold our hand and take us (the viewer) through his progress from being the ugly duckling, to the ruthless duck predator that is Saul Goodman.
Either way, whether you have seen Breaking Bad or not (umm what!?), Better Call Saul is the biggest recommendation I can ever make to you this week. It may not pay off any huge dividends in the beginning, but you will be experiencing some of that vintage total badassness in Jonathan Banks’s character Mike or the true comedic value in Jimmy McGills pure lawyerness. Better Call Saul is one of those boxes of lucky charms with extra marshmallows in it, and because of that, I recommend you dig in.
Season two of Better Call Saul premieres at 10pm, February 15th on AMC.