During lunchtime chat about work, family, life, TV, and movies, my friend asked me why I love Better Call Saul so much. I was surprised to find out that they didn’t feel the same way. I also had a long answer prepared without being prepared.
To answer this question, I have to go back to The X-Files. I used to love The X-Files. Some times the episodes could stand on their own. Sometimes the episodes tied into a much larger storyline that was really interesting to watch how it was all playing out and fitting together. But, and it is a big but, the show never paid off all of the intrigue. Some of the people behind that show made Breaking Bad. To say that I was skeptical would be an understatement. I didn’t want to fall in love again and then lose it over time. The first season of Breaking Bad was tight. The pilot episode started with a flash forward and by the end of that first episode, they paid it off. Then, the rest of the season worked the same way. The show just kept delivering, never got too big or unexplainable, the writing stayed focused and sharp, the cinematography stayed beautiful and original, and the acting continued to be superb and subtle.
So, why do I love Better Call Saul? Better Call Saul is prequel and sequel to Breaking Bad. The writers and producers had to follow up after a huge hit with Breaking Bad. They actually made a unique show that in many ways is a different show than Breaking Bad. All of the characters are deeply flawed and compelling to watch. The writers surprise and delight. The cinematographers create interesting visuals. The actors take us with them and really sell it. So, just like Breaking Bad, the show pays everything off. The stories, items, dialog all tie together and tell a story that ends. It’s fun being on the journey but it is also fun not wearing out on the journey. Better Call Saul stands on its own and recontextualizes Breaking Bad.