After an agonizing year-and-a-half wait, the best show on TV returns on Monday night!
|Posted: 04 August 2018 at 10:48pm | IP Logged | 1
Iíve been avoiding any potential spoilers, but I did check out the Comic-Con trailer.
I also finally rewatched season 3 on Blu-Ray (along with all of the special features), and got sucked right back in. The genius of this show is that, yes, itís a prequel to BREAKING BAD, but it also works completely as its own entity. Itís basically the opposite of everything I complain about in regards to present-day rehashes of properties like STAR TREK, where the characters and the plots donít really have a creative leg to stand, and so rely upon nostalgia-milking and strip-mining of the lore to drum up interest.
BCS could have just been a cash-grab which coasted on BREAKING BAD references and cameos. Nope. Itís completely focused on the story itís telling. The links between the two shows are just a bonus. It may overlap with BREAKING BAD in major ways (moreso as it goes on), but the cameos and references are A) Organic and not forced; B) Work perfectly in context, even if one has never seen BB.
Indeed, people can and do watch BCS without having seen the parent series, and it absolutely works. Itís a far, far richer experience if one already knows BB, but knowing BB is not necessary to enjoy or understand BCS. And thatís why BCS is the best prequel Iíve ever seen. Both shows work perfectly on their own, but, when viewed as one giant story, itís a much deeper and more rewarding experience. Top-tier, character-driven storytelling. Methodically plotted, with compelling characters and themes.
Bob Odenkirk has really proven his dramatic chops with this show. I never, ever expected Saul Goodmanóthe wacky comedy relief of BBóto become a legitimately tragic character. Iím beginning to agree with Vince Gilligan and company, in that Iím sort of hoping beyond hope that Jimmy McGill doesnít become the sleazy Saul that we all know and love. His story and his character have proven to be really fascinating, but in a way very different from Walter White. Both shows examine the process of descending into evil, but in completely different ways. Like variations on a theme. The really interesting thing is that Jimmy McGill has more of a heart than Walter White ever did. He legitimately cares about people, but he takes shortcuts, and makes bad, impulsive decisions with good intentions.
Kim Wexler is the antithesis of the various Mary Sue/forced Feminism characters running around in genre fiction, these days. A wonderful, complex, likable character, brilliantly played by Rhea Seehorn (who has great chemistry with Odenkirk). Jonathan Banks is always brilliant as Mike. Patrick Fabian has slowly and carefully brought depth to Howard Hamlin, who seemed at first to be something of a bad guy/foil to Jimmy. Michael Mando has really turned Nacho Varga into a complex and likable character, too. A smart criminal with a heart. And the return of Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring is just the icing on the cake. Iíve really enjoyed the exploration of his rivalry with Hector Salamanca. BCS has been very careful about exploring elements of the backstory and mysteries from BB without diving headlong into ridiculous retcons and/or explaining too much.
Of course, the previous season ended with the suicide of Chuck McGill, which is both a good and bad thing for the show. Good, because it seemed pretty clear from the start that Jimmy and Chuckís relationship would be the crux of the origin of Saul Goodman. They spent three seasons oh-so-carefully developing it, after all. Bad, because the show has lost the great Michael McKean, although heíll likely appear in flashbacks, at some point.
Iím pumped. Weíre really getting into the meat of the series, now. Yet, as noted, I feel a certain hesitance to actually get into more familiar Saul Goodman territory, since Jimmy McGillís story has proven so compelling. Although, I definitely want to see more of ďGeneĒ, the Cinnabon manager! The season-opening flashforwards have all been brilliant, thus far. And there have been hints that this bleak, black-and-white, post-BREAKING BAD world may not be the end of the story.
Looks like there wonít be any TALKING SAUL, this season, perhaps due to the recent controversy surrounding Chris Hardwick. But, I fully expect the excellent BETTER CAUL SAUL INSIDER Podcast to return.
Iíve had several friends who watched the pilot and then maybe another episode or two back when they first aired, but drifted away. I recently convinced them to give the show another try, and now theyíre all mad at me, since theyíve run out of episodes to watch, and are chomping at the bit for more. It just took them a while to get hooked, because the show is such a deliberate slow burn. But itís so worth it! As with BREAKING BAD, Gilligan and company are definitely playing the long game, here.
Edited by Greg Kirkman on 05 August 2018 at 11:00am