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Better Call Saul ...

Gilligan left the Better Call Saul writing staff early in the third season to focus on other projects, resulting in Gould becoming sole showrunner. This transition had been planned since the show's debut. Upon his departure, Gilligan expressed his hopes to return to the writers room during the show's final season.[31] He remained involved in the fourth and fifth seasons, but said he had very little to do with developing the show's contents during this period. Instead, Gilligan reduced his role to being a "director for hire" for the episodes "Wiedersehen" and "Bagman", and stated these were the only scripts he read when he was not on the writing staff.[32][33][34] He went on to credit Gould for maintaining the series' high quality.[32] Gould would bring Gilligan back to the writers room for the sixth and final season, calling it "wonderful to have him there, so we can finish this show that we started together."[35]

Better Call Saul ...

Each episode's title sequence features a different low-quality image that recalls Saul Goodman's days on Breaking Bad. This includes the inflatable Statue of Liberty balloon that sat atop Saul's office, a drawer of burner phones kept in his desk, and a bus stop bench that advertised his business. Gould and Gilligan were inspired by the poor quality of early VHS tapes and the notoriously low production values of 1980s public-access television, and from the fact that Saul Goodman's ads on Breaking Bad were done in a similar style. They intended for the title sequences to appear "purposefully shitty" in order to stand out from those of its contemporaries, which generally had increased visual quality and production standards. Some of the title sequences were put together from unused footage from Breaking Bad, but others were filmed specifically to create new ones. The title sequences were put together by assistant editor Curtis Thurber, and scored by Little Barrie guitarist Barrie Cadogan.[84][85] When Cadogan was putting the music together, he was told the producers wanted a piece of music that would be cut abruptly at 15 seconds.[85]

During the final season's run in 2022, each episode would be available to stream the day they premiered on AMC+, AMC's streaming service which first launched in June 2020.[132][133] The sixth season premiere resulted in the biggest day of new subscriber sign-ups for AMC+, and by the mid-season finale episodic viewership on the streaming service rose by 61%.[132][134] Upon the release of the series finale, the app experienced an outage, causing many users to be logged out.[135] AMC later reported that first-day viewing numbers for the finale on AMC+ was four times as big as the season premiere, and called the series' final season the highest acquisition driver in the history of the streaming service.[136]

Better Call Saul received critical acclaim and is considered to be an outstanding example of how to successfully produce a prequel and spinoff work that defies expectations.[149] Many critics have called Better Call Saul a worthy successor to Breaking Bad and some have even deemed it superior to its predecessor. In September 2019, The Guardian ranked the show at No. 48 on its list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century, describing it as "A supremely measured character piece that has steadily improved as its central tragedy has materialised."[150] In 2021, Empire ranked Better Call Saul at No. 27 on their list of The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.[151] Also in 2021, it was voted the 23rd-best TV series of the 21st century by the BBC, as picked by 206 TV experts from around the world.[152] In September 2022, Rolling Stone listed Better Call Saul as the 32nd greatest TV show of all time, in its updated list from 2016.[153]

Saul's answers were always about making more money, executing a better scam, finding a better way to come out on top. And comparing his answers to his compatriots, Saul (and viewers) could see something important was missing.

Peter Gould: As we were talking about what could happen next, now that Walt and Jesse are trying to sell drugs, the question came up, "What happens if one of these guys gets arrested?" And of course, then they have to go to a drug lawyer. And somebody said, "What if his name is 'Saul Good,' like 's'all good.' And then somebody said, "Saul Goodman.' And then somebody talked about the Cadillac and the license plate. And I think we just thought he was going to be this slickster who was going to be Walt and Jesse's guide into the underworld. He was going to be kind of like a helper character who'd help them and kind of look out for himself along the way. And having said that, once we started thinking about him, we just had so much fun, because he was happy with himself. And also he was the only character who wasn't tormented by his misdeeds, it seemed, on Breaking Bad. He saw things very mechanically. He would always see the shortest distance between two points and he'd say, 'Why don't you just do that?' No matter how violent or distasteful. ...

Odenkirk: It made it even easier, much easier to be in the moment ... of looking at the world almost like you just woke up and don't remember anything. ... My wife straggled in after a day of not sleeping and getting phone calls and having a private jet that Sony was so good to send to get her in New York. And she came into the hospital room and I popped up after surgery that morning going, "Let's go to work!"

Better Call Saul has received critical acclaim, with particular praise for its acting, characters, writing, direction, and cinematography; many critics have called it a worthy successor to Breaking Bad and one of the greatest television series of all time, with some deeming it superior to its predecessor. It has garnered many award nominations, including a Peabody Award, 46 Primetime Emmy Awards, 15 Writers Guild of America Awards, 14 Critics' Choice Television Awards, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. At the time of its airing, the series premiere held the record for the highest-rated scripted series premiere in basic cable history. Better Call Saul has its own set of official multimedia spin-offs and related media within Breaking Bad franchise. This includes a talk show, several web series and digital shorts, comic books, and an insider podcast.

Gene approaches Jeff and his friend with an offer to bring them into one of his scams. After helping them rob a department store, Gene devises a scheme to obtain the personal and financial identification of rich single men at bars to sell for profit. One of the scams leads to Jeff's arrest. Jeff's mother, Marion, discovers Gene's true identity and calls the police, which gets him arrested. Kim leads a mundane life in Florida working at a sprinkler company. After getting a call from Saul, she decides to confess the true circumstances of Howard's death to the DA and Howard's widow. Returning to his legal name, Saul is extradited to Albuquerque for the trial and lies about new testimony involving Kim to get her to appear in court. He confesses to all of his crimes as Walter White's attorney, getting an eighty-six year sentence. Jimmy is recognized as Saul in prison and gains popularity with his fellow inmates. Kim visits him and they share a cigarette before parting again.

Better Call Saul wrapped up its critically acclaimed six-season run back in August, officially bringing to a close the story of one Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takavic (Bob Odenkirk). Featuring a dazzling ensemble including Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Mando, and several other players, Better Call Saul tells the origin story of Breaking Bad's sleazy criminal attorney Saul Goodman. The series racked up over 45 Emmy Award nominations during its tenure.

It's a fate that feels particularly grim, now that we have come to know the textured man he used to be. He's destined to be emptied, to become a caricature of himself. "Looking back on it", says Gilligan, "we had a lot of people rooting for Walter White throughout the course of Breaking Bad. But oddly enough, I was not one of them. He's really an egotistical prick. So when he became more Scarface than Mr Chips, it seemed inevitable but not tragic. I find Better Call Saul more of a tragedy because I root for Jimmy McGill, I want to see him be a better person."

"I run in to people all the time who say to me, somewhat tremulously, 'if you kill Kim, you are in trouble!'" adds Gilligan, laughing. "To me that's the headline of this show: the character of Kim Wexler. How much people love her, how much people root for her, how disappointing it is that her character is, for lack of a better phrase, breaking bad."

"It was just terrible," says Gilligan, who struggles to recall the incident without becoming emotional. "I've learned since that most people survive a heart attack. He had full-on cardiac arrest, which most people do not survive. It was awful. He died right in front of us."

Both Gilligan and Gould describe coming to the end of Better Call Saul as bittersweet. "I'm very proud of the show. I'm still amazed that it had the legs it did," says Gilligan. "We didn't see it going as long as it did. I'm not even sure I ever thought it'd be as good as it was." How does he feel about the popular idea that it is better than Breaking Bad? "I love it," he says. "I didn't think I would. I thought I would be a little jealous. But it honestly blows me away."

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Villarreal: It was obviously a very jarring call for her because it sort of crystallized how deeply Jimmy has gotten into this life of deception, enough to finally make her feel ready to tell all. She flies back to Albuquerque and signs an affidavit about what really happened to Howard Hamlin. What did you think about that turning point for her? 041b061a72


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