Fans of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s mega hit Breaking Bad were left with a hole the size of an RV that doubles as a mobile meth-lab in their lives when the AMC drama concluded in September 2013. The one-hour epic finale was, according to the Hollywood Reporter, mostly well received by both critics and fans alike.
Millions watched the record breaking episode that ended the Breaking Bad story line, of which Pittsburgh Post-Gazette critic Rob Owen aptly wrote, “‘Breaking Bad‘ came to a conclusion worthy of one of the few TV series that never jumped the shark.”
Although met with rave reviews, the unfortunate but ultimately inevitable Breaking Bad finale was bittersweet, and not unlike the “Blue Sky” methamphetamine connoisseurs in the show’s drug-addled plot line, fans were left with a serious craving for more of that one-of-a-kind Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould collaboration of television genius that made Breaking Bad so enjoyably addictive in the first place.
It came as no surprise then that, when AMC announced plans for a Breaking Bad spinoff entitled Better Call Saul, the entire television watching community collectively perked up their ears in eager anticipation.
Once again showcasing the unparalleled talent of creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, Better Call Saul is being promoted as a Breaking Bad prequel, and Gilligan and Gould are not the only pair of familiar faces to join the cast. The hour long series boasts a veritable bevvy of Breaking Bad alumni, including Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the criminal lawyer employed by Walter White throughout the Breaking Bad series.
Another well-known name to make the jump from Breaking Bad to the new series is Mike Ehrmantraut, the character portrayed by Jonathan Banks, best remembered as hit man and “fixer” for the series, villian Gustavo Fring. In Better Call Saul, Banks (as Ehrmantraut) is employed as Saul Goodman’s private investigator.
Early reviews of the first episodes have started popping up, as pre-release versions are making their way into the hands of critics and are being met with extremely positive accolades thus far, including the succinct ‘Breaking Bad‘ Fans Will Love ‘Better Call Saul‘ headline from Business Insider.
Although set in the year 2002, a full six years before Saul Goodman appears on Breaking Bad, fans are likely to take away from the spinoff an odd feeling of gratification, or as Brian Anthony Hernandez from Mashable put it, “Better Call Saul‘s opening minutes begin where Breaking Bad‘s penultimate episode left Saul Goodman, which will give viewers a welcome false impression that Vince Gilligan’s acclaimed AMC series never ended.”