Better Call Saul Season 1 Review (Spoilers)

 

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Better Call Slippin’ Jimmy

 

As a relatively casual fan of Breaking Bad, I was expecting a similar sense of danger from our protagonist (you know him as Saul in Breaking Bad and now Jimmy, Slippin Jimmy). The first episode really opened up hard in the future with Jimmy paranoid and reminiscing about his former lawyering it seems. I thought they’d end the season going back to this open but more likely they’ll end the series on it.

Anywho, this first season was pretty tame and slow, a lot slower than Breaking Bad’s first season (at least compared to it’s later seasons). I can sum it up pretty easily actually, Vince Gilligan runs Ally McBeal. I’m not trying to be mean but I certainly didn’t see any decapitated heads on turtles… instead we got 2 soccer moms complaining to Jimmy about totally not being criminals for stealing government money. But we get it, Vince Gilligan needed throwaway antagonists to let Jimmy’s character change into, well something… Wait, why did they have the Kettlemans as character forming antagonists and not someone more interesting and useful like Jesse Pinkman? Oh god is Slippin Jimjam going to start a meth lab with the Kettlemans?

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You can easily assume Milton is the neutered one

And Mike? That badass old guy who assassinates bitches left and right in BB? He spends most of the time busting $9.00 an hour defense attorney Jimmy McGill’s balls for not having enough parking stickers.

So what were the highlights?

  • Same directing style and cinematography as BB
  • Saul is known as slippin’ Jimmy… (Sorry it’s not for his slip n’ slide collection)
  • Jimmy has a lawyer brother who’s not only a partner at the biggest legal firm in town but is afraid of electronic waves from absolutely everything (Jimmy did you ground yourself?) and lives in a dark house wrapped in foil as Jimmy does everything else for him. This unfortunately doesn’t pay off, his brother is an asshole.
  • Jimmy has a crime ridden past where the Bob Odenkirk plays a young, 40-something looking 20 year old I think? He scams and steals stuff which is why they call him slippin’ Jimmy rather than Jockey Jimmy, or Shyster Jimmy, or Quick Hands, or The Shadow, or Jim, or maybe “Hey that guy pulled a fast one on me!”
  • Jimmy was in the mailroom at his brother’s firm, somehow passed the bar, but his boss Hamlin denied him moving up in the world which makes Jimmy hate him years. (Turns out Hamlin’s a pretty cool and it was Jim’s bro being a craft backstabbing son of a….)
  • Nacho is a gang member who hangs around, eats some chips, makes some threats, but mostly just appears occasionally for no reason. Think of him as you’re unwanted cousin who stole your bike once when you were in grade school. Oh and Tuco makes an appearance. Neat.
  • Jimmy helps old people draft wills and he finds out their retirement home steals their medicare checks. It’s a big case that gets Jim’s brother (oh yea his name is Chuck), that gets Chuck out of bed and moving around. Too bad he steals the case, brings it to Hamlin & associates, then tosses Jimmy out like the mailroom clerk. ;_;
  • I think 2 dudes died somewhere in the season?

The point being, this isn’t Breaking Bad. There is nothing bad to break. The first third of the season is “Hey that guy was in BB!” The second third “Oh, the kettlemans, well they’re really stupid, Jimmy should tell them to fuck off or something.” And it leads to the season finale where Jimmy has the choice to “play the game” with Chuck & Hamlin (mostly Chuck) or flip the bird and drive off into season 2 the sunset. Yea it’s the last one. It really wasn’t that climatic, especially considering many of the season endings in BB.

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And the whole world waited to find out Who shot J.R.

tl;dr?

This isn’t Breaking Bad. Not even close. It’s an interesting and fun show to kill time and it’s certainly leading up to the good stuff, but it’s like a non-brand named diet soda bottle covered in dust. You know it’ll taste okay but it’s just not the same. Maybe with some vodka you won’t know the difference.

Well Game of Thrones is back, so yea…

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