I remember the first time I watched Breaking Bad the same way people remember where they were when they first heard about the World Trade Center on 9/11. I remember clearly that Friday night on March 6, 2009. The second season was about to start on Sunday the 8th and I had read an article online, earlier that week, saying that Breaking Bad was the most underrated show from 2008 and people should give it a chance and watch the second season. I was intrigued by the article and decided to buy the first season from iTunes. I then watched the pilot episode on a Friday evening, before going to meet some friends for a drink, and as soon as the episode was over I had to text them to say that I could not make it anymore: I was hooked! And I had to know how that story would end... That was a long night, I watched all eight episodes and then could not wait until Sunday for the second season to start.
Unfortunately I cannot say the same thing about the highly anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul featuring the street-smart lawyer from Albuquerque Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). The show started in a high note, with the first two episodes being epic, almost Breaking Bad epic, but somewhere along the way the show lost its way and became very slow and dull. Maybe because we are still stuck with a pretty boring dude named Jimmy McGill, the guy that one day will become Saul Goodman, and his brother Chuck (Michael McKean), who's spent the whole season wrapped in a space blanket in the shade of his mansion, in order to protect himself from some weird phobia that he has (he believes that electromagnetic radiation is harming him). Both actors are great and are delivering good performances, but the story arch has not been really interesting to me and it's dragged for most of the season. Meanwhile the other Breaking Bad favorite, Mike Ehrmantraut, played by the great Jonathan Banks, spent the first half of the season stuck inside a parking booth but, when he had an episode revolving around him, he delivered probably the best one of the whole season.
I do have hopes the show will get better in the second season though: once they establish Jimmy's transition to Saul and team him up more often with Mike, things will definitely be more interesting, maybe we will even see a few more characters from Breaking Bad popping up once in a while.
I personally would love to see more of the eccentric drug dealer Gus Fring because there's still so much about him that I want to know, specially how Mike got involved with him in the first place.
The first season of Better Call Saul was only ok, not the great television Breaking Bad was, not even close. Maybe I should have kept my expectations low in the first place. But who knows, maybe this week’s season finale will start putting things into gear.