Usually remaking a movie or series can’t make the same success as the original one. And again usually using the same characters and actors is a desperate effort to repeat a success. But Better Call Saul did both and the result is still remarkable. It seems that we are watching the same events in two universes. Or watching a movie with a choice of different events actions.
Unlike Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul has a slow-growing plot that gives enough time for characters to evolve. Characters who are in a grey spectrum and can’t be labeled as good or bad easily. The course of events and characters in Better Call Saul is more realistic than Breaking Bad.
There is no Walter White who can be a teacher but deal with cartels and creates an empire for himself. Jimmy (Saul Goodman) is not a magician in money laundry and legal cases like Breaking Bad. He is a smart lawyer but almost always on the bad side of the story. He is not lucky neither and as a result, he always pays for what he has done.
Cartel members are also more real, more practical, and more dangerous. Mike is almost the same character but his role is more significant than his in Breaking Bad. He is the joint of the story. He connects Gustavo, cartel, and Saul together and without him, the story had to be written differently.
The slow rhythm of Better Call Saul lets the situations and relationships have enough time to evolve and deepen for each character. Seems that the director has no rush in telling the story or lead us to any conclusion. Characters grow simultaneously and with the help of what we know about them from Breaking Bad, we gain a deeper understanding of their actions.
For those who love Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a satisfying prequel with fewer action scenes but a more thoughtful plot. It doesn’t have the taste of action and suspense like its predecessor but it’s more successful in describing situations and the reason behind the behavior of characters.
The inter-relation between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad is also unique. Unlike movies and series like what Marvel produces, the contexts of two series are somehow integrated in an intelligent way. It’s not just borrowing some characters and similarity in locations. It gives us the ability to review and analyze both contexts together.
Better Call Saul has been praised for its acting, characters, and cinematography. Many critics have called it a worthy successor to Breaking Bad and one of the best prequels ever made. Some also said it is superior to its predecessor. It has gained many nominations, including a Peabody Award, 23 Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Writers Guild of America Awards, five Critics’ Choice Television Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. The series premiere held the record for the highest-rated scripted series premiere in basic cable history at the time of its airing.
Creators: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould
Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks