Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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The premiere will be familiar territory, but Bob Odenkirk's turn as Jimmy McGill establishes Better Call Saul as a worthy character study in its own right.
It's a treat to see Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould push the universe they originally created into some new directions, and really rely on the concept of longform storytelling, letting mysteries unravel slowly.
This first episode felt like creator Vince Gilligan proving that he can shift gears. We're in the same world, but driving around at a different pace - in a very different car.
After a glimpse of Gene for Cinnabon and nearly an hour with Jimmy, I'm more curious about what's happening at the food court than the courthouse.
The final act is pleasurably weird, fast-paced and funny.
"Uno" reacquaints us with a character whose spiel is as slick and sludgy as motor oil, and shows us that his paranoia and misanthropy come from years of being kicked around.
The final seconds of this show are arguably its most promising.
Though it wasn't quite the same tour de force as Breaking Bad's pilot, it was absorbing and fun to watch all the way through, introduced rich characters and deep conflicts that are sure to pay off for seasons to come...
Thankfully, Better Call Saul isn't the story of what happened to Saul Goodman after his epic run with Walter White. It's the story of how he got there.
I loved it. Odenkirk is a joy to watch, even when you forget the big narrative swings and focus on the little hysterical touches.
Uno is a supremely confident start to a series that feels very much of a piece with Breaking Bad, but doesn't feel like it exists swamped by its shadow. Walter who?
It doesn't look like the producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould will have any trouble avoiding the spin-off pitfalls that plague so many other television franchises.
Each sequence is cannily constructed both to pull off a laugh and peel back another layer of Jimmy's personality/predicament.