Fans expect a lot from Better Call Saul. Since the show takes place before, during, and after Breaking Bad, it’s got countless opportunities to showcase familiar faces (beyond Mike, who’s a series regular). Then there’s the smaller stuff: We want to see Saul with ridiculous hair, a bluetooth in his ear, and maybe a questionable massage appointment every once in a while. But as it turns out, Saul diehards have already gotten one of their wishes: the billboard. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Bob Odenkirk (1-5 of 5)
Attention, Breaking Bad devotees: There is more to Bob Odenkirk than Saul Goodman.
As any comedy fan worth her salt knows, the multihyphenate started out as a writer at SNL before moving on to The Larry Sanders Show and, eventually, HBO’s Mr. Show — a cult hit that Odenkirk co-created with David Cross. And though Odenkirk has dabbled in plenty of funny business since Mr. Show was canceled in 1998, he hasn’t headlined another sketch show since.
Actually, strike that. This fall, Odenkirk will get back to his roots in The Birthday Boys, a new sketch series he’s also executive producing (alongside Ben Stiller). Get a sneak peek at the upcoming series in the clip below, which finds Odenkirk playing tech visionary “Barnum LaBeaux” — a Steve Jobs-ian figure famous for peddling doodads like “The Thing,” “The Portable Thing,” “The Thingamabob,” and, of course, “The Anything.” It’s pretty amusing… though “better call Barnum!” doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.
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This Sunday, AMC’s Breaking Bad begins a final run of eight episodes, bringing the tale of Walter White to its inexorable conclusion. The show has become one of the great running masterpieces of the last half-decade of television, bringing the post-Sopranos model of anti-heroic TV drama to new critical highs (and terrifying new moral lows). What makes it even more impressive is that — in an era defined by ever-more-gigantic ensembles — Breaking Bad has unfurled its epic American tale with a relatively small cast of characters. While other shows opt for cast breadth, Bad has explored each character’s depth, sending them on fascinating byzantine journeys into the interior of their souls. This week, we’ll be taking a close look at all the show’s main characters and presenting a suggested viewing list for the five episodes that best define their arc. We started with alpha-male DEA agent Hank on Monday. Tuesday: Skyler White (Anna Gunn), Walter’s wife and sometime accomplice, who went from unwitting victim to money-laundering queenpin. Today, it’s Walt and Jesse’s cockroach of a lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk).
“Better Call Saul” (season 2, episode 8)
In Odenkirk’s first episode on the series, he makes an indelible impression as the sleazy — but highly capable — lawyer with an unforgettable TV ad that ends with the ubiquitous “Better call Saul!” When Badger (Matt Jones), one of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse’s (Aaron Paul) dealers, gets caught by the police, Goodman appears as Badger’s attorney. Walt and Jesse try to bribe Saul into making sure Badger doesn’t talk to the DEA, but Saul refuses the gesture. After being kidnapped by the meth-cooking duo, however, Goodman turns the tables, convincing Walt and Jesse to hire him as their counsel. By the end of the hour, Saul not only fixes the Badger situation, by setting Jimmy In-n-Out (Jimmy Daniels) up to take the fall as a fake Heisenberg, he also maneuvers his way into the White-Pinkman drug business, and establishes himself as the go-to dark comic relief that continues throughout Bad‘s run.
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Last year, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan told EW he was considering a spinoff for the show starring Bob Odenkirk as criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Now the project seems to be gaining momentum and the prospect is both exciting — more Breaking Bad! — and a little worrisome, when you consider the spotty track record for TV spin-offs not titled Frasier. Might a spin-off stain Breaking Bad‘s Golden Age of Television Award? And if the reports that claim the spin-off would be a comedy are to be believed, would a Saul Goodman laugher diminish the memory of such a notable dark show?
As an avid Breaking Bad fan, I’m a little skeptical. However I do know two things: 1. Bob Odenkirk is an amazing actor who totally inhabits this role. 2. Vince Gilligan deserves to write for television forever.
So here are six things that would make the show essential viewing and a deserving extension of the Breaking Bad universe.
1. Set it a good amount of time in the future and somewhere else: I think everyone would be a lot more comfortable with this spinoff if it remained a spinoff in the loosest of senses. Breaking Bad is hurdling toward a series finale with a huge body count, so emotions might be a little raw if the pilot for Saul’s show picks up right back in Albuquerque three months later. So skip ahead five years and find Saul living it up in Las Vegas (or a suburb of Vegas) as the seediest lawyer in town (and that’s saying something). READ FULL STORY
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