Better Call Saul Expenses Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

At this point in Better Call Saul, it’s difficult to know whether or not we’re supposed to root for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Obviously, to a certain degree, we are. We’re in his house, after all. He’s hit rock bottom in “Expenses,” and though we know he’ll end up back on top (sort of) by the time Breaking Bad begins, it’s become obvious that the path there is going to be a profoundly ugly one. “Expenses” plays like a partner to “Chicanery” as an episode that captures exactly just how naturalistic the drama at the center of it is. It’s a show that’s pared down and precise — the pain doesn’t come from the near-operatic as it did in Breaking Bad, it comes from small, simple human foibles.

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better call saul off brand review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

In true Better Call Saul fashion, this week’s big revelation comes as a whimper, not as a bang. It’s a quiet moment that underlines one of the biggest truths of the show: more than anything else, it’s a tragedy. Unfortunately, it’s a quiet that’s slightly undermined by how loudly Breaking Bad rings throughout this episode, as the comings and goings of the cartel, while granted a touch of the delicacy that makes Better Call Saul so special, pander a little too obviously after the tour de force of last week’s episode.

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chicanery review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

“Chicanery” showcases everything that’s best about Better Call Saul. Last week’s episode was a thrill as it delved into the gangland politics that will ultimately set up Breaking Bad, but the main character of this show is still Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). This week focuses exclusively on the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with Chuck (Michael McKean) over the course of essentially only three scenes. While we passed the point of no return a couple of weeks ago, the break still isn’t a clean one. It’s the tearing of flesh from bone, and it makes for a devastating hour of television.

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sabrosito review 4

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The majority of concerns voiced about Better Call Saul have been about the show’s dual nature. Strictly speaking, the show’s a two-hander, with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) going down one path and Mike (Jonathan Banks) going down another. They’re roughly parallel, yes, insomuch as they intersect and will keep intersecting until the events of Breaking Bad come to a head, but there’s still a limit, especially as Mike’s half of the show becomes Gus Fring’s. The mythology there is different; it’s grander, whereas the struggle playing out between the McGill brothers is something a little more tangible. The show’s managed to keep its balance so far, let’s hope it stays that way.  Read More »

better call saul sunk costs review 3

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The title of this week’s Better Call Saul, “Sunk Costs,” refers to a cost that’s been paid and can’t be recovered, i.e. it refers to irreparable damage. A lot has happened over the course of the last two seasons, but the ground lost has always seemed like it could be regained. But something’s snapped, now. We’ve past the point of no return on the path from Jimmy to Saul, and the pall it casts over the show is palpable, not to mention painful.

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better call saul review witness

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

For two seasons now, Better Call Saul has been remarkable in how unafraid it’s been of quiet (particularly when it comes to setting up long sequences leading to a pay-off), and this week’s episode — directed, like the season premiere, by Vince Gilligan himself — opens with a long stretch of it. You notice, too, when there’s no music backing the dialogue, and the episode ultimately ends with silence. It’s a gut punch, an aural way of expressing just how completely the rug’s been pulled out from underneath the characters. It’s hard to crown a winner this week, as the chickens have come home to roost startlingly early, but here we go.

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better call saul season premiere review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

In the world of Better Call Saul, happiness tends to come with strings attached, if not completely hand-in-hand with misfortune. The third season’s premiere proves no exception to the rule, as little fragments of joy are outweighed by the consequences of what led to them. As the chickens start coming home to roost, it’s Mike (Jonathan Banks) who fares best, if only because his problems are a little more easily compartmentalized than the McGill family drama.

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Preacher Season 2 Promo

Preacher is coming back in just a few months to remind you just how weird and dynamic a show it is, and the first preview for the second season of the AMC series features our main trio embarking on a wild and violent road trip.

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Better Call Saul - Los Pollos Hermanos Pop-Up

In just two weeks, the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul will return to AMC for its highly anticipated third season. To celebrate the show’s return, AMC has teamed up with Citizens Parking for a little viral event that will bring a real Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up fast food restaurant to Los Angeles and New York City next month.

Find out where and when you can check out the Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up restaurant below. Read More »

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Mad Men Heinz Ad

Throughout Mad Men‘s seven tremendous years on AMC, Don Draper and his associates pitched more than a few bright ideas to potential clients. Some of them were quite good, including the campaign Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce pitched to the Heinz company. In the episode, season six’s “To Have and to Hold,” Don said three simple words: “Pass the Heinz.” Years after passing on the slogan, Heinz is officially using it.

Below, check out Don Draper’s Mad Men Heinz ads. Read More »