the leftovers season 3 trailer

This morning brought the cavalcade of nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be handed out in September. Westworld was out in front with a whopping 22 nominations for its freshman season while other debut shows like This Is Us, as well as continuing shows like Veep and Saturday Night Live, also landed a surprising number of nods. But there are only so many slots for nominees and plenty of shows were snubbed by the Television Academy. Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad news though as there were some pleasant (sometimes goofy) surprises as well.

Below, we run through the biggest 2017 Emmy snubs and surprises. Read More »

Better Call Saul Season 4

Better Call Saul, quite possibly the best show currently airing on television, has been renewed for a fourth season by AMC. This news comes shortly after a third season finale that summed up the show in a nutshell: it was hilarious, unnerving, inventively shot, loyal to Breaking Bad without leaning on it, and primed to give even a healthy viewer a panic attack.

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better call saul season finale review 2

(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 its season finale, “Lantern,” the slow burn of Better Call Saul becomes a conflagration. It’s a stunning, bleak episode, with each thread hammering home the problem that’s plagued the characters from the very beginning: It’s not business. It’s personal.
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better call saul fall review 2

(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?)

“Fall” is the sparsest episode of the season so far, in that our main characters occupy separate spaces as opposed to overlapping in any real capacity. It’s the first time we’ve seen the storylines so disparate, and it goes a long way towards emphasizing just how isolated they all are. Nearly three seasons through Better Call Saul, our main characters have driven themselves apart to a point that’s no longer easy to ignore, especially with how they’re laid out in this week’s episode.

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Better Call Saul Slip 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?)

Better Call Saul doesn’t miss a beat. There’s no such thing as a wasted moment, which has never been more evident as it is in “Slip,” the eighth episode of this season. It’s so titled because it marks the definitive return of Slippin’ Jimmy, as well as significant turns in the arcs of the rest of the cast as well. Over the past few episodes, we’ve seen characters pushed past their respective breaking points; now that all of the pieces are on the same side of the board, it’s time to properly watch the fall-out.

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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 »

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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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