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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

/Response: Your Favorite TV Episodes of All Time

the wire middle ground

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about their favorite TV episodes of all time. We then opened the floor to our readers: what is your favorite episode of television? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question: what is your favorite movie gunfight? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

The 10 Best Television Spin-Offs of All Time

better call saul season 3

The successful television spin-off has a high wire act to maintain. It has to differentiate itself from its source material while maintaining enough of what fans love so they’ll come along with it in the first place. But for every Better Call Saul there are a dozen Joeys – spin-offs that fail right from the start. With the former returning for its third season, let’s take a look at ten spin-offs that were just as good (if not better) than their parent series.

Read More »

Gus Fring better call saul

In its second season, Better Call Saul became as good as Breaking Bad, the series it spun off from in the first place. It achieved this by finding a unique voice to call its own, refusing to feel just like its predecessor. In place of Walter White, a monster hiding in an everyman’s clothing, the series put us on the side of Jimmy McGill, the kind-hearted schemer whose every step toward “Saul Goodman” was like a jab to the soul. It’s a remarkable show, even if its very different tone hasn’t won over every member of Breaking Bad fandom.

So it’s not surprising that much of the marketing for Better Call Saul season 3 focuses on the character of Gustavo Fring, the popular Breaking Bad villain. What better way to convince those who fell off this (great) show (you fools!) to come back than to lean hard on something familiar? That brings us to this new promo, a training video for Los Pollos Hermanos where Fring teaches you, his future fast food employee, about communication.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

better call saul season 3

Bob Odenkirk‘s Jimmy McGill is set to return on April 10, 2017 with Better Call Saul season 3. The Breaking Bad spin-off/prequel is one of my favorite series currently running on television, so of course I was interested when the first season 3 reviews started to hit the web. What is the early buzz?
Read More »