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Better Call Saul

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What it’s about:

This prequel series flashes back to six years before Saul Goodman became the scam artist attorney for chemist-turned-meth dealer Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in Breaking Bad.

Names you might know:

Bob Odenkirk reprises his fan-favorite Breaking Bad role, as does Jonathan Banks as fixer Mike Erhmantraut. Michael McKean plays his overbearing, neurotic brother, with Rhea Seehorn as his partner and lone ally.

Why it’s worth your time:

Deep into Season 5 of this darkly comedic character study is what Stephen King has called “one of the better 50 minutes of TV this quarantine year.”  That’s high praise from the man whose books have spawned nearly 100 film and TV adaptations.

Late to Saul’s game? Here’s what you need to know:

Here we see his origin story as Jimmy McGill, a small-time attorney working the angles to make a name for himself, that is before he decided to change his name.  Along with his fixer, Mike Erhmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and Albuquerque drug boss Gus Fring, the series peels back the bark to reveal what created these now-iconic characters.

In season five, Jimmy’s decision to re-brand himself as lawyer “Saul Goodman” sets off a shock-wave of events, rattling his lawyer-wife Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). Plagued with a creeping conscience, Mike begins to spiral.  Gus Fring’s covert war on the cartel becomes a life-or-death showdown with the ruthless Lalo Salamanca, leaving his double agent Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) fighting to survive.

Stick it out for the “Bagman” episode, which earned Stephen King’s praise for its “amazing trek through the desert.”

The takeaway:

Better Call Saul may play out against some bleak backdrops, but Bob Odenkirk will draw you in and keep you engrossed throughout this gripping saga—which pays off in two immersive series. Add this to your must-watch list for when you’re ready to go all-in and see why this prequel and its follow-up are perennial Emmy nominees.  From Ben Travers at IndieWire: “Yes, Better Call Saul is a double-edged sword of reward and loss, but it isn’t too sad to watch because you’re too invested to look away.”

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