by Nathan Bass

After countless awards, nominations and praise, cable network AMC’s prized show Breaking Bad has ended. Kind of. With five seasons of death, money and amphetamines behind them, the network looks toward greener pastures, with a spin-off titled Better Call Saul.

The show stars Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, a shady lawyer who is in business with even shadier people. Goodman was easily one of Breaking Bad’s most beloved characters providing much needed comedic relief in a very intense and dramatic show. While the show only aired its fifth episode on the 2nd, the pace of the show has been set. Slow and meticulous. Any fan of the original show admired Director Vince Gilligan’s ability to create intense, slow scenes that captivated audiences.

Better Call Saul is more painful and self-deprecating. The first episodes show the slow creation of the infamous lawyer so many love. While it is necessary to show the buildup of Goodman’s business, the pace could have been made faster. The show’s pilot did, however, do a great job of showing the meticulous creation of Goodman’s business.

Despite the pace, I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of the show. It has the same clever double-entendres and one-liners we have grown to love. I am incredibly excited to see how the show picks up, and how it can compare to the cult classic that came before it.

That being said, new fans can enjoy Better Call Saul without having of seen Breaking Bad. The spin-off’s story and plot are sustainable without the ‘Bad’ backstory. In the first two episodes we meet Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), an early Breaking Bad antagonist. But the show says nothing of the infamous Walter White (Bryan Cranston), whom many thought the show could not survive without. As the show moves along we will definitely continue to see cameos from the characters that fans have grown to love and hate from the original series.

The show will surely continue to blaze its own path and reach limits higher than most spin-offs achieve. Such as its predecessor achieved heights far above most network shows ever will get.

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