Saul res­ur­rects the dark side

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Bet­ter Call Saul,

Break­ing Bad Vince Gil­li­gan has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing one of the nicest guys in Hol­ly­wood — a well-de­served one, in my opin­ion, hav­ing in­ter­viewed him last year about Bet­ter Call Saul, which re­turns this week for its third sea­son.

One of the plea­sures he de­scribed in cre­at­ing this pre­quel to Break­ing Bad was the op­por­tu­nity to res­ur­rect char­ac­ters his team had killed off.

The first ex­am­ple was Tuco, played by Ray­mond Cruz; a se­cond was Jonathan Banks’s Mike Ehrmantraut. This sea­son fea­tures the re­turn of Gus Fring, the crime lord and chicken shop chief played by Gian­carlo Es­pos­ito. (For pub­lic­ity pur­poses, a pop-up store for the fic­tional Los Pol­los Her­manos ap­peared re­cently at South By South­west in Austin, Texas, and last week in Los An­ge­les; Syd­ney’s Potts Point gets a taste too this Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.)

But the show is all about the Saul Good­man char­ac­ter played by Bob Odenkirk, or more Bet­ter Call Saul ac­cu­rately the slow tran­si­tion of Jimmy McGill into Good­man (his adopted moniker, a play on “s’all good, man”), and his ul­ti­mate tran­si­tion post- Break­ing Bad into a char­ac­ter named Gene who works in a strip-mall Cinnabon shop.

“We set out to tell a story very dif­fer­ent to Break­ing Bad, and in­deed while the char­ac­ter of Jimmy McGill is cer­tainly dif­fer­ent to Wal­ter White, what we came to re­alise half­way through sea­son one is we are telling very much an evo­lu­tion­ary story — or de­vo­lu­tion­ary story — not dis­sim­i­lar in its struc­ture,” Gil­li­gan told me.

No one is ac­cus­ing Gil­li­gan and his writ­ing team of speed­ing things along. Though he re­cently said this sea­son would make con­sid­er­able progress to­wards the dark side. “Things get quite a bit darker in sea­son three, more Break­ing Bad- like.” stream­ing on Stan from Tues­day.

Bob Odenkirk as the dodgy lawyer in pre­quel

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