32 Better Call Saul
A terrible idea accidentally executed in astonishing fashion. Breaking
Bad required no spinoff, especially not one built around a fun but one-dimensional character like Bob Odenkirk’s slick attorney Saul Goodman. Even Saul creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould struggled to find a direction for the prequel, assuming they would spend a little time on Saul’s true identity as sweet but mostly harmless grifter Jimmy McGill, then quickly move him into the familiar strip-mall office where he met Walter White. Instead, the creators and the audience fell in love with Jimmy — with a lot of help from Rhea Seehorn’s magnificent performance as his devoted partner, Kim Wexler — and suddenly no one was in any hurry to call Saul. The series also evolved into essentially two shows in one, each offering something to appeal to fans of Breaking Bad: The lawyer show with Jimmy and Kim delivered a Heisenberg-esque story of incremental moral descent, while the cartel show focused on Jonathan Banks’ unflappable fixer
Mike Ehrmantraut got to fill in a lot of blanks in the franchise’s history, and to provide the type of explosive action not present while, say, Jimmy was discovering he had a talent for elder law. By the end, Better
Call Saul eventually managed to match, and at times exceed, its parent series.