Confirming that there is still something good left in the universe, AMC has officially given the green light to a new series based around the Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) character from their insanely popular crime drama “Breaking Bad.” The one-hour comedic drama will serve as a prequel to the events of “Breaking Bad,” and has been given the tentative title “Better Call Saul.” “Breaking Bad” mastermind Vince Gilligan and writer/producer Peter Gould, who created the character for a season 2 episode of the show, will serve as show-runners. While the thoughts of failed spin-offs are running through our head (“After M*A*S*H” anyone?), we can’t help but get excited about the prospect of this series.
Gilligan had been talking about the prospect of a Saul-centric spin-off for a while, but AMC dragged their heels on the project. When Sony TV, who produces the show, started talking to other outlets (including, of course, Netflix), AMC finally stepped up to the plate. Based on the report, the show will go to series pending certain contractual negotiations with Gilligan, Gould, and Odenkirk, whose sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman has become one of the most enduringly popular characters on the show.
The character was first introduced in Breaking Bad’s second season (in an episode also entitled “Better Call Saul”), and has become an intrinsic part of the series, woven into the criminal fabric of the show. His interplay with meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is always terrific, like when he showed up at White’s “legitimate” car wash business on this week’s episode, and he is frequently responsible for some of the show’s very best zingers and WTF-worthy moments (like when he was getting up from a massage and had to zip up his fly).
While not a straight comedy, the new series is supposed to be lighter than “Breaking Bad” by a considerable margin, although sometimes bottomless inkwells on starless nights are lighter than “Breaking Bad.” We just hope this isn’t another “Joey.”
The last episode of “Breaking Bad” (ever, sniffle) airs on September 29th. At least this news takes the sting off a little bit.