Better Call Saul - Now on Netflix

By James Pickard - Tue 10th Feb 2015 Features

TV’s sharpest, shiftiest criminal lawyer has returned; Better Call Saul is a prequel series to the monstrously successful Breaking Bad, and it’s exclusive to Netflix.

"He said he was gonna break my legs, and don't tell me he didn't mean it because he gave me the dead mackerel eyes."

Breaking Bad managed to achieve the trickiest of feats in television: a conclusion that was received well by both critics and audiences, and a resolution that was ultimately satisfactory, sensible and smart.  Fans of Dexter, Lost and The Sopranos will be familiar with the other end of the spectrum, seeing a show that gripped and captivated them, only to serve up a metaphorical slap that would sting harder and longer than a real one.

Creator Vince Gilligan was acutely aware that any spinoff, sequel or prequel to his hugely successful show could be a disaster, because Breaking Bad ended and it ended well.  Going back to that universe could be easily viewed as lazy, greedy or daft, and it could tarnish the legacy of a truly absorbing, exciting slice of US TV. There would have to be a really good reason to gamble, but the loveable lawyer Saul Goodman is exactly that.

"If you're committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it."

For those who are yet to watch the excellent original series, it centres around a science teacher who starts peddling crystal meth in order to provide a nest egg for his family, as he has terminal cancer.  He is aided by a junkie he sees fall off a roof, and Saul Goodman becomes their lawyer.  That is the basics.

To keep this spoiler-free, all that can be said is the new series is set before the events of Breaking Bad, and sees Saul begin his career as the kind of lawyer that will do whatever he can to keep things out of court.

"Don't drink and drive. But if you do, call me."

Named after his slogan, featured in his many low budget ads, Better Call Saul is being shown weekly on Netflix.  Bob Odenkirk reprises his role, as does Jonathan Banks, who played private investigator/hit man Mike Ehrmantraut.

Better Call Saul is set seven years before Breaking Bad, so there’s plenty of room for a long run of the show, and if the early reviews are anything to go by, that’s exactly what we’ll get.