Today, we got our first look at AMC’s upcoming series Better Call Saul: a very, extremely, exceedingly brief teaser trailer (seriously, it’s 10 seconds long… less if you shave off AMC’s logo at the end) in which bus bench lawyer and hero of sorts, Saul Goodman, lays out his usual sleaze. And in it, there’s a brief ray of hope.
Breaking Bad, the show from which Better Call Saul is spinning off, ended on an extreme high note. Walter White’s last dozen or so episodes were a near perfect send-off for any television junkie’s standards… but the whole thing was bittersweet. While Walt’s story was over, at least series creator/former X-Files writer and producer Vince Gilligan was free to dream up his next landmark TV show. But instead of venturing out into uncharted territory, Gilligan is creating a Breaking Bad spin-off. We were prepared to say goodbye to Gilligan’s meth-riddled version of Albuquerque for good, but now we’ve been sucked right back in. A spin off is usually the worst idea one can have in the television industry, but perhaps a spin-off of one of this decade’s finest television series will be worth the trouble. If there’s one man whom we have faith in, It’s Gilligan.
If Better Call Saul is going to become a great television show in its own right, it needs its own identity. Breaking Bad is a great foundation upon which to build a new story , but whatever is built on top needs to be its own unique and individual piece of art. We don’t want to see Breaking Bad 2, or 2Breaking 2Bad (on second thought we kind of do want to see 2Breaking, 2Bad), but something with its own story to tell, something that justifies its own existence. Sure, a vocal and deluded set of fans will balk if Better Call Saul isn’t just a tweaked version of all the things we collectively loved from Breaking Bad, but those people would never be satisfied anyway. Let’s hope and pray Gilligan creates something gripping, funny, dramatic, insightful, and most importantly, something new to fall in love with for the first time.