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Does Vince Gilligan think Better Call Saul is a Mistake?
The spin off series to our beloved Breaking Bad has started shooting in the form of Better Call Saul, which follows the sleazy but trusting lawyer Saul Goodman. It’s confirmed that production is finally under way with a picture from a skateboard park, which is supposedly for one of the first scenes of the series. So, it all seems to be going smoothly right? Well, show runner of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Vince Gilligan doesn’t seem in the mood to talk up expectations of the spin off.
“Honestly, I don’t know yet.” said Gilligan, who spoke at the round table for lead drama writers last week.
“If it’s After M*A*SH rather than Frasier, it won’t be for lack of hard work and wishful thinking and a lot of smart people doing their best,” Gilligan continued, “but you just don’t know until the world takes it.” Gilligan also remarked that production was a week behind schedule and that, perhaps by the end of this week, it would be two weeks behind.
“I am worried that…it may turn out that this was a mistake,” he said, while also going on to say that he had to force the negative thoughts out in order to continue with the creative process.
It might sound from this that we should be slightly worried about the forthcoming series. However, Gilligan is known to be very modest and at times self defeating about his work. His own hit show Breaking Bad is a classic example of his modesty, where he once stated, while the show was in its height of popularity, that he was surprised the show was still on air. Gilligan is clearly very humble but are there some other strings he is trying to pull here?
There is a real possibility that Gilligan is downplaying the show’s expectations so that it can stand a chance of surprising people and standing on its own two feet. You have to remember that when Breaking Bad first aired, it took its time in finding its way around the world and its audience. Breaking Bad had no hype surrounding it, allowing the show’s quality to create its own expectations; so maybe downplaying Better Call Saul is a very slick marketing strategy.
No actual marketing strategy for a trailer as yet, with only recently the first script being handed out to its cast. Luckily for us though someone has managed to snap a shot of its front page from set. As we do not have the picture here, I will explain one very important detail from it. The page had a PINK cover.
Now I know that really doesn’t sound exciting, but what if I told you that whenever Breaking Bad’s script had a pink cover then tragedy and death ensued, would that make it seem interesting?
Perhaps Gilligan, along with his old Breaking Bad writing team Peter Gould, Thomas Schnauz, and Gennifer Hutchison are going to kill everyone off quickly. However I highly doubt it. Gilligan might be going for something more ambitious than the first rumoured half hour comedy Better Call Saul was set to be. While still being 75% comedy and 25% drama, the show might run into darker territory like Breaking Bad did.
I doesn’t matter how well he does balance suspense, comedy, or drama, Gilligan may have already stumped himself. As I mentioned before in my other article – Better Call Saul is a prequel, where we follow Saul Goodman to his rise as “criminal” lawyer. That means we know where he is heading, leaving no real suspense to where the shows ending will take us.
Whatever happens, Gilligan will stay in the limelight to take any criticism as he could so easily have left the series to his co-creator Peter Gould to helm, but with Gillian writing and directing, he is shown to be not only modest but strong.
Better Call Saul will air on AMC and Netflix sometime late this year, with the show set to star Jonathan Banks (returning as Mike from Breaking Bad), Michael McKean as an attorney named Dr. Thurber, Rea Seehorn as another attorney named Beth, Patrick Fabian as a lawyer named Burt, and finally Michael Mando as Eddie, a Spanish speaking career criminal.
It’s quite a cast, and that alone will raise expectations, along with speculation that Walter White will return in some shape or form. That seems even more likely now Bryan Cranston who played Walter White keeps teasing that Walter is not dead and that you never saw a body bag or anything like that in the final episode of the series.
Whatever Better Call Saul turns out to be, Gilligan said it perfectly himself “it won’t be for a lack of effort.”
Let me know below whether you think Better Call Saul will be a success or not.