Looking for your next hit TV show? Better call Saul.

Rami Chaudhry, A&E Editor

Since the conclusion of Breaking Bad, fans of the immensely popular series have been salivating for more.  A spin-off series focusing on supporting character Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) was rumored for quite some time before Breaking Bad made its farewell.  Fans fell in love with the idea of a show about Saul, for his presence in Bad was refreshing and humorous.  Their wish was finally granted when AMC officially green-lit the new spin-off series Better Call Saul in July 2013.
For those who are unfamiliar with the character of Saul Goodman, he was an attorney introduced in the second season of Breaking Bad in order to clean up the mess that accompanied the underground production of methamphetamine.  The character provided the show with something crucial: humor.  With his witty one-liners and colorful metaphors scattered throughout the show, Odenkirk brought humanity to a seemingly inhuman show. 
Better Call Saul intends to flesh out Saul Goodman before his life was affected by the events of Breaking Bad.  Before he was a sleazy criminal lawyer (with a name that coincidentally sounds like “S’all Good Man!”), Saul went by a different name: James M. McGill.  In an official synopsis released by AMC for the upcoming show, McGill is described as a man who “searched for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustled to make ends meet.”
Since Odenkirk is a comedian, the show will not only contain elements of drama but also of comedy.  Therefore, it would be incorrect to label the show as a direct drama prequel to Breaking Bad. In fact, producer Peter Gould has released statements indicating that the show-runners do not want Saul to rely on the successes of Bad. 
“We’re trying to make something that stands on its own, that has entertainment value, not just as seeing a series of old favorites or ‘remember when’—not the series equivalent of a clip show,” said Gould. 
Though the show runners want the show to be self-reliant, the viewership will undoubtedly be dependent on Breaking Bad fans.  And, since the two shows share the same writer and producer, similarities will be present.
A storytelling element that worked so well in Breaking Bad was the use of flexible timelines.  Although this territory has been explored numerous times on television, Bad’s use was extremely effective in setting important scenes and developing characters. Better Call Saul will be set in the year 2002, and will utilize a similar timeline. 
“One of the great things about having a timeline which is flexible is that perhaps some of it takes place before Breaking Bad, during Breaking Bad, and after Breaking Bad,”  said Gould.
A timeline centered around 2002 that can travel through time means that the character, Saul, will be examined extensively. The show will also serve as an interesting period piece. 
“I hesitate to say it, but it is indeed a period piece,” Gould said. “I can’t believe it myself – it’s like it was yesterday, but it was 12 years ago.”
Initially set to premiere in November of this year, the show was pushed back to Feb. 2015.  Gilligan and Gould blame themselves for the delay, admitting their slow pace in writing and filming the episodes. 
“We could have made the deadline, but I am slow as mud,” said Gould.  “I still feel I’m very slow for television.” 
Breaking Bad was known for having a slow writing and filming pace.  This extra time allowed the writers, producers and directors to carefully execute the show without the rush of network television.  Since they are taking the same approach with Better Call Saul, fans can expect the same, if not better quality.
In order to tide Breaking Bad fans over for the next couple of months, AMC premiered a Better Call Saul music video on Oct. 5.  The video, featuring country singer and guitarist Junior Brown, and written by Gilligan and Gould, has received favorable reviews from fans and critics.  The video not only provided fans with a catchy song, but also featured scenes hinting at a few plot points from the highly anticipated show. 
Looking for a new show?  Are you a fan of Breaking Bad?  Better call Saul!