Few TV shows are better than AMC's Better Call Saul.
But if you told that to someone in 2015, when the show debuted, they might look at you askance. Yes, the show was a spinoff from Breaking Bad, one of the most acclaimed TV shows ever made, but it was still a spinoff, a format with an oft-indistinguished legacy. It was so easy to see how this series could have gone wrong.
Instead, the show's writers, led by co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, have turned Better Call Saul into a sad funhouse mirror of Breaking Bad, a show about a man who desperately kept trying to do the right thing but couldn't escape all of the people who suspected he would just do the wrong thing instead — or, for that matter, his own weakness for ethical shortcuts.
Now four seasons in, Better Call Saul has traced the descent of would-be do-gooder Jimmy McGill into the sleazy, skeezy Saul Goodman in painstaking detail, but in a way that still feels distinct from Breaking Bad.
So this week, in the wake of the terrific fourth season finale, Gould, now the show's sole showrunner, joins Todd to talk about the early days of crafting the show, why comedic actors are so good at drama, and why Jimmy made the choices he did in the fourth season finale.
If you're not caught up, the first two-thirds of this podcast are spoiler-free — and we'll be sure to let you know before the spoilers kick in.
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