When anyone decides to make a prequel for a popular television series or film, the decision is always met with some apprehension or speculation from fans. Often prequels fail miserably, think Star Wars episodes 1-3 (need I say more?).
The problem with prequels and the same can be said for sequels, is that they are often watered-down versions of the original writing, often lackluster. Prequels are often blatant attempts by the writers and directors to cash in on lucrative storylines and grasping at the remainder of the audiences’ attention.
A prequel (or sequel for that matter) has never been done so well then by Vince Gilligan, the mastermind behind Breaking Bad and its sequel, El Camino. The prequel, Better Call Saul, was first released in 2015 and is now running it’s 5th and second last season on Netflix.
For those who have yet to watch any Better Call Saul, the story takes place a few years prior to the beginning of Breaking Bad, in the early 2000s. We see the story of Jimmy McGill before and during his transition to becoming the infamous Saul Goodman who later becomes Walter and Jesse’s, right-hand lawyer
The show details his relationships with colleague Kim Wexler, his brother Chuck and his run-ins with the Mexican Cartel as well as several characters that we have known and loved from Breaking Bad. Though it is a quieter story than that of Walt and Jesse’s, it is a perfect way of broadening the Breaking Bad universe without feeling like it’s a money-grab or simply a nostalgia trip for the fans.
Breaking Bad fans can continue to revel in the excellent writing, humor, acting and camera work that make the transition from Better Call Saul to Breaking Bad seamless despite them being filmed years apart.
As we have only one more season left to go, it is clear that the storylines are slowly but surely beginning to match up with those in Breaking Bad. The changes are already happening and we can see the story getting darker and darker in the lead up to the last season.
Though we know the ending of the story and the ultimate fates of many of the characters in the show, it still takes us on a journey that is unexpected but still makes sense. Sure we know that Saul makes it to Breaking Bad, but seeing his story arc is nonetheless exciting, tense and emotional at times. There are no nostalgic references made purely for fanfare and the acting as always is second to none.
Many fans, however, are questioning what will happen to some of the new characters, who never show up in Breaking Bad. What happens to Kim? How does the Gus, Nacho, and Lalo situation resolve itself? When does Saul get his Cadillac Deville?
Do you need to have watched Breaking Bad to understand Better Call Saul? Not really, but some of the more emotional scenes or character developments may not mean as much to you but the story is still great in and of itself. The sixth and final season is set to debut next year and as far as prequels go, this one is one of the best.
Image Credit: Netflix