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Thread: Better Call Saul

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    I'm watching it, and I binge-watched BB a while back, but I just don't think it's as great as everyone says it is....

    BTW, Gilligan's hometown is a dinky town here in VA where my son goes to college. He added some inferences to the town into the BB series....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Va Beach VH Fan View Post
    I'm watching it, and I binge-watched BB a while back, but I just don't think it's as great as everyone says it is....
    Patience my friend! The first 4 or 5 episodes of Breaking Bad were almost like Abbott & Costello before the gears really kicked in. It'll happen.
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    Not that there's anything wrong with Bud & Lou. Love those guys.

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    Glad they got around to saying what " grounded" meant...I was a tad confused.
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    The "Mike" episode a few weeks ago was fantastic. The last two weeks have been like watching a prequel to Matlock. Two episodes left. I say Jimmy's brother eats it in the finale.

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    Blow my magic flute!
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    Vince Gilligan - thank you.
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    Am avoiding it like the plague , I wanna watch it in a binge. I hated having to wait week to week in the last season of BB
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    Great show. Vince Gilligan is a genius!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLR Bridge View Post
    The "Mike" episode a few weeks ago was fantastic. The last two weeks have been like watching a prequel to Matlock. Two episodes left. I say Jimmy's brother eats it in the finale.
    Absolutely one of the grittiest, best episodes I've seen of anything...
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    ssshhh

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    Dumpster scene in episode 8 was very funny.

    When he fell over that was real and he hurt himself...
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandeleur View Post
    ssshhh
    Just avoid the thread until you get up to date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLR Bridge View Post
    The "Mike" episode a few weeks ago was fantastic. The last two weeks have been like watching a prequel to Matlock. Two episodes left. I say Jimmy's brother eats it in the finale.
    I would be surprised if it happened that early but it has to happen at some point...

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    Mark my words the scene where they got Kim to print out the legal cases from her office will come back to bite Jimmy in the ass horribly...

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    http://www.forbes.com/sites/allenstj...ssing-20-bill/

    'Better Call Saul' Writer Tom Schnauz On Mike's Code, The Brothers McGill & Nacho's Missing $20 Bill

    Tom Schnauz is a sick puppy. But don’t believe me, just follow him on Twitter

    The Better Call Saul producer is also one of the most creative minds in television. He’s the guy who gave Vince Gilligan the idea for Breaking Bad (see the link below), wrote and directed one of that show’s most iconic episodes, “Say My Name.” And as Writer/Director/Producer on Better Call Saul, he’s one of the forces behind that show’s somewhat surprising success. (For those of you who think that a spinoff of an iconic series is a slam dunk, I’ll say one word: AfterMASH.) Schnauz wrote Episode 103, and supplied the season’s biggest gut punch by writing and directing Episode 109.

    I talked to Schnauz over the weekend about his most recent episode, the unexpected arc of many of the characters, and some of his favorite moments that didn’t quite make it to the screen.

    I really enjoyed Episode 109, great job.

    We had a screening [Friday] night for the Academy and I was really pleased with the audience reaction. It played really well. We got laughs in the places where I hoped they would laugh, and people were surprised by the turn with Chuck.

    That was a big reveal.

    Going into it I was worried that we were broadcasting it by Chuck’s reaction when Jimmy passes the bar, and even going out to the mailbox. If people saw it coming, that’s okay, but if they were surprised, that’s better. It works either way.

    It ends with that amazing scene between Chuck and Jimmy, but you had to figure out how to get there.

    It goes back to my love of Columbo. How is Columbo—or in this case Jimmy—going to figure it out? He locks in on the cell phone. Jimmy always turns it off. But it nags at him and finally he figures it out.



    Making the call was a huge thing for Chuck on a whole variety of levels. At what point do you think he make that decision?

    To me, I don’t think he even thought about doing this until Jimmy said the thing about getting an office next to Chuck’s. Then it was “Wait a minute? He thinks he’s going to be my equal? We were going to work the case together, but it wasn’t going to be like this.” Chuck was trying to control the situation.

    Chuck didn’t think that Jimmy would find out.

    I think he genuinely thought that Jimmy was going to take the deal. In episode one Jimmy says, “It’s all about the money.” Chuck assumed he was going to come to the conclusion that it’s easy money.

    That final scene between Chuck and Jimmy was amazing.

    One of my favorite parts of this season was writing the brothers’ confrontation. The direction I gave Bob was that he had a witness on the stand and this was the “You can’t handle the truth” moment where you need to get him talking

    Chuck is not going to say anything, but finally he cracks and reveals the truth. What he believes is that Slippin’ Jimmy will always be Slippin’ Jimmy. Personally, I don’t think that’s true. I think Chuck’s actions turn Jimmy into Saul Goodman.

    When Chuck is saying “You’re a chimp with a machine gun” the audience knows what the future holds and half of them might be saying Chuck is right. And hopefully the other half says that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and the things you’re doing are driving him to that. This was my favorite thing to write in the whole season, so hopefully it works on a variety of levels.

    In one of the podcasts, Peter Gould says he loves those scenes where you can see both sides of the argument, you can make a case for either of them being right.

    This goes back to the X-Files days where you want Mulder to have a strong argument, and you want Scully to have a strong argument, and either of them could potentially be right. With Jimmy and Chuck they each have an argument that makes sense.

    I thought it was interesting that Chuck, who’s normally very controlled in what he says, just unloads, saying all these hurtful things, and Jimmy, who tosses around insults very casually, really doesn’t retaliate. He just says “You let me down.”


    My feeling is that Jimmy comes in knowing what the answer is. The things that Chuck said that were even more devastating, about him not being a real lawyer.

    At the end, Jimmy couldn’t fight back. He was just so devastated. He spent so many hours stealing hours stealing ice from hotels and shopping for him, and dealing with this thing that Chuck is dealing with, enabling him. And then Chuck says that.

    Bob Odenkirk has really been a revelation this season.

    He absolutely knocks it out of the park. I’m so proud of him. Not that he wasn’t great on Breaking Bad, but the character never had those places to go to, and he’s risen to the challenge over and over. I can’t say enough great things about what he’s done as an actor and as a set leader.

    Michael McKean too.

    Bob and Michael were so good in that scene. They made it so easy. They really did their homework. I got to the set and say Put the camera here.
    They just knew exactly what to do.

    When did the writers decide that Chuck was going to turn on Jimmy this way?

    The whole twist of Chuck took us by surprise. We didn’t start the season knowing that Chuck was going to betray Jimmy like this. Our initial ideas were more simplistic, that Chuck represented “good” and Jimmy screwed up. And everything Jimmy did something underhanded or dishonest it had an effect on Chuck.

    As we started breaking the season that felt, for lack of a better word, simplistic.

    Once we saw Michael McKean as Chuck that informed the story. There was more of an arrogance to the character, a sense of pride, and just because of who Bob is, he’s mischievous and fun and likeable, so it dawned on us that there’s a jealousy Chuck had. His little brother spent his life slacking off, running cons, and getting in trouble. But people loved him. People don’t like Chuck so much because he’s all business. And he’s very angry about that.

    Great scenes with Mike. Nice to see Mike out of the booth.

    I was personally worried, and I was pitching more than anybody to get him out of the parking booth as soon as possible. But to the credit of showrunners Peter [Gould] and Vince [Gilligan], it turned out for the best, to tease him out of the booth, the slower the better. But I was glad we did it this season.

    Great scene in the parking garage.



    I think it was Vince who argued quite strongly that Mike not carry a gun for that first job. I didn’t quite understand it at first, but it makes sense now. He’s not going to take jobs right now that endanger his life and his new relationship with his granddaughter.


    Once we decided that Mike didn’t have a gun, we worked out that it was because of him doing his homework and realizing it might be more of a problem for him to have a gun. And that led to the scene with this big mouth calling him out. That was so much fun to write and direct. Steven Ogg, played the character that we just called Sobchak from The Big Lebowski. With the gloves and the camouflage pants, he talks bigger than he actually is.

    Talk about the mechanics of making that scene.

    I wrote it in the script not knowing if we could pull this off, but it wasn’t too difficult. Al Goto is our great stunt coordinator and he worked with Jonathan Banks. Steven Ogg held the gun loosely and Jonathan snapped it out by hitting him on the wrist and grabbing the barrel. The guy catching the bullet from the chamber was our stunt double, and the whole thing was put together with some very clever editing from Skip MacDonald and Curtis Thurber.

    So was it an accident that the cash was $20 short or was Nacho testing Price and Mike?

    It can go either way, but I thought it was a simple mistake.
    Nacho’s a really interesting character, much more nuanced than, say, Tuco.

    It’s nice to have Mike and Nacho sizing each other up. They were great together.
    Tuco is a dangerous loose cannon. But Nacho is trying to create something for himself but he’s got to do it quietly or Tuco will kill him. When we started the season we thought Nacho was going to be in every episode, but we realized we needed to take Jimmy on a slower path and Nacho weaving into Jimmy’s world was much slower than we could have guessed.


    Love the car that Pryce is driving, the minivan with the woodgrain paneling.

    I can’t remember if that was scripted or if it was Dennis Milliken our Transportation Coordinator, who comes up with those great cars.

    Mark Proksch, who played Pryce, is a friend of Bob Odenkirk’s although we didn’t know it at the time. He has this great video under the name K Strauss where he goes on these morning talk shows pretending to be a yo yo expert but in reality he knows nothing about the yo yo. All the tricks are disasters. It’s hilarious.



    That “You’re a criminal now” speech was a strong way to wrap that up.


    We didn’t want to just do a series of Mike scenes. When we had the scenes on the board, we asked “Why are we doing this?” and we came up with the scene where Price is staring at his money and Mike calls him a criminal and he says
    “I’m not a bad guy” And Mike says “That’s not the same thing.”

    And then he explains what the show means to me.

    Which is?

    What rules are you willing to live by?
    Slippin’ Jimmy was a guy who lives by a specific set of rules. I’m trying not to say anything that bleeds into Episode 10 because a lot more comes out before then about who Jimmy was in the past.
    For Mike, anyway, you make a deal. You keep your word. He’s a by-the-book guy.
    That doesn’t mean you’re not willing to do some horrible things. But you don’t live in a chaotic way. You live by a code so it works out for everybody.

    Or it doesn’t

    In the future Walt becomes a person you can’t deal with in that way. Mike says, “You’re the tick tick ticking time bomb and I don’t want to be around when the boom goes off.” Unfortunately, he is. Mike tries to live by one code and work with people who live by that code.

    So how is the finished product different than your expectations?

    I don’t think we knew what we were getting into when Better Call Saul started.
    I don’t think any of us expected the dark drama in 106 or the confrontation between the brothers in 109 when we began. It’s fun to seen an underdog struggle. I don’t think any of us realized we were going to like Jimmy as much as we do, or that he was going to stay Jimmy as long as he has.


    I kept calling Jimmy Saul for a while but I have to say that Bob really developed a distinct character for Jimmy.

    We had that same problem. I think I posted my board for Episode 3 on Twitter, and he was Saul on the index cards. Around episode 4 it’s was Jimmy and Saul, and from Episode 5 on it was Jimmy. It took the writers a while to stop calling him Saul.

    The ratings have been very strong.
    I’m surprised at how many people I meet that didn’t watch Breaking Bad and are watching Saul. That just floors me. I thought we’d only get some percentage of Breaking Bad fans. But we’re getting people who didn’t get into Breaking Bad because they thought “drugs, cancer” that’s too dark, but the lawyer show we can handle. It amazes me, but I’m happy about it and I hope they’ll eventually come around to Breaking Bad.

    What’s your favorite small thing you’ve been able to squeeze into an episode.

    For me it was the speech that Pryce gives when he gets out of the minivan—“I don’t drink coffee, but…” I heard Vince watching the director’s cut from the other room and then there was laughter. There’s always such a relief to make Vince laugh.

    Anything else?

    There’s a whole teaser that featured a nine-year old Jimmy McGill, that I shot.
    That’s something to look forward to. It killed me to lose it for this episode because I felt that it bookended the episode in a way that made me really happy but we just had to bite the bullet. We needed to lose time and instead of a death by 1,000 cuts let’s lift out this whole five minute sequence. I’m very proud of the scene and it’ll either end up on a DVD or cross my fingers, it’ll end up in a future episode.

    The Wire did some flashback videos including one with a nine-year old with Prop Joe in grammar school

    That’s cool. I never saw those. And there’s another scene in the courtroom with Schweikert and the judge where he runs some lines from One Flew Over the Cukoo’s nest, and that’ll definitely be on the DVD extras.

    That’s what Jimmy’s doing now after his shift at Cinnabon, he comes home, pours himself some cheap scotch and watches old movies on AMC: American Movie Classics

    Last question: So how did you guys come up with the name Chuck?

    Peter and Vince presented the writers with the name Chuck very early on. I don’t know why they picked the name Chuck.

    One of my commenters suggested that Chuck McGill is a reference to Chuck Cunningham, the lost older brother from Happy Days.

    No, they would have told us that. I know Vince watched Happy Days as a kid, but that never came up in the room. But that’s hilarious.

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    . . . . .

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    The Mike scene is just so fantastic.

    This show is, figuratively speaking, at it's VH I stage. It's sure to be Fair Warning by season 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fryingdutchman View Post
    I'm seriously impressed so far. Vince Gilligan has obviously done the heavy lifting to make this work. It has the familiar "Breaking Bad" feeling, but with a whole new story.

    It truly is amazing, when you think about it, that a show of this quality could be crafted in the same universe as "Breaking Bad" without being considered hokey and contrived. "Breaking Bad" was such a landmark show....it must have been scary as shit to pursue "Better Call Saul."

    This could have ended up as "After M*A*S*H"....but thank God it's not.
    The only other sequel show I can think of that kept up standards was Frazier.

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    I haven't seen the season finale yet...it's lingering in my DVR. But the "Pimento" episode was amazing. Loved Steven Ogg's appearance, and how Mike handled him.

    Nice twist with Chuck sticking it to Jimmy and basically cock-blocking him for any chance of working at HHM. I never thought I would have any empathy for that phony prick Hamlin, but it's the mark of a great show (and great writers) that can turn your feelings for a character on a dime. It's obvious now that Chuck put Hamlin in a rough spot...forcing him to hold Jimmy at bay without telling him why.

    I can't believe the season's over already. Hungering for more...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    The only other sequel show I can think of that kept up standards was Frazier.
    Frasier was great, but it probably went on two seasons too long.

    It was always fun trying to identify the celebrity callers. Have fun with this...especially at 0:23....


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    No no no , don't dis the frasier. There is a line dude. There is a line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    The only other sequel show I can think of that kept up standards was Frazier.
    I've never seen Frasier, nor do I have any idea what show it was a spin off from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fryingdutchman View Post
    I haven't seen the season finale yet...it's lingering in my DVR... I can't believe the season's over already. Hungering for more...
    Without blowing anything, I thought Pimento made for a better closer. Definitely looking forward to more.

    I read recently that Bob Odenkirk is going to be doing another Mr. Show-type sketch comedy show with David Cross before next Saul season. I hope he doesn't spread himself too thin. I like that he's reinvented himself with some serious acting chops over the past 6 or so years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    I've never seen Frasier, nor do I have any idea what show it was a spin off from.
    "Frasier" was a spin-off from "Cheers"...perhaps one of the best TV comedies of all time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    I've never seen Frasier, nor do I have any idea what show it was a spin off from.
    Cheers. Fraiser was the bar stool polishing shrink.

    (what Dutch said)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    I've never seen Frasier, nor do I have any idea what show it was a spin off from.
    Von you may never understand how special this is but I knew you wouldn't but still love you

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    Quote Originally Posted by fryingdutchman View Post
    "Frasier" was a spin-off from "Cheers"...perhaps one of the best TV comedies of all time.
    Never watched Cheers.

    I'm a little behind. I recently started watching Seinfeld for the first time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    Never watched Cheers.

    I'm a little behind. I recently started watching Seinfeld for the first time.
    Now there's a good show. Just not towards the end of it's run when writer Larry David left. Speaking of which, Curb Your Enthusiasm was also a great show.

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    Very enjoyable...looking forward to season 2...Chucks a dick..

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    He's a dick but in his defence remember that he found out about Jimmy doing the billboard scam and keeping it secret from him so some justification that he hadn't changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    The only other sequel show I can think of that kept up standards was Frazier.
    Fuck I spend so much time typing in American here substituting 'z's for 's' I managed to fuck that up even though I watched all 100 plus episodes back in the day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    Fuck I spend so much time typing in American here substituting 'z's for 's' I managed to fuck that up even though I watched all 100 plus episodes back in the day...
    Psst...you ain't typing in American. Half the time Dr. Seuss couldn't even understand you!

    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DONNIEP View Post
    Psst...you ain't typing in American. Half the time Dr. Seuss couldn't even understand you!

    You should try talking on the phone to that fucker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    Fuck I spend so much time typing in American here substituting 'z's for 's' I managed to fuck that up even though I watched all 100 plus episodes back in the day...
    typing in American.

    By the way, the "American" spelling of defence is defense.

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    That one is difficult because it is very American and just looks wrong to me.

    Defence and defense are different spellings of the same word. Defense is preferred in American English, and defence is preferred in all other main varieties of English, including Australian, British, and Canadian English. The spelling distinction extends to most derivatives of defence/defense, including defences/defenses and defenceless/defenseless. But the words defensive, defensiveness, and defensively have an s everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    Never watched Cheers.

    I'm a little behind. I recently started watching Seinfeld for the first time.
    Keep an eye out for Bob Odenkirk. I think he plays one of Elane's boyfriends.

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    Easter eggs. Don't read if you haven't finished the season.

    http://www.pajiba.com/tv_reviews/wha...lls-future.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    You should try talking on the phone to that fucker.
    Ive heard the same about Flamma...you need a canadian dictionary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    He's a dick but in his defence remember that he found out about Jimmy doing the billboard scam and keeping it secret from him so some justification that he hadn't changed.
    True,,but Jimmy also waited on the guy hand and foot..brought him everything..Chucks a dick..

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