Wednesday, December 16, 2015

KISS 'Psycho Circus'

We’re up to number three on my picks for the Best New Shows of 2015… And this one has begrudgingly been downgraded twice during the year.

It’s AMC’s ‘Better Call Saul’.

Yes. It’s a ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel. Yes. We get more Mike Ehrmantraut. There’s no Huell yet.

But we get origins!

We learn that Saul Goodman was once Jimmy McGill, a small-time scam artist who became a lawyer.

We learn that Jimmy is desperate to do the right thing. He wants to please his brother Chuck that suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. And he’s desperate to work at the Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill law firm as a lawyer along side his brother.

Just like the series from which this one spawned, ‘Better Call Saul’ is brimming with dark humor, superb writing, exceptional direction, and a cast filled with actors that complement all of the above.

Jimmy or Saul, is a more complex character than we previously thought based upon our perceptions of him as being an oily, hard to grasp eel of an attorney. He cares. He’s wants to find acceptance from his peers. But most of all he adapts. He’s quick on his feet and willing to stick it out to win.

The masses may want to know more about Mike, seen in this series as a parking lot attendant, but Jimmy/Saul is undergoing a chemical process of change that Walter White went through. Jimmy is at his best under pressure. In a short time, the pressure builds against Jimmy’s lump of coal situations and somehow he fast talks his way into shining bright clarity.

Pair Jimmy’s change with Mike’s backstory and you’ve got a diamond of a series.

Michael McKean portrays Jimmy’s brother Chuck and like most comedians, Bob Odenkirk included, their dramatic acting is exceptional. McKean manages to pull of the electromagnetic hypersensitivity without making it a comedic device.

‘Better Call Saul’ had high expectations and has so far met them all.

I’m having a difficult time waiting until February to see the second season. I’m jonesing to have another taste.

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