AMC is as tight with new information about Better Call Saul as is it is with Mad Men: Stuff just does not leak out unless the network or the show’s producers want it to. That’s the main reason why we haven’t gotten a proper trailer for the show until three weeks before the premiere: so far, there’ve been a couple of short teasers, and one half-length scene, but nothing more than that. Now that there’s a real, honest-to-God trailer for us to watch, we can start putting the pieces of the show together. First, the footage:
Fun! Doesn’t that look like fun? Doesn’t it look like it would be fun to be Saul Goodman for a day? Yeah–the Breaking Bad folks have definitely stayed full-dark for this one, and stripped away all the chatty, witty, know-it-all-itude of Saul in the process. He’s not even Saul yet, for goodness’ sake.
So, what do we know about BCS? Here’s the lowdown.
What is Better Call Saul about?
It’s a prequel to Breaking Bad and follows Bob Odenkirk’s breakout character, the scurvy shyster lawyer Saul Goodman. Except the show is set in 2002, or six full years before the events of Breaking Bad. So Saul isn’t even Saul yet. He’s Jimmy McGill, a small-town, small-time scurvy shyster lawyer who can’t catch a break if his life depends on it. (And, given the tone of the trailer, it might.) Jimmy’s brother Chuck is a high-powered lawyer at a big-time Albuquerque firm, but, for undisclosed health reasons, he hasn’t been at work for awhile, and likely won’t be coming back. Jimmy wants the firm to buy Chuck out of his partnership, so he (Jimmy) can borrow money from Chuck to get out of his own problems. And comedy will ensue! (Plus, murders.)
There will also be some flash-forwards, so the show can depict more fully some of the off-screen, Saul-based events of Breaking Bad.
Will any of the Breaking Bad cast members be on the show?
A few of them! Most notable is the inclusion of Johnathan Banks, who’s coming back as Mike Ehrmantrout. Mike will be a series regular, which means we can expect more gruff Mike-isms and hilarious deadpan expressions. Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn have talked with the producers about coming on for guest spots; nothing has panned out yet, but both have left their respective trailer doors open. And devotees will recall that Saul had ties to Giancarlo Esposito’s Gus Fring from the start of his character’s time on BB. Don’t be surprised to see Fring make an appearance or two at some point.
What about Walter White? Pretty pretty please?
Not so much, no. In Bryan Cranston’s own words:
I don’t know in what context it would work in, because we’re in different phases. The characters didn’t meet until the second season of Breaking Bad, when Walter needed to meet him. I suppose they could have a serendipitous brush of each other down the street or in the market, but I don’t know what good that’ll do—it’s just a little cookie.
Show creator Vince Gilligan hasn’t closed that door all the way either, though. As he put it over the summer: “If it makes sense, we’ll do it.”
Who else is starring in the show, then?
Oh, a whole bevy of talented newcomers–a veritable slew. Saturday Night Live alum Michael McKean will play Chuck. Rhea Seehorn from Franklin & Bash portrays Kim Wexler, and handsome Pittsburgher Patrick Fabian has been cast as Howard Hamlin, a partner in Chuck’s firm. Julie Ann Emery (from Fargo and Hitch) is also in the cast, as is noted Irish actress Kerry Condon, Orphan Black‘s Michael Mando, and oodles of others.
What’s that “Better Call Saul” song I keep hearing about? Is that the theme song, or something? What’s the deal there?
Noted country music artist Junior Brown recorded a song called “Better Call Saul” to help promote the show. Since its October release, it’s been tearing up the charts. You can check it out here.
When will Better Call Saul air?
The show debuts on Sunday, February 8th, at 10 PM. That’s one week after the Super Bowl, in case you were worried. (It’s also immediately after The Walking Dead‘s midseason premiere.) And it’s a two-night debut: Monday the 9th, also at 10, is when you can catch the second of the pilot’s two hours. After that, Saul will be on Mondays at 10.
(Photo credit: Screencaps, yall)