‘Better Call Saul’ Star Bob Odenkirk Points Out 1 Major Difference Between ‘Breaking Bad’ Heisenberg and Saul Goodman
It’s impossible to avoid comparisons between Breaking Bad and the spinoff prequel, Better Call Saul.
The most obvious reason is one series would not exist without the other. Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White turning to evil. Meanwhile, Better Call Saul explains how criminal lawyer Saul Goodman got to be so corrupt.
But even though Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have many of the same characters and the same setting, that doesn’t mean these are identical shows. Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk (Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman) shared his feelings on what makes these two AMC leads so opposite from one another.
‘Better Call Saul’ was almost a half-hour comedy show
When showrunner Vince Gilligan agreed to extend the success of Breaking Bad, he knew he didn’t just want to keep the story going the same way. He and Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould threw around some ideas for spinoffs that looked very different from what they eventually landed upon.
“We thought it might be a half-hour sitcom,” Gilligan told Vox. “We thought about ripping off Dr. Katz. Week in and week out famous comics would come in with their legal problems. But we knew nothing about writing straight-up comedy.”
Gould agreed. “If Breaking Bad was 80 percent drama and 20 percent comedy, [Better Call Saul] was going to be 80 percent comedy and 20 percent drama,” he said. “Boy, did that turn out not to be true.”
Bob Odenkirk said the ‘stakes were low’ for Saul Goodman
There’s no denying that Better Call Saul is a drama. But unlike Breaking Bad, it’s more of a slow simmer than a constant explosion of action.
Some Breaking Bad fans even called the spinoff prequel boring because of how much it relied on character development and nuance rather than action.
This phenomenon is the major difference between the two shows. “In the world of Breaking Bad, I was very aware that Saul was more fun to watch because the stakes were low for Saul, for most of the run of the series,” the actor told Rotten Tomatoes.
“Nobody’s trying to kill him. Everyone else is going to die. Everyone, is at some point, losing their family or they’re going to die. Not Saul. So it’s a big game for him; he’s fun to watch, and he can make wisecracks, and he has a lighter energy. And so people are like, ‘Oh, I like Saul. And he’s funny.’ And yeah, he’s funny in relation to these horrible people who are in hell. But alone is he fun to watch? I don’t think he’s really worth watching alone.”
‘Better Call Saul’ is racing to an ‘explosive’ conclusion
The final season of Better Call Saul is set to begin filming in Albuquerque shortly. And while earlier installments felt like a slow burn, Odenkirk explained that the conclusion will include a lot more drama and action than ever before.
“I can’t wait for the fireworks, really,” the star told Deadline. “Our show is a bit of a slow burn over the past few years, and [Gilligan and Gould] build up. There’s certainly exciting moments throughout, but towards the end, it gets super supremely intense.”
The closer Better Call Saul gets to the beginning of the Breaking Bad timeline, the more closely it resembles its predecessor. There’s no way for fans will feel bored during the stunning conclusion of Saul Goodman’s story.