TV boxset of the week: Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul. Picture: YouTube
Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul. Picture: YouTube
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A WEEKLY guide to the best TV boxset available to stream right now. This week we put Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul through its paces.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Unscrupulous lawyer Saul Goodman from Vince Gilligan’s TV drama Breaking Bad gets his own spin-off prequel, Better Call Saul. Set six years before he meets Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Saul is still going by his birth name of James McGill and working as a penniless public defender in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The unlucky but smart and ever-resourceful McGill cares for his reclusive brother Chuck while attempting to climb the law career ladder by any means possible.

WHO’S IN IT?

The brilliant Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as Goodman with excellent on-screen support from Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, who you’ll remember as a Breaking Bad regular. We’ve been promised more Breaking Bad alumni cameos in the future, but for now everybody’s favourite Mexican gangster Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) will have to do.

As for fresh faces, if Saul’s brother and new character Chuck McGill seems familiar it’s probably because actor Michael McKean played lead vocalist David St Hubbins in fictional rock band film This Is Spinal Tap.

IS IT WORTH WATCHING?

Absolutely, whether you’re a fan of Breaking Bad or not. Though still a black comedy, Better Call Saul is a lighter and more accessible watch than its predecessor. Odenkirk does a phenomenal job of making the viewer sympathise with a serial scam artist, and slippery Goodman’s origins are fascinating. Hugely popular with critics, season one isn’t even the tip of the iceberg - there’s a huge amount of mileage in Better Call Saul.

WHERE CAN I WATCH IT?

You can stream all 10 episodes of season one on Netflix now, or buy the boxset online and in stores. Season two is expected in early 2016, with 13 new episodes to look forward to.