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The Indefatigable Appeal of 'Better Call Saul'

If you already adore "Better Call Saul," as I do, check out this great interview in The Hollywood Reporter with writer/director/producer Thomas Schnauz. It's full of inside tidbits about everything from DP Marshall Adams's cinematographic feats to why Chuck (Michael McKean) is such a dick to how long it took Giancarlo Esposito to sink his tin foil basket.

And if you don't know the show yet, you're in for a treat.

I'll admit it took me a while to embrace the cult of "Breaking Bad." Then I caved and immediately, obsessively, binged the entire show in all its seasons. And everything changed. Watching that show changed me, as an actor and as a viewer. It altered my zeitgeist (as it already had the culture's).

Now we have 'Better Call Saul' in its third great season. The same but different. And just as addictive, just as important. How did they pull this off? A lot has been written by actual critics about its unique, slow burning excellence. Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have, appropriately, been called geniuses. As Alessandra Stanley wrote in The New York Times, “'Better Call Saul' is better than good: It’s delightful — in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course."

So far this season has been even more rewarding.

Speaking of great writing, how happy are we that a potential WGA strike has been averted? It was a superhuman effort by both sides and its result is appreciated by everyone in the industry. I expect that in these days of the Platinum Age of Television (otherwise known as "Peak TV") at least some of the credit goes to the studios, for having the intelligence to nurture and support their writers. As Schnauz put it, "Having the time to work on these episodes, the time that AMC and Sony affords us, is invaluable. I can't even stress how great it is that ... we get to talk big picture."

Yep. These are the good old days.

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