“Better Call Saul” returns for its third season Monday night, April 10. The prequel to “Breaking Bad,” the two-time Emmy winner for Best Drama Series (2013-2014), follows crooked lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) back when he was known by his real name, Jimmy McGill, and traces his path as he struggled between his virtuous impulses and his nefarious ones. Part of the inherent tragedy of the series is already knowing which way he falls.
“Breaking Bad” is a tough act to follow, but “Better Call Saul” has managed to live up to those standards, at least according to critics and the TV academy. It has earned two of its own Emmy nominations for Best Drama, and as of this writing season three has a MetaCritic score of 90. It follows the events of season two when Jimmy’s brother Chuck (Michael McKean) recorded Jimmy admitting to falsifying documents, leaving Jimmy in a vulnerable position that may escalate his turn to the dark side.
The series is a “showcase” for Odenkirk’s “spellbinding” role, which has earned the actor two Emmy noms, two Golden Globe noms and one SAG Award bid. He’s at the center of a “fantastic” ensemble cast that also includes McKean, Jonathan Banks and Rhea Seehorn. “These superb actors and the gifted writers, directors, and editors” guide us along to an inevitable end with scenes that are “written and performed with an understated punchiness that honors the legacy of the great American crime writers.”
Are you excited for the new season of “Better Call Saul”? Check out some of the reviews below and join the discussion about this and more with your fellow TV fans in our forums.
Liz Shannon Miller (IndieWire): “‘Better Call Saul’ gets a lot of praise and acclaim for its top-notch acting, smart writing and innovative filmmaking, and that continues in Season 3. At least one sequence in the first two episodes invokes comparisons to filmmakers like Terrence Malick and Steven Soderbergh.”
Chuck Bowden (Slant): “Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould forge an oxymoronic poetry of efficiency throughout: Establishing shots, often of the strip malls dotting the punishing New Mexican landscape, tell the audience precisely what they need to know and nothing else, while dialogue scenes are often structured as duets … which are written and performed with an understated punchiness that honors the legacy of the great American crime writers.”
Alan Sepinwall (UPROXX): “This isn’t a story taking place in a parallel timeline to ‘Breaking Bad,’ but one traveling down the same terrible track … All we can do is travel along it with these superb actors and the gifted writers, directors, and editors who keep the train moving, trusting that we’ll be wildly entertained even as it takes us someplace we keep hoping it won’t.”
Allison Keene (Collider): “‘Better Call Saul’ has always been Odenkirk’s showcase, even though the rest of the cast is fantastic. But there’s something about Jimmy that is so specifically spellbinding, both in his calculated charm and his vulnerability. Even with ‘Breaking Bad’ encroaching, one shouldn’t be so quick want to leave Slippin’ Jimmy behind.”
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.