With his made up name, colorful suits, and crappy car Saul Goodman just became the most relevant character on TV. If it wasn’t before, the real world is now is now on a collision course with Better Call Saul as the White House seems to be taking direct legal advice from Slippin’ Jimmy, himself.
Asked by Seth Meyers if Bob Odenkirk created his own background for Saul when he was first cast. Odenkirk says that he asked himself who Saul’s friends would be. He explained, Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti plus Rudy Giuliani would be his professor! Of course, it’s a joke, but as all good jokes go. It is essentially the truth. That about sums it up.
To the point of this article. This marks a divergence of the Breaking Bad world away from their little New Mexican Universe and thrown into the larger scope of the world. In fact, politics is not even in the Breaking Bad Universe. Walter White doesn’t buy politicians, and even though we assume Gus might, he’s never seen talking to them on-screen.
As Trump world is slowly moving from, No Crimes/No Collusion to Maybe crimes were committed. Some analysts have noted that Trump world has at times acted like the mob, dramatized by HBOs The Sopranos. That’s true, Trump has mob-like support and mob-like crooks surrounding him at all times, and taking care of his money. But at a certain point that changed. The world of Breaking Bad began to take over his inner sanctum.
It’s almost like Trump isn’t Saul Goodman himself and yet he is at the same time. If Trump isn’t Saul, Saul is nevertheless in the room giving these people advice, like he did with Walter White. Indeed, Bob Odenkirk also stated that Saul Goodman would love to represent Trump, as long as he got paid.
Breaking Bad No Longer Has Cultural Significance
Walter White meanwhile, has no such significant cultural impact. Sure in ten years since it started, Breaking Bad fans still reminiscence about one of the greatest shows in TV history. The fantasy is still there, and the transformation from Mr. Chips to Scarface is still unmatched. Yet, it’s pretty much a self contained story that has no impact on the real world.
Better Call Saul is a different animal altogether. It’s the one cultural juggernaut that transcends reality as we know it. It is for this reason that I think Better Call Saul beats Breaking Bad as the best show in history. It not only shows the nuances of the swampy two-bit lawyer world, but it also highlights another characteristic of the President.
The Two (Three) Sides of Saul:
You see, the character has two modes. Jimmy mode, and Saul mode. In Jimmy mode, the character is nice and attentive to the people he is with. He is helpful and understanding but still weak willed and submissive. In Saul mode everything changes. The character becomes Vindictive. Back-stabbing. Insulting. Manipulative. Uncaring and quick on his feet to throw stuff out there and to see what sticks. Essentially the character personified by Bob Odenkirk on Better Call Saul is Donald Trump. Though, the real life Trump is a bit worse than Saul.
And then there’s Gene…