AMC revives dead, calls Saul


Bob Odenkirk plays Saul Goodman in the “Breaking Bad” spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” which will premiere Sunday on AMC.

By Arthur Aumann

AMC is kicking off the first Sunday of the year of no football with zombies, lawyers and plenty of morally ambiguous characters.

“The Walking Dead”

“The Walking Dead” looks to pick up the pieces after the group suffered yet another loss in fall’s finale. There aren’t really early indications as to who or what the antagonist will be as the group looks to be starting from scratch once again.

The trailers have been extremely unspectacular and seem to show more of the same old things, like characters preaching about survival and togetherness. Hopefully the show can recapture the gusto it had at the beginning of last season instead of slipping into the formulaic funk that has dragged it down before.

One thing the show has been fairly consistent with is its ruthlessness in killing off characters. This is excellent for keeping viewers on the edge of their seats when nobody — maybe even Rick — is off limits.

Perhaps the only lingering question as we enter the second half of season five is what to make of Morgan. The show gave him the Marvel treatment with post-credit teasers in two episodes last season and nothing else. If anything, it will be interesting to see if he becomes part of the group.

“Better Call Saul”

Everyone’s favorite sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman, returns in the two-night premiere of “Better Call Saul,” the spin-off of arguably one of the all-time greatest television shows, “Breaking Bad.” One of the most exciting prospects of the show is it is rumored to follow Saul through events before, during and after the events of “Breaking Bad.”

The nonlinear storyline could open the door for potential cameos from stars of “Breaking Bad” with Jonathan Banks already a confirmed regular, returning as fan-favorite handyman Mike Ehrmantraut.

The major question of the series is if the writing will be up to snuff as its predecessor was the best-written show on television. Saul was a great character on “Breaking Bad,” but is he interesting enough to sustain his own show without the rest of the cast and riveting story? Also, how will “Saul” fare without Vince Gilligan overseeing everything like he did with “Breaking Bad”?

It will be interesting to see if the show attempts to become full drama or comedy with some drama sprinkled in. If the former, will it be interesting and suspenseful enough given viewers’ knowledge of what happened in “Breaking Bad”?

Regardless of how the premiere goes, the ratings are sure to be astronomical given the fanbase of “Breaking Bad.” The series is already signed on for a second season so it likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon should it stumble out of the gate.