Paley: Better Call Saul

PaleyFest - Better Call Saul

By: Jenny Robinson

Saturday’s Paley Fest panel was one of second guessing my ideas I had for Better Call Saul and contemplating new perspectives. I suppose it is what you should expect after listening to Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould talk about the strategy (or lack of) in turning Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman.

The panel started with Episode 5 of Season 2 (which airs 3/14/16). The story of the episode had a focus on the vast differences between the two brothers, Jimmy and Chuck. Michael McKean showed such in-depth understanding of his character both in our interview as well on the panel proving why he is a legend. We watch Jimmy’s (Bob Odenkirk) struggles and sometimes we get a bit annoyed of Chuck’s frustrations towards his brother. Listening to McKean talk about his own older brother mentality and patience that has worn thin over the years made perfect sense. The idea once sparked almost makes you irritated with Jimmy as well.

But… Jimmy is just too super charming not to like. The panel pointed out how Jimmy is his own worst enemy, which appears to be true. He is a go-getter but sometimes he can’t see outside himself to see how his actions effect others. 

After becoming a big fan of Breaking Bad and hearing how the events of the series were pretty much laid out at the start, it was nice to hear that this series is more “as it comes”. They touched on the restraints needed when writing. For example, how difficult it is not to use so many Breaking Bad character cameos and how they must always have “an out” available when writing. 

I have to give a BIG shout out to how great and engaging the panel was, not only on the red carpet but during the panel as well. They pointed out a mega-fan (who blushed when the camera pointed at her), and were eager to call out writers and other staff in the audience. The fan questions were accepted with gusto and deep intelligent responses. The panel made the entire theatre feel as though we’ve known each other for years. 

It is always great to see also how grateful the actors are for the opportunity to portray the characters. Michael Mando and Rhea Seehorn jumped at the opportunity to thank the fans for their support (as did the rest of the cast). 

Paley succeeded again with their mission to “examine the intersections between media and society”. This was my 8th year of Paley Fest (first time was back in 2009) and every year they keep delivering amazing conversation. As fans (and geeks) we are so very grateful for an organization like Paley Center for Media and extend a very deep sincere thank you.

You can find our podcast with all the audio from PaleyFest HERE!