As the fourth season of Better Call Saul gathers pace, the Breaking Bad spin-off is already closing in on the run-time of its predecessor.
‘Felina’, the final Breaking Bad episode, was the 62nd overall. Better Call Saul is already more than halfway there, and will hit number 40 at the end of the current run on 8 October.
On top of all that both series are regularly featured in lists of the best TV shows ever made.
Comparisons between the shows are inevitable, considering the presence of common characters such as Saul Goodman, Mike Ehrmantraut and Gus Fring not to mention other Breaking Bad crossover rumours, while co-creator Vince Gilligan has hinted the prequel will move towards the events of the original show.
You may have strong opinions on which of the shows is ‘better,’ but you’re not the only one – Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro has had his say, and he believes Better Call Saul has overtaken Breaking Bad due at least in part to the way it handles the “moral downfall” of its main character.
“I like it even more than BB, not to be a contrarian but because the evident stakes seem smaller but the moral downfall strike me as deeper, more poignant,” the director of The Shape of Watertweeted.
“With Walter White (who turns Black) you were tracking a massive downfall/transformation. BCS takes you by the hand as Jimmy becomes Saul Goodman (No Good in him) in small painful tumbles.”
Explaining that “Kim is the key,” he adds that “Even in his relationship with Chuck, Jimmy was an enabler, he kind of loved seeing Chuck diminished. Both brothers wanted to see the other “down”. Beautifully laid out.”
It is not the first time Del Toro has praised Better Call Saul, with the director reserving specific praise for Gilligan and his team at the close of season two.
Bob Odenkirk, who plays Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman across the fictional universe, admitted he initially considered the spin-off a huge risk. He also spoke of his fears for the direction his character was taking, saying “I’m having to confront the fact that he is becoming Saul, and I don’t like Saul.”
The third season of Better Call Saul was considered the second-best Netflix original show of 2017 by critics, and there’s every chance the fourth season sees it climb one place higher in 2018.