Written by / 3/09/2016 / No comments / , ,

SNEAKING PEAKING INTO CALL DEAD CARDS

Bob Odenkirk's Saul who's really Jimmy kicking back pool sideback before being dragged back in
Just a couple quick thoughts about BETTER CALL SAUL and THE WALKING DEAD and HOUSE OF CARDS, although we're not sure who's watching what, and/or who even cares or how far everyone's in so far, binging, or waiting a week for the next fix...

Inside Ed Begley Jr.
Our first venture, the popular BREAKING BAD prequel/sequel BETTER CALL SAUL is, of course, more going back in time than dealing with a very sporadic aftermath... showing the spontaneous lifestyle  of shyster/lawyer Jimmy McGill trying desperately to shed his nature of perpetual con artist BS into becoming a real life defense lawyer despite older brother, Michael McKean's Chuck, being hyper-sensitive to anything... electrical, making people remove their cell phones or anything of the voltage family like taking off shoes at an Asian's house; perhaps the dumbest subplot on TV despite a pulpy/entertaining Season One entirety, which is fun, dialogue-driven and overall hit or miss when compared to its perfect predecessor, BREAKING BAD, the GODFATHER of cable shows and, seeming as if it were made to be a story with a beginning, middle and end, is now as dead as Dillinger but really shined when it shone like, to quote The Stones, the evening sun.

Michael McKean, from playing Lenny on LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY and especially pussy-whipped (John ala Yoko style) rhythm guitarist/vocalist David St. Hubbins in THIS IS SPINAL TAP, is a true icon, co-starring on SAUL as his brother, and in one sequence of a potentially much richer, fuller, and straight-out BETTER second season, is seen and heard playing piano (yes, it's really him, and no, it's not "Lick My Love Pump," his guitar hero partner's tune). Plus he's kinda able to get out of that house despite going to the ER or wearing aluminum foil sweaters, and not only that but SPINAL TAP's first to die drummer of many drummers (based on both Keith Moon and John Bonham, and also the doomed keyboardists from The Grateful Dead, who continued to die even after TAP), Ed Begley Jr., a veteran of Christopher Guest movies, as a lawyer in a firm where Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy is hired... finally, a serious, legit gig, simply because a troupe of misused old folks, in a case he uncovered, can't relate to anybody else. And also, Begley, the "geek with glasses," plays a mean (or rather, smoothly blues acoustic) guitar.

Odenkirk mellowed
And finally, Jimmy and love interest Kim hit it off, literally getting drunk and getting down, predictably, and it's rather boring except when she tells him not to tell her too much about his... off the record work, usually brought-upon by a subconscious hatred for his conceited brother and set-up by the show's scene-stealer, Jonathan Bank's Mike (also a featured player on BREAKING BAD), a beyond-tough guy who knows everything, and has the patience to learn even more while working with and/or for a classier "essay" Latino. A perfect, handsome version of Tuco for SAUL's dressier aesthetic. Meanwhile in HOUSE OF CARDS, our President Underwood spends a surreal dreaming stint in a coma, thanks to a hacking Hinkley's gun-shot, that killed one of three people in the original sexual threesome, and so the first four or so episodes has Frank out of commission while Hilary... or rather, Claire Underwood (Robyn Wright) slowly takes over... Making the first few episodes not as quotably JR Ewing but more vengefully optimistic Sue Ellen from Hell i.e. not that great, just yet...

God, another compass
And thus, so far, it's kinda boring, but CARDS is never not eventually intriguing (although these 900 Republican Debate intense throw-downs, especially intense compared to the Democrat debates that seem to be hidden away, are making a show about politics have to pick up the pace). And last but never least, in WALKING DEAD, after Rick and suburban domesticated Danai Gurira as the once sword-wielding Michone hit it off romantically (after his prettier-than-Julianne Moore buys the farm, strategically, so Rick can hook with a regular that we've, if you excuse the pun, seen coming for a while now), it's literally off to the next set of nefarious humans who, once again, aren't Walkers (i.e. Zombies, a name never used for some reason) and although there's a group of seemingly classy people in-between the really bad ones, they too aren't trustworthy either, making Rick and company, as usual, the only good humans overall, having to pull a preemptive strike against the heaviest heavies, and that's what Rick has to keep talking about/pondering over with new Moral Compass, Morgan, who was actually the first character to spout all the exposition dialogue in the first episode and now, like Dale, Tyreese, and even the beloved Scott Wilson, is somewhat of a buzzkill... even paling to a now somewhat violent Father Marvin Hagler and a character with potential named Jesus, a sort of bionic caveman. Anyhow, we all know to give all these shows more time, and that's exactly what we're doing here...

So so far, not far into either show, let's give grades accordingly:
BETTER CALL SAUL: A-
HOUSE OF CARDS:C
WALKING DEAD: B
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