Saul Goodman

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This article is about the fictional character originating in Breaking Bad. For other uses, see Saul Goodman (disambiguation).
Saul Goodman / James McGill
Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul character
Saul Goodman.jpg
First appearance "Better Call Saul" (Breaking Bad)
Created by
Portrayed by Bob Odenkirk
Blake Bertrand (childhood flashbacks)
Information
Full name James Morgan McGill
Nickname(s) Jimmy
Aliases
  • Gene
  • Slippin' Jimmy
  • Saul Goodman
Occupation
Family Charles McGill (brother)
Significant other(s) Kim Wexler

James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill, also known as Saul Goodman, is a fictional attorney who appears in the television series Breaking Bad and serves as the title character of its spin-off prequel series Better Call Saul. He is portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, and was created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould.[1]

Biography[edit]

Better Call Saul revolves around the life of Jimmy McGill around 2002, prior to (and, to a limited extent, after) the events of Breaking Bad. McGill starts the series as a talented but unsuccessful lawyer overshadowed by his older brother Chuck,[2] working closely with his fellow attorney and on-off partner Kim Wexler.[3] The first season follows his attempts to transform himself from a con man to a legitimate lawyer, while cutting ethical corners and facing roadblocks from Chuck.[4]

In Breaking Bad, the character is introduced to help Walter White launder the proceeds of his methamphetamine production,[2] and later introduces the protagonists to drug kingpin Gus Fring.[5] He is depicted as using tacky television commercials to advertise his practice, which is based in a strip mall office that features a giant rendering of the United States Constitution.[4] Until the final episodes of the series, he is portrayed as a relatively light-hearted character, mainly interested in profiting while other characters are concerned with life and death.[6] The season premieres of Better Call Saul open with black and white flash forwards that take place after the events of Breaking Bad, showing that after leaving Albuquerque, Saul relocates to Omaha, Nebraska under the alias "Gene", and keeps a low profile as the manager of a Cinnabon establishment.[3]

Development[edit]

The character was originally intended to appear in only three episodes of Breaking Bad, but instead became central to the narrative of the series.[7] Odenkirk described Saul in Breaking Bad as a "front" who "seemed to enjoy being a showy cheeseball," while in Better Caul Saul, Jimmy is an "earnest, sweet guy whose brain naturally cooks up dishonest solutions to the challenges in front of him."[7] Gould described Saul as a "hermetically sealed slickster."[8]

Odenkirk based the character's speaking style on producer Robert Evans.[2]

In 2014, as a publicity stunt for the launch of Better Call Saul, a billboard for "James M. McGill, Attorney at Law" was placed in Albuquerque, mimicking a billboard that appeared on the show, with a phone number connecting to a voice mail message recorded by Odenkirk.[9]

Reception[edit]

For the first and second seasons of Better Call Saul, Odenkirk was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series[10] as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vince Gilligan Talks BREAKING BAD, the Saul Goodman Spinoff, the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary, and More". Collider. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b c Heritage, Stuart (2017-04-13). "Better Call Saul: a methodical look at what causes a man to become a cockroach". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  3. ^ a b Meslow, Scott (2017-04-10). "'Better Call Saul' Is Finally Becoming 'Breaking Bad'". GQ. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  4. ^ a b Graff, Harry. "Standard Of Review: Nothing Was Better Than This Season Of 'Better Call Saul'". Above the Law. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  5. ^ Graff, Harry. "Standard Of Review: If You Like 'Breaking Bad,' You Better Watch 'Better Call Saul'". Above the Law. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  6. ^ "Bob Odenkirk on drugs, violence and becoming Saul Goodman". New Zealand Herald. 2017-04-06. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  7. ^ a b Saporito, Jeff. "How has Bob Odenkirk interpreted and evolved his "Better Call Saul" character after "Breaking Bad"?". screenprism.com. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  8. ^ Patten, Dominic (2015-06-17). "'Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk, Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould On Breaking Out From 'Breaking Bad' – Emmys". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  9. ^ "There is a real billboard advertising the services of Saul Goodman's junior lawyer self - and the phone number works - Legal Cheek". Legal Cheek. 2014-07-24. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  10. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 16, 2015). "Emmy Nominations 2015 – Full List". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]