Tag Archives: Better Call Saul

Jonjo’s Best Of 2018!

2018 has come and gone! While we have massive events such as Avengers: Endgame, the return of Mr. Robot and the new core Pokemon RPG to make this year an awesome one, this is the perfect time to reflect on what I thought was the best of the past 12 months!

Which film did I most enjoy? What was the best book I read? Which show on Netflix was my go-to binge? What TV show made a massive impact to me away from the online giant? These questions and more are about to be answered in the First Annual Singing Whovian Awards For Excellence And Quality!

Best Film – Avengers: Infinity War

This was not easy! 2018 brought us such gems as Black Panther, Creed II, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Bohemian Rhapsody which I am sure will all do well when it comes to the award season in the US. But, for me, the culmination of ten years in the MCU being presented in this epic movie could not be ignored.

Beginning with Thanos taking down the Asgardian refuge ship and killing half of those on board, we see him begin his quest to wipe out half of all life as he sacrifices everything to achieve this goal. Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and the other Avengers all come out to fight in this film which truly is bigger than any other that has come before it.

Could you get a more sympathetic yet terrifying antagonist than Thanos? Has there truly been a better film series which has managed to bring together such a huge list of characters that fans have loved over the past decade? Anthony and Joe Russo show that Marvel Studios can not only create a brilliant film, but have truly made the biggest shocker since Luke Skywalker found out his Dad was Darth Vader!

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Best TV show – Better Call Saul

Well, who thought this would happen? Could it be possible that the spin-off to one of the most successful TV shows of all time may actually be just as good or maybe even better than its predecessor? The tale of Jimmy McGill took possibly its most dramatic step this year as Jimmy has to deal with the loss of his brother and try to get his licence back to practice law.

With Season Four taking the biggest time jump so far, we see Jimmy and Kim slowly grow apart as the lives they live continue to divide them as the Saul Goodman persona begins to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Kim tries to support Jimmy the best way she can, but can she possibly save him from the man he is destined to become?

While the couple may be on the rocks, we also get to see Gustavo Fring as he begins to grow his empire with the help of the fantastic Mike as he has to deal with the operations and tie up the lose ends. Also, as the series prepares for its fifth season, will we see the show eventually come up to Breaking Bad or even fully embrace a more sequel-based setting? I would like to see the show meet a satisfying conclusion with the chance to tie up all storylines for the man we have come to know as “Slippin’ Jimmy”.

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Best Netflix Film – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

2019 may be the year we will get the new series of Black Mirror emerge on Netflix, but I can’t see many people would have expected this to emerge. A late Christmas present from the streaming giant was definitely welcome when Netflix announced that Bandersnatch was to premiere on the 28th December…but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

When the film premiered, it was later discovered that you could choose the path that the episode was to follow. Whether it was what cereal that central character Stefan would start his day with, what cassette would be blasting from his Walkman or even how you would finish a fight scene, Charlie Brooker has given us yet another classic.

While we may be waiting till later in 2019 for a full Season Five of the hit show, I can safely say that this special will keep many people entertained for hours while they attempt to get all the endings.

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Best Netflix TV Show – BoJack Horseman

Can you believe we have already had five seasons of this fantastic series? BoJack Horseman is the perfect show to blend comedy, drama, speak about everyday issues such as anxiety and depression and also involve anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the world that is so similar to our own. If you’ve never seen the show before, its main star is a Horse-Man who used to star in a sitcom which was a big hit and he now gets by each day as a semi-functioning alcoholic with more mummy issues than Norman Bates.

Will Arnett continues to shine as the troubled star who has to not only deal with his own personal demons, but he also has to get through the loss of his mother in what is possibly one of the finest episodes of TV that I have ever witnessed. The supporting cast all bring their best performances in this season, whether its Alison Brie as Diane begins to deal with her split from Mr. Peanutbutter or even Rami Malek or Stephanie Beatriz for their roles as the workforce behind BoJack’s new series called Philbert.

I honestly could not have thought anything would have beaten season four of this fine show, but Arnett and the rest of the stars are all on top form. BoJack Horseman continues to tackle themes that many other shows would never touch, yet we seem to take it in just as much with these animated creations as we would if the people were real. Bring on Season Six!

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Best Playstation 4 Game – Spider-Man

The PS4 has been possibly the greatest console to come out from Sony, with many games that push the boundaries of what we would consider the standard. In the last few years we have had Bloodborne terrify the masses, The Last Of Us bring people to tears and even the latest God Of War show that it just gets better and better.

Truly, the best of all these in my opinions is Spider-Man! The 2018 game which reinvents all we know about the wall-crawler and provides possibly one of the tightest and most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. The game looks visually amazing and it handles almost as well as a certain caped crusader and his series of games set around the famous prison based in his world.

While not the most original idea brought to the console, the execution of the title character and his world is just stunning. The story is indeed a unique one to any Spider-Man canon that has come before it and I am sure there will be millions of people eagerly awaiting the sequel when it his the Playstation 5 in the future!

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Best XBOX ONE Game – Dragonball FighterZ

This is not a console exclusive, its not the biggest title of the year and it may actually not have sold super well compared to others, but I really really really loved this game. Taking on a more hand-drawn style that reflects the anime has really gone in FighterZ favour to produce the most exciting figher of the year.

While it has come out on the PS4 and also amazed me on the Nintendo Switch too, it is the XBOX ONE which sees it really shine with the 4K visuals on the XBOX ONE X and just bringing back the greatest memories of watching the show. When you get such seemless gameplay and beautiful art design like this, how could you not love it?

Including some great multiplayer options and a story mode from original creator Akira Toriyama is indeed the greatest strength of this game. It takes what has come before from titles in the Budokai and Xenoverse series and really puts you into the action in a way that has never been possible before.

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Best Nintendo Switch Game – Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Was there any other choice? Octopath Traveler was a deep tale with some of the best music in video game history, the Bayonetta 2 port was so much fun to play through and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu was a fun nostalgic trip to Kanto and I loved throwing all my Meltan into the park. While these games scored high for me, I got my biggest joy from bashing buttons as I took either Kirby or Richter Belmont to victory against the 70+ challengers over them 100+ stages.

When this game was first announced, my only experience in the Smash realm was with the Wii edition in the late 2000’s. But with each Nintendo Direct, the excitement just kept getting higher. The idea of throwing these characters from countless franchises to see them fight it out on these wacky stages shouldn’t be so appealing, but it does work well.

Whether you play alone, with friends or with that pro online who kicks your arse every single time, you can’t help but love this game. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It is visually beautiful and straightforward to play.

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Best Book – The Walking Dead Vol. 30: New World Order

I will admit, I haven’t read a lot of books that actually came out this year. The Walking Dead comic series has got a book edition every six months and never fails to succeed in terms of storytelling, intrigue and character development. For a comic that has been going for over 15 years, the concept is still as fresh as ever and the latest chapter has been indeed ambitious.

As Eugene leads the group to Ohio, the survivors are invited to a community that has many people within its walls, approximately 250,000. While the gang begin to learn about the people in Ohio, Michonne discovers that her daughter has come to this settlement and may still be alive.

Like any Walking Dead story, you find that it is the living characters that are dangerous and unpredictable. Where the story will surely only develop further in the next volume, it is good to see more characters enter the fray such as the unhinged ‘Princess’ and the Commonwealth’s governor Pamela Milton (not another Governor!!!!!). Bring on book 31!

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That was my list, did you agree with any of my picks? Are you upset that I didn’t include Red Dead Redemption 2 on my list of games or that I left Venom out of the running? Let me know.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The 12 Best TV Characters Of The Past Year

TV has once again gone all out to entertain us all. This year has shown more great revelations, some gripping edge-of-your-seat moments and the most baffling of all, the renewal of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a fifth season (WHY!!!!!!!!!!!). But, we know that after the writing for the shows, it all comes down to the actors and actresses who bring our favourite characters to life. I am happy to share with you the characters who have stuck out for me in the last year, and who I think make these shows so good!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Negan on The Walking Dead

How could I not put this guy on the list? Jeffrey Dean Morgan managed to not only become a fan favourite within minutes, he took out two full time characters with thanks to Lucille in his first full episode. Negan has spent most of season seven being the one man you don’t f**k with. Morgan showcases a new kind of charisma and installs a fear which hasn’t been seen on the show previously. With season eight promising to be one very tense showdown, look forward to seeing Negan front and centre of this list next year!

Pearl Mackie – Bill on Doctor Who

It was going to be tough to get someone who could fit into the shoes of Jenna Coleman’s Clara, but then we didn’t know what Pearl Mackie was going to bring. With Bill, we got a great new companion who is clued up and ready to challenge everything. There was a lot of focus on Bill being a lesbian, but this is hardly scratching the surface. Even though the series hasn’t finished yet, Bill looks to be one of the best new companions of all time!

Tom Hardy – James Keziah Delaney on Taboo

Tom Hardy is indeed able to make almost any character he plays a fantastic one to watch, and James Delaney is no exception. Given Hardy co-created the show, he manages to make Delaney a great person that you would be happy to have on your side, and will never be able to turn your back if you ever cross him. He has survived years in a wild land, being shot and…long enough to make it to season two! I…CAN’T…WAIT!

Ian McShane – Mr Wednesday on American Gods

American Gods was a show I waited to see for years. Based on my favourite ever novel, the series focuses on an ex-convict Shadow who is caught up in a battle between the old gods and the new. While Ricky Whittle plays Shadow well, it’s Ian McShane who steals the show as the man who can out-con even the most experienced scam artist. Mr. Wednesday is one of the most unique characters in the show, he manages to shine in every scene and provides plenty of laughs amongst the gritty and bloody moments of this awesome show!

Bryce Dallas Howard – Lacie Pound on Black Mirror ‘Nosedive’

There are a lot of great characters in Season 3 of Black Mirror, it was hard to narrow it down to one. Where I really enjoyed Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther in ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in ‘San Junipero’, it was Bryce who really got under my skin and won me over. She is hungry for attention and the Instagram-like app that takes over the lives of so many in this episode is one that many can relate to. To see her flying so high to suddenly crashing into obscurity was a sight to behold. ‘Nosedive’ may not be the best episode, but it had the best character.

Grant Gustin – Barry Allen/The Flash on The Flash

OK, I am sure I have placed Grant Gustin on a list previously, but he does deserve a lot of recognition this year. Season Three may not have been an overall strong series, but there was plenty to applaud from Barry Allen. In this series, he had to fight the “god” Savitar, find a way to stop his fiancée Iris from being killed and then face off with himself in the future and in the present. We see someone who lives with the pain of creating Flashpoint and basically changing the Arrowverse forever in a way where it will never be the same again. Also, we need that cliffhanger solved!

Jessica Henwick – Colleen Wing on Iron Fist

Before anyone says anything, I do really like Iron Fist. It doesn’t compare to Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but it is enjoyable and a worthy addition to the line-up. While I am sure Finn Jones will shine more in The Defenders, it is Jessica Henwick who really stands out in this series. This girl can handle her own in a fight and shows she isn’t a damsel in distress. Also, we know her fight scenes in that cage were some of the best the show offered! Please keep Colleen in this universe!

Grace Gummer – Dominique DiPierro on Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is one of them shows that I got hooked on, I remember binge-watching the show during the summer and I couldn’t get enough of it. While the first season got us to learn about Elliot, Darlene, Angela and Mr. Robot, the second season gave us someone who wants to take them down! Grace Gummer is an actress I have never really seen before, but she made Dominique DiPierro one of the most engaging characters the show has had so far. She is shown at her most vulnerable and we become so familiar with her that we hope she will succeed at the end of the day!

Justin Roiland – Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty

Ok, only one episode has been shown of Season Three, but how bloody good was it? To see Rick and Morty back was a great delight and Justin Roiland has been missed very much. While Morty and Summer both do really well, it is Rick who gets the nod as we are believed to be seeing his life before he became the twisted genius that we now know. ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption’ has us laughing, gasping and lapping up every moment. It’s not everyday you can outshine Nathan Fillion, but you did it!

Dan Mintz – Tina Belcher on Bob’s Burgers

I love Bob’s Burgers. It is easily the best animated show from Fox at the moment (The Simpsons and Family Guy really need to pick their game up!). All the characters are so fun and give a lot to us in each episode, but my choice is Tina for one reason, you can’t help but love her. She lives like any teenager, but maybe is a bit more odd than what you may have been like. She’s eaten cat food (watch and you will understand), worked to get her own phone and even made some rather humorous fan-fiction. However you see her, Tina is truly the heart of the show and it would not be the same without her!

Sian Gibson – Kayleigh on Peter Kay’s Car Share

I have said before how much I love this show and I would say Kayleigh is probably the main reason. She is adorable, naïve, silly and fun. You fall in love with her just seeing her interactions in that car with her buddy John. In series two, we get to see the duo reunite and their “friendship” is getting a lot of people talking, you really want them to come closer. Then you have that last scene of the series, where you think John has finally sweeped Kayleigh off her feet and admitted his feelings…then it turns out to be a dream! PLEASE PLEASE PETER KAY, DON’T LET IT END THIS WAY!

Bob Odenkirk – Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul

When it first began, I honestly thought Better Call Saul was going to suffer as a show. Following Breaking Bad was never going to be easy, but luckily enough, the writing and the character portrayals have managed to almost make this its own entity even though you know how it must all end. While there are so many to choose from, the lead is definitely the strongest this time. He has done all he can to keep out of jail, prove his Brother is a deceptive scumbag and he continues his journey to becoming the criminal lawyer we know and somehow like to see!

OK, I said 12, but there is one more I want to mention!

Alanna Masterson – Tara Chambler on The Walking Dead

I find it sad that many wanted to bully or moan at this actress. Alanna is a lovely human being who truly shows her worth in this show! Tara begins this season away from the group with Heath on a supply run when Negan deals with the rest of the gang. During this time, we see Tara go on her own adventure when she ends up at Oceanside, a community that has only women after all their men were killed by the saviors. Tara not only has to deal with the group (who nearly kills her too) but she also becomes key to helping Alexandria prepare for a war with Negan. Also, she is a little bit of light in a show where many characters have shown or now live in their dark side. I don’t care what anyone says, Tara is a superb character and deserves more recognition and for those who bully Alanna online either for her portrayal or physical look (she looks fine, she just had a baby and that does not affect her acting, trolls need to get a life and f**k off!) you need to grow up! I look forward to see what Alanna does next on the show!

What do you think of this list? Is there anyone who you would put on here? Let me know!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The TV shows to see in 2017

2017 looks set to bring a lot more to the TV front than I think we can even handle. Whether it’s the return of Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the continued fight against Negan and The Walkers or even the Scout Regiment taking on the man-eating Titans, there will be so much for you to get into your schedule in the next 12 months. Without further ado, here are the shows you need to watch out for…

The Walking Dead

Season Seven started with the death of two series regulars at the hands (or bat) of new bad guy in town Negan. The series did need a bit of a breather after the frantic opening episode, but now we are about to go straight to war. Rick has been brought to pieces, seen some horrific sights and powerless to stop this new enemy. With the group reunited, it looks like the atlanta survivors will bring all their resources together to take down the nasty Negan once and for all…but will they succeed?

Samurai Jack

It is always horrible when a show finishes without it having a proper ending, but we are finally close to getting a finale to this brilliant cartoon. After 13 years, we will finally get the conclusion to Jack’s story of revenge against Aku. From the information I have seen, it is believed that the story will follow a much older Jack as he looks to finally rid the world of his evil. I can’t wait to see the epic conclusion and await the episodes that shall be upon us soon.

Not Going Out

Sadly, there isn’t many UK sitcoms which really hit the mark. Not Going Out has been a good source of laughs over the year, and I am glad that it is coming back in a few days time. The comedy follows Lee (Lee Mack) and his wife Lucy as they continue through their life a number of years after the last series, now being the parents to three children. Look out for favourite characters such as Daisy and Toby in the new series and many more hilarious moments to come (plus we know there will be another two series after this).

Red Dwarf XII

Red Dwarf has proved to still be a very popular sitcom, and last year’s Series XI gave us some truly fantastic episodes. With situations such as Lister losing his kidneys and a Rimmer Quartet, the show really hit a stride which it hadn’t seen for over 20 years. Filmed at the same time as Series XI, there will be a lot more laughs to come when Dave airs the next six episodes of Britain’s longest-running sitcom. Also, if you want to know what the episodes will be called, check out the cock-up on the series XI Blu-Ray with the episode titles (99% sure they are Series XII titles).

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Iron Fist

Netflix and their partnership with Marvel has paid off incredibly well so far. Daredevil was indeed a revelation to TV, Jessica Jones gave one of the greatest hero/villain dynamics I had ever seen on screen and then we also had Luke Cage’s own series and the introduction of The Punisher! Coming in March, Iron Fist will be the last piece of The Defenders puzzle to be released. Focusing on Danny Rand, a man who calls upon an ancient power to help him fight his enemies. The early previews look just as promising as the previous Netflix series and I can’t wait to binge on this one.

Taboo

This show I probably know the least about, but it does look very interesting. Tom Hardy leads the cast in this drama about a man who returns to Britain from Africa with a handful of stolen diamonds and revenge in mind after the death of his father. The show was actually conceived by Hardy and his father, and the previews look mesmerising. The eight-part series begins in just a few days and I look forward to providing my views on the show when it finally airs.

The Punisher

Earlier I mentioned the last main character we had yet to see from the Netflix/Marvel agreement, but this is indeed a show that so many people begged and pleaded for since Jon Bernthal was cast in the role. The show will bring Bernthal’s Punisher front and centre and see him reunite with Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen and joined by another impressive cast. This show already looks to be a must watch for 2017, but there is yet another Netflix one that people will be flocking to.

The Defenders

Netflix and Marvel have been building towards this since the beginning, and we are now just a few months away from seeing Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones leading the cast as the titular Defenders. Plus, we have Sigourney Weaver taking the role of the main villain (how could you not love that?). With a huge number of returning cast members and the promise of a truly epic crossover, 2017 will indeed be a high point for Marvel TV shows.

Game Of Thrones

Is there a bigger show in the world than Game Of Thrones? This show has for the fifth year in a row been the most illegally downloaded TV show and still attracts millions of viewers on each episode. Following the latest shocks in Westeros, we are finally getting to the last few episodes and a shortened Season Seven (with a six episode Season Eight next year) will see The Starks rise once again and the big battle with the Targaryen army and the white walkers being huge obstacles to come to the land.

Attack On Titan

Why is it taking so long for this show to come back? This was the anime that hooked me from the very beginning and was only narrowly beaten by Death Note as my favourite anime of the 21st century. The show about the survival of the human race from the man-eating Titans has been a hit worldwide. If you read the manga, you know what is to come. If you follow on a TV level, season two will follow straight on from that last shot of the Titan face in the wall. Eren, Mikasa, Levi and all your favourites will be back from April…but any update on when the western audiences can see it?

Better Call Saul

Very rarely a spin-off show could hold as much interest as its original programme (Frasier being a great example of it done right), but the Breaking Bad prequel/sequel focusing on Saul Goodman has indeed made for captivating viewing. Following from the season two finale, Jimmy/Saul has just been caught on tape by his brother Chuck admitting to his actions of stealing custom from the rival firm. Bob Odenkirk keeps this show exciting and Rhea Seehorn also is a fantastic part of this winning cast.

Silicon Valley

This HBO sitcom took me a while to get into it, I admittedly had to push myself into it three times to get through the first season. But, I was glad I did. T.J. Miller is a brilliant actor and his character Erlich Bachman is truly one of the greatest characters on TV. The show saw the gang having control of their own company and they become a video chat company thanks to the application created by Dinesh. The show may have taken a few episodes to settle on me, but I will be eagerly ready for this.

Star Trek: Discovery

Set before the original Star Trek, this new show has attracted quite a lot of attention before it even shot a second of film. Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Heroes) begun as the mind behind the new show, but then left the project. Then we had the awesome casting of Sonequa Martin-Green taking the lead role as Rainsford. Doug Jones also takes a part in the show and this will be the first Star Trek show which will mostly be online-only broadcasted. Though the details are still minimal, I guarantee so many people will watch it when it is on.

BoJack Horseman

Possibly one of the biggest surprises to many Netflix subscribers, this show almost never had the legacy or fanbase it now has. The show following the actor who made a Full House style show is just engrossing, funny and at times rather heartbreaking. The show had a brilliant season 2 and 3 (Season 1 was hit and miss at best, but can be forgiven). Animation for adults may not be at its peak, but this show is truly above any competition it may have.

American Gods

The adaptation of possibly my favourite ever book will be making its television debut in a few months’ time, and it looks good. Ricky Whittle takes on the role of Shadow Moon, a man recently released from prison who finds himself in the middle of a war between the gods of old and the gods of new. Honestly, this show looks great so far. Bryan Fuller is behind this and I look forward to seeing how he will bring the character of Mr Wednesday to the screen (played by the legendary Ian McShane).

Inhumans

Originally conceived as an entry to Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Inhumans will definitely be event television later this year. Black Bolt and the Royal Family will finally be introduced to us in live-action and the series will actually see its first two episodes released in IMAX! Need more convincing to see this show? It will be part of the MCU (so give us some damn crossovers please) and Scott Buck (Dexter, Six Feet Under) will be the showrunner, and there must be faith from Marvel in him after he lead the upcoming Iron Fist.

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Twin Peaks

Kyle MacLachlan is back…is it actually coming back this year? We don’t know much, but I know people will be happy to see the show come back.

Doctor Who

I had already mentioned why I thought the extended absence of Doctor Who was a bad idea and I still agree with that. ‘The Return Of Doctor Mysterio’ was a fun Christmas special and the trailer for the upcoming series 10 was intriguing. Peter Capaldi is back as The Doctor, this time he will be joined by Matt Lucas continuing his role as Nardole (can we all agree he was brilliant in the newest special?) and Pearl Mackie as Bill. It has been a long wait, but luckily it isn’t too long now till we finally reach that easter (sure it will be easter) start date!

I know there are hundreds of shows coming back and new ones coming in the next 12 months, but is there anything in particular you are hoping to see? Hope you enjoyed this list and let me know what you are planning to watch this year.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Top Ten TV Characters Of The Last Year

In the last 12 months, there have been some fantastic performances in the land of television which saw these ten characters take the heights of popularity on the small screen. Whether it is a TV superhero, a former crook, a crooked lawyer or even a cartoon character, there is something for everyone here. Before going through this list, I want to add that barely missing this list was BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) in The Walking Dead and Joe Potter (Rafe Spall) in Black Mirror: White Christmas.

Taraji P. Henson – Cookie Lyon (Empire)

This character has become a phenomenon worldwide since Empire debuted early in 2015, giving Taraji P. Henson her best part in her career. With Cookie Lyon coming out of prison in the pilot after 17 years, she returns to the company she begun with her ex-husband Lucious and demands her share of the record company she help put together when Lucious was a struggling artist. With this hip-hop show producing some very catchy music and outstanding performances, it is all about the sassy Cookie as she makes you laugh with her attitude and cry with her heart. With Empire coming back for season two, I wonder where she will go next after trying to kill her ex-husband.

Vincent D’Onofrio – Wilson Fisk AKA Kingpin (Daredevil)

Daredevil normally comes as a package with Kingpin, and the 2015 Netflix series was no exception. Casting the fantastic Vincent D’Onofrio, he makes Wilson Fisk a complex and fascinating villain who compares to other Marvel Cinematic Universe antagonists such as Ultron and Loki for the sheer effortless portrayal and bringing something more unique to a series where so many villains are too one-dimensional. D’Onofrio has rightfully been earning praise and award nominations for his character, all of which he deserves and more. With season two of Daredevil due for 2016, let’s hope that The Punisher isn’t the only guy going for The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen!

Peter Capaldi – The Doctor (Doctor Who)

When you take on the role of The Doctor, you have to be prepared for a lashing from the fans. Peter Capaldi brings an older perspective of the Time Lord to the 21st century and it is brilliant. Starting the first of his regeneration cycle, The Doctor begins as a confused man and eventually becomes the tough and grouchy Doctor that we had waited for. After a Doctor that was full of life and regret, he is given the chance to enjoy his old age and show a new edge. His interactions with returning companion Clara are gripping and at times hilarious. Peter Capaldi gets his second series this autumn, and I can’t wait to see him fight the evil aliens once again.

Gemma Chan – Mia/Anita (Humans)

Portraying a character that isn’t human is not easy; portraying something that isn’t actually alive is even more difficult. But, it should be said that Gemma Chan has given a breath-taking performance as synthetic Anita. She doesn’t twitch, her focus is immense and you are honestly convinced that she is not human. You wouldn’t want to be left alone with her, as you feel you couldn’t trust her intelligence. How many times have we seen androids on screen? Movies like A.I. and characters such as Michael Fassbender’s David in Prometheus couldn’t even topple this subline performance. Give this woman the BAFTA!

Grant Gustin – Barry Allen/The Flash (The Flash)

In an age where many popular heroes have been those who rely on skill and money to be at the top of their game, but you can’t keep a character that can run fast enough to travel through time out of this list. Debuting as non-powered Barry Allen in Arrow in 2013, it was then in 2014 when we finally saw Mr Allen become the superhero he was destined to be. Determined to free his father from his fate in prison and later looking to rescue his mother from her death. Barry brings heart to all the superpowered mayhem in Central City and shows he is a hero who will do anything he can to save the day, while choosing different methods to his mentor Oliver Queen. Grant Gustin went from Glee to Flash with little problem, and definitely the coolest superhero on TV today.

Robin Lord Taylor – Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Gotham)

Before Gotham began, I would have barely put Penguin into my top ten list of Batman villains. But, the sheer performance and look of Robin Lord Taylor as gangster Oswald Cobblepot made me re-evaluate said list after just one episode. He is portrayed as creepy, smart, lethal and unpredictable. Showing himself as manipulating both of the main gangs of Gotham, Oswald is eventually shown as becoming one of the big players in the city after defeating Falcone and seeing the end of Fish Mooney. The main reason I can’t wait for Gotham is for this character, to see how we will next use Jim Gordon and watch him pace the city with his crippled walk.

Uzo Aduba – Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Orange Is The New Black)

As a starring character on the Netflix original show, Suzanne – accurately nicknamed Crazy Eyes – comes across as eccentric and easy to obsess, as she does with main protagonist Piper Chapman, but her character develops as the show continues. Mainly seen with other inmates such as Poussey and Taystee, she is controlled by her friends when having a behavioural episode and protected when people try to take advantage of her because of her natural naïveté. Despite her differing due to her mental illness, she can show that she is still as humane as all others. Even if she does write erotica about alien orgies.

Estelle – Garnet (Steven Universe)

No one would decide that a character from a kids’ cartoon could have such an impact but Steven Universe isn’t a normal cartoon. Based around beings formed around gemstones saving the world from evil, one stands out among the others: Garnet. As a fusion formed from two loving gems, Garnet pushes the boundaries that those working on kids’ shows are afraid to. Especially if you split Garnet to get the gems that form her, Ruby and Sapphire, and see that the feminine characters are in love, making them Cartoon Network’s first canonical same-sex relationship – even if they are really gemstones. It’s a big step to take in the world of children’s entertainment. Well done, Garnet.

Bob Odenkirk – Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul)

Being seen as the source of comic relief during the run of Breaking Bad, Bob Odenkirk was really given an opportunity to expand on his popular character and show that there was more to the lawyer than a number of quirks, funny henchmen and a terrible comb-over. Showing his caring side for his sick brother Chuck, his loving side for his close friend Kim and also showing the days before he was a lawyer (back when he was just a criminal). With Jimmy slowly becoming the shady lawyer which we knew from the parent series, this spin-off will soon see a more familiar Saul Goodman spread his wings very soon.

Hayley Atwell – Peggy Carter (Marvel’s Agent Carter)

2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger saw the debut of not only Chris Evans as the heroic Captain America, but we were also introduced to the charming Agent Peggy Carter, a British Agent working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (the early version of S.H.I.E.L.D.) during World War II. What we didn’t know, was that this would soon lead to the fantastic mini-series starring Hayley Atwell once again. We see her become a hero in her own right as she looks to help her old friend Howard Stark in 1946 and save the world. She takes on the evil forces of Leviathan while looking very stylish and kicking arse with some great looking outfits and crafty gadgets.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove with contributions from Joanna Cosgrove (Uzo Aduba and Estelle)

The Biggest Moments On TV In The Last Year

This could be filled with some major spoilers, so read at your own leisure.

An EYE Popping Display – Gotham

after a number of deaths and multiple story threads, we finally get to see Miss Mooney as she goes from being at the top of her game to becoming a prisoner. When she is held by The Dollmaker and his mercenaries, she knows that they are taking body parts. Knowing they require an eye, she goes to scoop it out with a spoon and stomps on it. Not as graphic as you may think, but seeing an eyeball squashed is not a pretty sight (not an attempt at a joke there).

Jimmy Vs. Tuco: Battle For The Twins – Better Call Saul

Before becoming Saul Goodman, Jimmy McGill was a struggling lawyer who tried his best to climb the ladder. One scam he tried to pull went wrong when he hired Cal and Lars to do a “hit and run” con. The con goes wrong when they try to trick the grandmother of Tuco Salamanca. Tuco then abducts Jimmy and the twins and threatens to kill them all for the scam. Jimmy gets out of it because of his Lawyer status, and then manages to leave the twins with a broken leg each instead of a bullet in the head.

The Black Canary Comes Crashing Out Of The Sky – Arrow

Season Three of Arrow has provided many big moments. We had the return of Slade Wilson, the rebirth of a character via the Lazarus Pit and the exposure of Oliver Queen’s secret identity to the one man who could destroy him. But, in the opening episode we saw Sara Lance as she was confronted by a mystery assailant (worth checking out who did it) who then went to shoot arrows into her chest and Sara then fell from a rooftop to the ground below, and was found by her sister Laurel. A shock death, which may be far from the end if the Legends Of Tomorrow trailer is anything to go by.

Danny Dies…And Dies Again! – Doctor Who

Series Eight of Doctor Who was a big curve. We got a new Doctor in the form of Peter Capaldi and we also got some great stories in the form of ‘Listen’ and ‘Flatline’. But, we had possibly one of the most shocking moments when Clara Oswald’s boyfriend Danny Pink died after getting hit by a car. Death is not final, as we see Danny’s mind (attempt to) and body changed to become a Cyberman. The tragic character then gets a chance to finally shine as he saves the world from destruction and sacrifices himself to free the world from the plan created by Missy.

A Massive Headache For One Series Regular – The Walking Dead

Beth Greene has unfortunately never had a huge presence in her time on the show. Actress Emily Kinney is such a sweet star and I think demanded more of a role, which is possibly why it wasn’t until the prison was destroyed that Beth really shined. After being kidnapped, she ends up in a hospital in Atlanta and finds it is led by a group of survivors (a number of them formally cops). The leader Dawn is seen to take interest in Beth, and manipulates her to help her plans. Eventually, the two come head to head and Beth stabs Dawn out of anger with a pair of scissors. Dawn instinctively shoots Beth in the head and is shocked herself at her actions, which results in Daryl putting a bullet through Dawn’s head.

Bunkie Takes A Dunkie – Empire

Probably one of the biggest surprises in this TV season, Empire came from nowhere and became one of the most talked about shows of the year. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson lead the fantastic cast about a former couple who own a record company and Howard’s character Lucious Lyon looks to name a successor between his three sons after he receives news that he has ALS. With all the clashes between brothers and the arrival of scene-stealer Cookie, it is when we see Lucious gun down Bunkie (Cookie’s cousin and his assistant) after Bunkie threatens him for three million dollars. Can you come back after committing murder?

Getting The Truth Without Saying A Word – Black Mirror

Black Mirror returned over Christmas with an extended special. We first see the two stars Matt (Jon Hamm) and Joe (Rafe Spall) as they are in a remote outpost. It is Christmas and they share stories about their pasts. It isn’t until the end we learn that the remote location is not real, and is in fact a digital creation which houses a copy of Joe’s consciousness. Matt is hired to learn the truth about the death of his former father-in-law and the child Joe believed to be his daughter. When the copy of Joe’s mind finally admits his part in the deaths, the real Joe is then arrested and Matt is then allowed to go after his own troubled past saw him arrested.

Foggy Can’t Turn A Blind Eye – Daredevil

Matt Murdock gets into a rather bad fight; he winds up nearly dead after facing off against Wilson Fisk. Struggling to get to safety after the attack, Matt escapes home before he succumbs to the injuries he has suffered. Matt then collapses in his apartment just as Foggy arrives there to go and see him. Foggy is shocked to see that the intruder in the apartment is actually his long-time friend. The shock is hard to take for Foggy, but the emotions really flare up when Matt is patched up and they finally begin to talk. It is at this time that Daredevil really hit a peak, and we get to see a friendship come to pieces.

The Snow Finally Falls – Game Of Thrones

Well, this is only a surprise if you hadn’t read the books beforehand (or saw the internet at any time between 2011 and now). Jon Snow met his end when the men of the nightwatch acted out mutiny against their Lord Commander and all got their opportunity to stab him “…For The Watch”. Whether or not this truly is the end for Jon Snow remains to be seen as the storylines in the books have very much been seen on screen up to date. 2016 should see what happens next in both Season Six of Game Of Thrones and the sixth book ‘The Winds Of Winter’. For now, let us remember that solemn oath…

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Better Call Saul – Marco. “He’s my brother, he thinks I’m a scumbag… There’s nothing else to say.”

Trying to follow on from one of the most popular TV shows in history was never going to be easy. Essentially, you are bringing two characters who were introduced during Breaking Bad Season Two and making them the lead stars in a spin-off set before we met Walter White. There have been a few shakes and some uneasy steps, but finally we get to the finale of a rather great Season One and leave off on what will take us into the rise of Saul Goodman. Throughout this series we have been learning about James McGill, or “slippin’ Jimmy” to his friends. We see a con-man turn into a lawyer, hoping to become a man of note and do a good job. $1.6 Million was in his hands at one time and he returned it, he saw off Tuco Salamanca in a tense showdown in the desert and has cared for his brother whose “illness” perplexes many. Jimmy has in ten episodes gone from little court lawyer to the grace of Albuquerque. We have seen him go from cons with his friend Marco to saving the lives of those he just met. But, the finale goes so far and yet still not too far as to bring us into Breaking Bad territory.

So, Jimmy finally hands over the Sandviper case to HHM, after learning that his brother Chuck does not have faith in him as a lawyer. For weeks we thought Hamlin was the man who’d keep Jimmy out of HHM, but we were wrong, well a bit. Jimmy gives the case, though with resent, and wishes Kim and HHM the best of luck. After he is paid, he goes to Cicero to visit Marco, the man that Jimmy used to pull cons with and via flashback we see how the friendship started between the two. Meanwhile, Jimmy begins to go back to his old ways as him and Marco go on more cons, while Marco seems to not be in the best of health. Following an unfortunate event during the supposed last con, Jimmy finds himself without his friend and with a new feeling in his heart. Jimmy eventually returns to Albuquerque and finds out he has been offered a job as an associate with law firm Davis & Mane. Why is this happening? Well, the case is apparently too big for Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill to handle alone so they team up with the other firm. They see Jimmy’s potential and like how he has been able to hold a loyalty with his clients and the loyalty they have back for him. Expect to see more of D&M when Season Two arrives. Jimmy is finally being given a shot with a real firm, but his life has forever now changed and believes he has to make things work for himself, not for others. We finally see the morally righteous Jimmy transform into Saul 0.5 as he begins his change.

So, with Jimmy about to go to work for a firm that wants him and still not talking to his brother following the revelation, there is a lot to hit the ground with next season. Saul Goodman is finally coming out, and we need to embrace it. There will be less morality and more money in his future, and Bob Odenkirk is doing a brilliant job with expanding the life of Jimmy. Though his presence was restricted for a number of episodes, Mike will hopefully get more screen time in the next season and Jonathan Banks can give Mike a more involved role as Saul shall look to have him as his man who will do the job he is given, as we have seen in recent episodes. Also we must see more of the past that Jimmy and Kim have as well as some resolution for the McGill brothers. So, we got some time to wait now but hopefully it won’t be that long. The line about The Hills Have Eyes being a documentary is humourous and his breakdown while doing bingo for the elderly is just a wonderfully written piece. Written by co-creator Peter Gould, this is probably his best script post Breaking Bad and also a great writer who could include ‘Smoke On The Water’ in key places during the episode. Plus, at least we now know how Jimmy got that pinky ring and I now know what a “Chicago Sunroof” is!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Better Call Saul. Episode 4: Hero. “Not the loquacious sort, are you?”

We begin with another flashback to a younger Jimmy and an unidentified friend or associate as they howl while walking around. Jimmy states his name is ‘Saul Good, Man’ (foreshadowing I think). They find the wallet of a guy who is in the alleyway, seemingly drunk. They rob him for his watch and money. The guy decides to take the watch and give Jimmy the money plus another $540 to sweeten the deal. This turns out to be a scam by Jimmy and the man in the alleyway as they then go and get stoned while enjoying the money. A brief look at the adventures of “Slippin’ Jimmy” is here. We then head back to the present where Jimmy has confronted the Kettlemans and attempts to get them found while they look to bribe him for his silence. He gives them a chance to let him be their lawyer, but they refuse and decide to keep with Hamlin. Jimmy then goes back to the court and gets Nacho out of custody by saying the family were “Camping” (while thanking Mike for his help with the tip). Nacho doesn’t believe the story and thinks someone warned the family that he was coming for them. He says that it is only Nacho’s fault if he was caught because he was sloppy and somebody may have been looking out for the family.

Jimmy is shown to have taken the bribe. He uses the money to have a makeover and continue his transformation to the Saul Goodman that we eventually meet. Jimmy has fun with getting his own suit made and having his hair coloured/prepared for advertisements. Later, Kim calls from her office to speak to Jimmy about meeting up and having some time together. Kim is taken by Hamlin to see a certain billboard which uses the same image of their law firm for his own and a logo which is different only by the letters that they use. Jimmy is obviously trying to overshadow the law firm. Kim goes to warn Jimmy about the billboard and the infringement that it holds. He states he did it because of how Hamlin wanted to stop Jimmy from using his own name professionally. Jimmy is later taken to court over trademark infringement and he is then told to remove the advert. Jimmy then tries to call news outlets about his plight but none seem to be interested in helping him out.

Jimmy later makes a video plea looking to get sympathy and help in his situation. The background shows his billboard being taken down and the worker taking down the billboard then falls and is hanging only by a harness. Jimmy is filmed going to help the man and being observed by many in the vicinity. The incident is a stunt and revealed as Jimmy converses with the man. Hamlin and Kim both can see it was a stunt, but there is a sense that Jimmy has been seen as a real hero. He returns to his office to missed calls on his machine. Jimmy later obtains a paper to see himself made a hero. The stunt has worked and Jimmy is getting clients. He visits Chuck and shares his good news with him, he states it was Chuck’s advice that helped him. Chuck notices his paper is not there as Jimmy has taken it to hide what has actually happened. Chuck looks and sees that everywhere else has a paper. He then runs out in his silver cloak and grabs the paper, he then learns the truth of what happened with Jimmy and the billboard incident.

Four episodes in, and we are really starting to see the show hit a stride now. The throwbacks to Breaking Bad using the cold openings is still great, and we learn more about Jimmy’s past in them few minutes than we did throughout his time as Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk begins to reveal himself as the guy we remember watching for years and is magnificent. Jonathan Banks gets very little to do again which is disappointing, but hopefully that will change soon. Patrick Fabian is given great time to shine in this episode as Howard Hamlin, the one man that Jimmy wants to destroy. He is witty, suave and knows his way around the law with fine precision. Rhea Seehorn’s Kim is given some good scenes too and her interaction with Jimmy in the salon is fun and serious at the same time. This episode is doing the right thing by bringing Jimmy higher in the public eye and getting him seen more seriously as a lawyer, but what will Chuck think of this rise of the hero Jimmy? (we also need more Michael McKean). Episode five needs to come soon!

Final Rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Episode 5 preview:

Rhea-Seahorn-and-Bob-Odenkirk-in-Better-Call-Saul-Season-1-Episode-4

Better Call Saul. Episode 3: ‘Nacho’. “You Gonna Gum Me To Death, Geezer!”

Better Call Saul. Episode 3: ‘Nacho’

We start this episode with a flashback to an earlier point in the life of Jimmy McGill when he is in prison, getting help from his brother Chuck. Later, Jimmy is seen in his office talking to Kim Wexler who works for the law firm Chuck was part of, discusses the Kettlemans and mentions about the potential danger they are in. Jimmy worries that his deal with Nacho will end nastily so he calls the Kettlemans to warn them of the danger and they see Nacho’s vehicle outside. The next day, Jimmy goes to work and manages to get out the car park without paying which angers Mike (Which we will come back to). It is discovered that the family goes missing and Kim suspects that Jimmy knows the truth after the call the night before. Jimmy thinks that Nacho may have kidnapped the family, so he repeatedly attempts to contact Nacho. Eventually, Jimmy is brought into court as it turns out Nacho has already been arrested and a suspect in the Kettleman’s disappearance.

Nacho has Jimmy be his defence council, threatening Jimmy if he can’t get him out of prison and to get him out before the police find out about his connections to Tuco. Jimmy encourages the police to take him to the Kettleman family, he realises that the Kettleman daughter has a doll which seems to be missing which indicates the family left on their own accord. Jimmy admits to Kim that he knew the Kettlemans were in danger and warned them the night before they disappeared. Jimmy continues with the idea the family made themselves disappear. After a confrontation with Mike in which Jimmy attempts to get into the car park, Jimmy is brought down by Mike to his knees and threatened with assaulting Mike to get information from him. After explaining his theory that the Kettleman family disappeared on their own accord, Mike drops charges as he believes the story after remembering an experience he had similar as an officer in Philadelphia. Jimmy goes to investigate and finds the family as they look to leave after some time camping near their home. The family refuse to go back home, and Jimmy finally catches them red-handed with the money they had supposedly taken. Finally, Jimmy sees his luck change.

Better call saul ep 3

Ok, it was great to finally see Jimmy/Saul and Mike finally work together, even if it was only brief. Though we don’t get to see much of him this week, seeing Chuck help his brother in a rather desperate time is good and expands on why Jimmy became a lawyer. Bob Odenkirk gets better and better after each episode and is comfortably talking the lead. It was great to have more of Jonathan Banks taking his Mike character to more than a cameo role this time round. Also, it is great to finally get to know more about Rhea Seehorn’s character Kim and I want to know more about the history they share. The writing is still funny and the stakes do remain high throughout. Truly 2015’s greatest TV triumph so far!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Episode four preview here:

Better Call Saul – Mijo. “Wow, you’ve got a mouth on you”

Salsa is being made. This is no joke. Instead of spreading blue crystal over his nostrils, Tuco is instead cooking up a meal. He then is greeted by his grandmother and the twins who looked to get some cash with the help of Jimmy (soon to be Saul). Tuco seems to be very loving to his grandma and sends her away so he can chat to the twins. Tuco sees the twins are looking for cash and he knocks the two unconscious for them calling her by an unacceptable name. While Grandma Salamanca is watching her shows, she calls for her “mijo” Tuco as he is cleaning up a bloodied mess. Then as Tuco continues to clean, he is then greeted by Jimmy at the door. Setting us up for where we ended episode one with the gun in Jimmy’s face. There is a tense showdown between Jimmy and Tuco as the gun is pointed in Tuco’s favour. Jimmy tries to talk his way out of the Salamanca house and work out what has happened to his partners.

Jimmy almost has the twins freed, but they discuss the hit and run plan and Tuco then abducts them and places them in the desert. While there, Jimmy discusses his plan with Tuco and his crew to scam the Kettlemans into using him for their legal cover. Coming up with a lie that he is an undercover agent who is looking to shut down Tuco’s drug ring, which he admits is a lie. He pleads for their lives in with Tuco and his crew. They look to release them as the “lawyer” is showing respect on behalf of the three of them. Jimmy is given the opportunity to go, but Tuco looks to kill the twins for disrespecting his grandmother. Jimmy then rushes against the clock to save the twins and find a way for Tuco to punish them without killing them. He agrees that he should only break one leg each of the twins and makes the most of every moment, while Jimmy looks physically shaken by the injuries that the two sustain. He rushes the two to hospital after the showdown and it is then date night for Jimmy.

The date in question seems to go well, but even glancing at her ample cleavage is distracted as he sees breadsticks being broken in front of him which reminds him of the earlier events. He then leaves and goes to visit his brother while still being shaken. He goes to see his brother who is physically shocked to see Jimmy still had his phone on him, despite him collapsing onto the sofa, his brother Chuck still sees the Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity a more pressing problem. Jimmy tries to remember what happened the night before when he wakes up in Chuck’s house and pieces together his night and find his belongings. Chuck finds the emergency room bill for Cal and Lars and Jimmy explains that it was for the good and not because he is reverting to his old ways. Jimmy eventually returns to the court, looking to get a case to get some money.

He prepares himself for some cases and seems to be building his confidence, though still can’t catch a break when dealing with Mike as he tries to leave the court and not having enough stickers on his time card. He keeps taking on cases and seems to be doing well, but he still can’t seem to beat Mike and calls him a “troll under a bridge” as he vents his anger. Jimmy goes to his “office” and sets up his bed in there while sipping on the booze. He gets a knock on the door and is told he has a customer. He opens the door after having a quick tidy and it turns out to be Nacho, one of Tuco’s men. Nacho seems interested in helping Jimmy and will share the money that those he tried to “rip-off” have got. Nacho reminds Jimmy that he saved him from Tuco and that they should work together on scamming the Kettlemans. Nacho leaves and Jimmy watches as the man leaves after making the business offer and threatening death if he mentions anything about what happened to him or the twins in the desert.

First off, Bob Odenkirk seems to be working the leading role. After a first episode where some nerves were clearly shown, this second episode gets straight into the action and we see Bob’s Jimmy as he makes himself a man who can do anything with the right words in his arsenal. Raymond Cruz is brilliant as Tuco, a favourite from the early days of Breaking Bad. Raymond knows how to hook people and his performance is flawless. Also Nacho actor Michael Mando is intriguing and looks set to be in the running to become the main antagonist in this show. Nacho is smart; he knows his limits and knows how to manipulate. The only thing I would say is that we seem to not really have many female characters really standing out at the moment. Hopefully this will be changing soon, as the addition of Kerry Condon later should be fun and to see more of Rhea Seehorn will be great too. Also it was nice to see a more fragile Chuck as Michael McKean really shows Jimmy’s brother as the apparent illness he has is really affecting him mentally and takes over all other things. A great episode and looks to really be setting into motion the rest of the series. Peter Gould should be proud of this piece. But please, let’s see more Mike Ehrmantraut! Apart from that, this episode is brilliant and a huge step up on the debut.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Here is a teaser for Episode 3 ‘Nacho’

Better Call Saul – Uno. “Discreet, Like A Stripper Pole In A Mosque”

The episode opens in a Cinnabon store where we meet the man who used to be Saul Goodman some years after Breaking Bad. Following the finale of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman went into hiding and he is shown to be the manager of a Cinnabon in Nebraska. Saul seems to still be worried that someone will either recognise him or come and get him after his involvement with Walter White. The present day is not too much of a focus in this spin-off as it doesn’t take too long for Saul to reminisce over the days that have passed by. A visually upset Saul watches a video of his old commercials when the episode abruptly cuts to 2002 where we begin our story of a very different man. Starting in a courtroom, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk, before he became Saul Goodman) is hired to defend three teenagers who have done a rather disgusting crime and his attempt to defend them is thrown out after a simple video is shown of the incident. Jimmy McGill is very unhappy with his job as a defence lawyer and also hates the amount of money he earns from his job. The first meeting between “Saul” and Mike Ehrmantraut is rather humorous as he tries to leave a car park and Mike shows he always used to stick close to his job as he is the parking attendant who tries to enforce procedure.

Jimmy McGill gets potential clients to represent as he meets the Kettlemans. They seem unimpressed with Jimmy and he tries desperately to win over the clients. He looks to order flowers for the Kettlemans when he gets caught in a con and knows to work his way out of it (Twin brothers Cal and Lars). The joke about the worth of his car is brilliant. His office is not yet the one we know where he films his many videos and did his business with Jesse and Walt, here it is a little room in a beauty salon where he has a desk, phone and very little else. Things seem desperate for Jimmy until he finds a cheque in his mail for the sum of $26,000, which he tears up. The check comes from the law firm his brother works for, so he goes to their offices to see them where he invades a meeting. It seems his brother is unable to work properly as they seem to be paying Jimmy to give the money to his brother Chuck. He becomes angry when he sees the Kettlemans going to the law firm.

Jimmy later visits his brother Chuck, Chuck believes he has Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and so has no electronic devices in his house, instead keeping a typewriter and lanterns in the home. Jimmy tries to convince Chuck to cash out of his firm and take the money as they are going broke. Chuck refuses and argues with Jimmy saying that he will get better and go back to work. Chuck instead suggests that Jimmy should change his name to make the firm happy which makes Jimmy really upset. Jimmy then decides to make a partnership with two twin brothers that he met earlier to help make some money and create protégés with his tales of how he started with “slip and falls”. He looks to get one of the brothers “hit” and see about making an easy few grand. He looks to set up Betsy Kettleman, for he wants revenge for her not taking his services. The plan goes into action but the driver doesn’t leave the car and in fact drives away from the scene. The twins arrive at the house of a lady who parks her car, the car that hit one of them. The lady is not Betsy, but a Hispanic woman who knows little English. Jimmy races to where the twins have gone and arrives at the house of the woman, finding their skateboards and helmets. Jimmy finds a gun to his head, the man holding the gun is Tuco Salamanca! Yes, the man who first distributed drugs for Walter White returns and looks set to kill Jimmy.

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Better Call Saul makes for a great start. Bob Odenkirk effortlessly steps back into his shoes and becomes Jimmy McGill as he starts his journey to becoming Saul Goodman. The introduction of the main characters is done easily and effectively. We find out Jimmy McGill is his real name, he will do anything for money and is ready to fight anyone. Although only brief, Jonathan Banks makes a great scene as Mike and his altercation with Jimmy is only the start of what is to come. With other cast members thrown in and little information shown on them yet, the biggest highlight had to be seeing Raymond Cruz as he returned to the role of Tuco. This show had a lot of humour, but the humour never outweighs the drama or tense moments which occur in the opening episode. The cold opens which we were used to in Breaking Bad also seem to be back and it’s a nice link to see where Saul has gone to and how he started his career as a “Criminal Lawyer”. The script is tight and well-acted throughout. Hopefully we expand beyond Odenkirk and learn more about the cast in the next episode, but I am intrigued to see his progression and when he and Mike start working together. Vince Gilligan has another hit on his hands here and I look forward to watching episode two!

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove