Tag Archives: Breaking Bad

Game Of Thrones: Winter is coming late…and ways to cope

*BE WARNED, SPOILERS AHEAD*

For a show which makes a lot of mentions about winter, it looks like it isn’t coming quick enough for production on the hit show. Usually, Game Of Thrones would begin filming this month to get it ready for its usual April start to air. This year may be an exception, as Daenerys has FINALLY left Meereen to take her place on the Iron Throne, we expect to see a lot more of winter as the seventh season sees it finally come. As you may notice, this is the summer. You can’t really make a winter setting when the temperature is reaching an average of 95 Fahrenheit. As much as it may be bad news for fans, you can’t help but laugh that it is the lack of the show’s most common motto which is keeping it from starting production.

How much longer will we need to wait to see Mad Queen Cersei making Kings Landing (should that be Queen’s?) her dumping ground and what will Jon Snow think about his true heritage? We need answers, and it may not be till the summer of next year when we get our next trip to Westeros. Until next year, and the possibly shortened runs for the last two seasons, Winter Is Coming! What can you watch to keep your mind entertained until 2017? Well, there is a lot of great shows which can satisfy your hunger for your epic drama cravings and I will tell you what they will help with.

THE WALKING DEAD

Why? The body count

Do you like your shows with a huge body count and multiple favourites being picked off on a regular basis? Well, you must have seen this show or at least heard of it. This is not the only similarity with GOT (I know there isn’t a lot) but it is truly an ensemble piece. The world goes bad and the dead are coming back to life as zombies (though are never called zombies, anyone else find that weird?). Arguably this is one of my favourite shows, even after six seasons. There is a lot to enjoy in this show. The human stories are indeed intriguing, the special effects on the zombies is just breath-taking and indeed they do deliver on the entertainment and shock value. Whether you just like the gore or just love Norman Reedus, you will love this show! You have 83 episodes to watch before Season 7 begins and that huge cliffhanger is finally resolved, get started!

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THE FLASH

Why? It looks awesome

Special effects in Game Of Thrones are stunning and give a real film quality to it, but it isn’t the only show that truly delivers on its looks. The Flash begun as a spin-off to hit show Arrow, but has since become front and centre of The CW programming and the best superhero show on TV now away from Netflix. The show probably has a fraction of a budget than that of the DC comics movies, but it looks great every single time. The attraction to the show is not just the special effects, but the characters are all truly engaging with tight storylines and the fan service on screen is nothing short of perfect. Two seasons in and I don’t see an end in sight for this show, especially after that finale…P.S. Arrow should be added to this too!

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BREAKING BAD

Why? Moral grey galore!

Breaking Bad really made good use of characters who you found it hard to decide if you like them or hate them, and this only is brought out in Game Of Thrones as well because of how perfected it was in this show. Walter White is definitely one of the most conflicted characters in TV history and the show was filled with many more that you could neither straightforward love or hate. A show about a man who finds he has cancer and wants to provide for his family by making Crystal Meth isn’t the best selling point is it? Well, turns out you only get the greatest show on TV ever according to many sources! The acting is well done and there is never a dull moment. Every episode in its 62 count is important and adds more detail to what is the most addictive shows I have ever experienced…and Better Call Saul is essential too!

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DOCTOR WHO

Why? Epic scope and long games

120 episodes since 2005 to sink your teeth into! That should help towards 2017? Well, this is also for anyone wanting to get into Doctor Who before series 10 (or 36 for the purists!). Arguably, the biggest show to come from my home country is still one of the best on TV. Even the 2015 series proved how fresh and shocking the show can be. Science Fiction has definitely seen a huge spike in popularity because of this time travelling show! Series 1-4 keeps things fairly simple, then Steven Moffat makes it more in-depth and involved, perfect for all of you who like complicated storylines and long pay-offs (The silence between series 5-7 I am talking about, and Gallifrey from 2005-2015).

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JOURNEYMAN

Why? Gripping

Only 13 episodes were made of this top drama, and I think this is truly one of the biggest mistakes ever made in TV. Just when the show was really making good traction and the main mythology was established, NBC cancelled it and left so many opportunities to be had. But, if you find yourself with a day free, then it would be worth watching this show about time travel and the effects it has on a man and his family. The show builds to a nice enough conclusion so you will be fulfilled by the time you reach the end, and the tension in this show can match that of GOT even though they are both very different.

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Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

The Top Five Endings To TV Shows

We all hate it when our favourite show comes to an end, especially when the ending to it can leave us disappointed or keeping things too open ended. Luckily, sometimes we get another chance to hopefully get the ending that we want (Heroes and Twin Peaks better make good use of their respective revivals). But, the shows that are given the ending they deserve make it worth it to say goodbye. These are my five top shows that were give a great ending and that still hold up today. *WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD*

Blackadder Goes Forth – Goodbyeee

Ok, so Blackadder did technically get a one-off special some years later, but it was more a spin-off than continuation. This show gave a very raw setting in the trenches of World War I. This episode sees Captain Blackadder attempt to get out of the war. His attempts include pretending to be mad by shoving pencils up his nose with his pants on his head and calling a favour from Field Marshall Haig. Though this episode was still filled with laughs, the serious nature came from the impending march over the wall to face the enemy. The biggest acclaim came from the final scene when the men know they are about to die and the slow motion run towards the German army which leads to the episode’s end. We knew this was the end, but it made the impact that took your breath away with something more dramatic which few comedies would ever dare attempt.

Breaking Bad – Felina

One of the most critically-acclaimed TV shows to ever come from the US, Breaking Bad gave probably one of the best finales possible. With Bryan Cranston’s Walter White returning to make the most of his last few days alive. He looks to finish off his enemies, give the money to his children who would need it and to save his friend Jesse. We find Walter take many actions through flash-forwards earlier in Season Five and this culminates in this last episode. Walt and Jesse can’t deny the bond between them, even after all that is happened. Finally, to see Walter finally succumb to his impending death in a place where he saw himself rise and fall (a Meth Lab), it is a full circle and the conclusion to one of TV’s most fascinating character’s.

Journeyman – Perfidia

One of the least known shows possibly on this list, and definitely the shortest running with only 13 episodes produced. Journeyman took a similar concept to Quantum Leap and saw a man jumping back in time on random occasions to help people. This technique was discovered to be the reason behind his former fiancée disappearing so many years before. This episode saw Dan Vasser meet a man who was also able to jump in time. Dan saves Evan and Evan shows him the proof of him being a time traveller and the history he changed to get where he is now. Eventually Evan dies; at around the same time that Dan first jumps back in time. We also learn a bit more about Professor Langley who seems to know a lot about Dan’s ability, but has purposely kept back as to not take advantage of his gift. The final scene where Dan’s wife finally sees him jump back in time is beautiful, and leaves the show on a high note and keeps it open.

Only Fools and Horses – Time On Our Hands

The show may have come back for three episodes in 2001 which lacked the quality we loved, but in 1996 we got the ending we were waiting for. Del and Rodney finally see their luck come in from a piece they acquired 15 years previous (When the show started) and see them sell it for £6.2 Million. The boys then see their lifelong dream come true and they finally get to have everything they wanted, but Del Boy struggles with the change, he enjoyed the journey and is upset that it has finished. He eventually realises he should enjoy his wealth and so we see the trio of Del, Rodney and Albert walk into the sunset as Del Boy discusses another money making scheme and finishes with “This time next year, we could be billionaires!”

Justice League Unlimited – Epilogue (Designed as final Batman Beyond/Batman: The Animated Series episode)

OK, technically not a final episode for that series, but it brought closure to the related series ‘Batman Beyond’. Originally designed as a series finale for JLU, Bruce Timm wrote this episode to provide closure to the Batman: The Animated Series sequel as well as a finale for fans of its parent show. In the episode, it is revealed that new Batman Terry McGinnis is the result of the “Batman Beyond” project which looked to continue Bruce Wayne’s work after he finished being Batman. Terry is initially upset, believing he was made as a clone to Bruce. Amanda Waller reveals this truth to Terry and he was created by genetic tampering and Bruce Wayne unknowingly becomes a father. This episode gives great closure for both Batmen and the character-driven plot in the future world gives the conclusion we were happy to see. Also, it shows you that only Batman’s son could take over from Batman.

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:

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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.

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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