Who You Gonna Call? Saul Goodman!

Better Call Saul (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC) looks at the titular character before he was Mr. Goodman.

click to enlarge Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul

When Breaking Bad viewers first met Bob Odenkirk’s character, sleazy defense attorney Saul Goodman, he was a welcome comedic relief in an otherwise heavy show. As the series progressed, the funnyman — along with all other characters — was drawn into deeper and darker storylines; Odenkirk was really able to shine, playing an entertaining, multifaceted character. Still, no one was prepared for a Breaking Bad spinoff; certainly not a dark comedy centered on Saul. But that’s just what Bad creator Vince Gilligan and writer (for all five seasons) Peter Gould delivered.

Better Call Saul (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC) looks at the titular character before he was Mr. Goodman. Six years before Walter White stepped in his office, he was just a small-time lawyer named Jimmy McGill. In Sunday’s premiere, we’ll see Jimmy’s peculiar approach to finding clients and the dynamic between Jimmy and his successful lawyer brother Chuck (Michael McKean). A second new episode airs Monday at 10 p.m., the show’s regular time slot.

Better Call Saul is a Breaking Bad prequel in that we’re seeing a supporting character from the show years before any Heisenberg hijinks took place. The show will go on to explore events that unfolded during and after the source material’s storyline, and will even feature Bad favorite Mike Ehrmantraut (just don’t expect a Walter or Jesse cameo).

So, do you need to have seen Breaking Bad to enjoy Better Call Saul? No. But seriously, what are you waiting for?

WEDNESDAY FEB. 4

American Idol (8 p.m., Fox) – Idol’s “Hollywood Week” kicks off tonight, where all the auditionees who received golden tickets will perform to earn a spot in the top 24. Tune in to see if Cincinnati’s Jess Lamb makes it to through the next round. The Hollywood performances and eliminations air Wednesday and Thursday through Feb. 12.

Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – When it seems Luke is getting too cool to hang with his dad, Phil finds a new partner in crime: Andy. Meanwhile, Jay stresses that baby Joe may be allergic to Stella.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10 p.m., FXX) – A Board of Health official stops by Paddy’s for an impromptu inspection, and it’s up to Charlie to get the filthy, dangerous, unhygienic, rooster-filled bar into shape.

Workaholics (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Alice plans an office party; the guys form a band, Menergy, and promptly kick Adam out of said band. 

Man Seeking Woman (10:30 p.m., FXX) – Josh’s mom prying into his personal life and pushing him to settle down involves him being drugged and tortured.

Broad City (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Abbi finally goes out with Jeremy while Ilana has a date with her mom, who has a penchant for fake designer bags.

THURSDAY FEB. 5

Portlandia (10 p.m., IFC) – It’s Independence Day, and Kath and Dave try to plan the most patriotic barbecue ever; the mayor searches the depths of the Internet for fireworks; Carrie teaches Fred the art of a French Exit.

SUNDAY FEB. 8

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Series Premiere, 8 p.m., HBO) – Perhaps HBO’s answer to the addictive Serial podcast, this six-part docuseries looks at the curious case of billionaire Robert Durst. Made with his permission and interviews (this marks the first time he’s spoken publicly), the series investigates a series of crimes that have followed him over the past 30 years, though he’s never been convicted.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30 p.m., Fox) – The squad takes part in a Homeland Security terrorist training simulation.

The Walking Dead (Midseason Premiere, 9 p.m., AMC) – Details about the remainder of the season are sparse, but we finally know the group is going somewhere. As everyone mourns Beth, they look forward to a fresh start in Virginia — where Noah says a safe community awaits. 

Girls (9 p.m., HBO) – Hannah’s classmates confront her, leaving her wondering if she should return to New York; Shosh botches another interview; Marnie reaches her breaking point. 

Togetherness (9:30 p.m., HBO) – Tina drags Alex to Houston to pack her belongings, where she’s surprised to find herself jealous of her balding bud. Back home, Brett treats Michelle to a spontaneous evening.

TUESDAY FEB. 10

Parks & Recreation (8 p.m., NBC) – April tries to figure out what to do with her life (isn’t she in her thirties with a good job?) while on a business trip with Leslie; Ben and Leslie catch flack for observing a local tradition. 


CONTACT JAC KEARN: [email protected] or @jackern


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