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I power-watched all of "Breaking Bad," and think it just may be the best TV series I've ever seen. I'm now watching "Better Call Saul," based exclusively on my adoration of "Breaking Bad," coupled with the comments on this website. I've made it through Season 2, Episode 8 ("Fifi"), and unfortunately, I don't think it's even in the same stratosphere, quality-wise. We can certainly discuss this. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** (I'm Going To Give Away Some of the Overall Story Arc Below) Truthfully, there are two - and only two - characters I care about in "Better Call Saul": Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike Ermahntraut (Jonathan Banks), and that's only because it lends some background to their *tremendous* characters on "Breaking Bad." In particular, the way Mike parted from the Philadelphia Police Department (and his corresponding love for his granddaughter, Kaylee (Faith Healey and Abigail Zoe Lewis in "Better Call Saul," Kaija Bailes in "Breaking Bad") - which I find both adorable and heartbreaking). I'm almost finished with Season Two, and not one single mention has been made of Saul Goodman, which just doesn't seem right to me. More importantly, I find literally every other story arc interminably dull: There is nothing at all I find interesting about Kim Wexler (Rhea Seahorn), Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), or Chuck McGill (Michael McKean, despite my unabashed love for McKean in "This is Spinal Tap"). All three of them bore me to tears, and their story lines - especially the annoyingly overplayed electromagnetic hypersensitivity subplot with Chuck - have me pining away for a return to Jimmy, Mike, or even *any* member of the cartel. That saxdrop says there's a loss of momentum in Season Three almost guarantees that "Better Call Saul" will be a wrap for me after Season Two - I can't imagine it getting much worse. As an unwanted side issue, Mike has clearly aged since the filming of "Breaking Bad," and thinking back to the near-superhuman things he did in that series (remember him walking through the desert after being shot?) makes them seem absolutely impossible. Mike Ermahntraut just may be my favorite character in either series - his stoic toughness reminds me of Anton Chigurh in the great "No Country for Old Men," but Ermahntraut also has the ridiculously high-level mental acuity of any action hero you could think of - the whole package wrapped in a laconic series of silence, accentuated with the occasional grunt. This series has (I think) made me like Saul Goodman less overall - it was better not knowing where he came from, or how he got to be such a bad-ass attorney. Am I the only person who loved "Breaking Bad," but isn't loving "Better Call Saul?" Why is this series boring me to tears? Not to propose the obvious, but I really feel like they made it just to wring out as much money as possible from their product, and not because they had any story to tell.
Alan Rickman's death had me reminiscing about Galaxy Quest, a silly movie but still a favorite. For one thing, although there are plenty of one-liners, much of the humor is visual, or in the editing. It's a movie that needs to be watched. As in, when you're watching it, really pay attention to the visuals, like the way scenes are cut, or the expressions on peoples' faces, or their gestures. Especially Alan Rickman's face. And, although it satirizes Star Trek and those shows' die-hard fans, it does so in a gentle, good natured way. There's nothing crass or ugly about it. The plot, briefly: many years after the TV Show Galaxy Quest is off the air, the washed-up actors are making a living by appearing at conventions and public openings. Until some aliens show up. These aliens have seen the TV broadcasts but mistook them for "historical documents". They get the actors on board a real-live working replica of the show's spaceship and... wackiness ensues. The cast: Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith/Commander Peter Quincy Taggart [Kirk/Picard/Janeway/Sisko] Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus [Mr. Spock/Jadzia Dax/Tuvok/T'Pol] Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco/Lt. Tawny Madison [Uhura] Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan/Tech Sargent Chen [Scotty/LaForge/O'Brien] Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman/un-named [a redshirt] Daryl Mitchell as Tommy Webber/Lt. Laredo [Wesley Crusher] and many more. If you're a SF fan and haven't seen Galaxy Quest, you need to. And if you're an Alan Rickman fan, be sure to watch his face and gestures. Dane is a great character, a classically-trained actor who can't get over being typecast as an alien, and Rickman does exceptional work portraying him.