Better Call Saul: Jimmy and Chuck unite for seniors' rights in "RICO"


Remember when the idea for Better Call Saul first floated around in television production gossip, and it was conceived as a half-hour comedy? There has been a lot of controversy over the new rules for category eligibility at the Emmys, with Shameless making it into Comedy despite its hour-long runtime and decidedly serious worldview, and Orange Is The New Black finally shifting over to compete in its rightful category as a Drama. I had a screenwriting professor who worked in Los Angeles throughout the 90s and 00s, and was still livid that Ally McBeal got to compete as a comedy when it was an hour-long dramedy that had no business going up against sitcoms.

Those are all semantic arguments about categorizing shows when there’s a lot of mutability. But imagining a world where Better Call Saul isn’t 45 minutes of deliberate, enthralling dramatic irony, holding a hopeful carrot out in front of Jimmy when the audience knows there’s a banana peel waiting to catch his foot, makes me shudder with would’ve been lost.

The cold open to “RICO” is one of my favorites so far this season, because it succinctly encapsulates the futile tragedy of James McGill. Better Call Saul eluded to the fact that Jimmy worked in the HHM mailroom, but here it’s on full display, as he cheerfully delivers mail to everyone around the office, with the added bonus that he knows pretty much everyone’s name. But the reason the show ventures to this moment in McGill history is because it’s the day Jimmy believed his life would change: when he passes the bar and becomes a lawyer in the state of New Mexico. Read the rest

Taxonomy of theme park narrative gimmicks

Foxxfur has published "The Theme Park Trope List," a first approximation attempt to summarize the narrative gimmicks used in theme park attractions to move the action along, for example, "the book report ride," which "shows exactly the same events which occurred in the source film in the same order." Read the rest

Better Call Saul giveth and taketh away from Jimmy in "Bingo"

In order for Better Call Saul to inch closer to the timeline it’s trying to meet, James McGill’s difficult life has to fester into bitterness. He’ll do anything to escape it.

DIY casting calls

Casting Call Woe Tumbler

Acting is a crappy business, but the world needs actors, and since we live in a time when digital production and distribution has democratized filmmaking, anyone can be a casting director. Exhibit A is a new tumblr, Casting Call Woes, which has netted a foul-smelling collection of ripe ones from the sea of DIY casting calls. Read the rest

Better Call Saul reveals the tortured origin of Mike Ehrmantraut

One of Breaking Bad's finest characters gets an episode in the spotlight

The midpoint of Better Call Saul's first season hinges on scenes without Jimmy

The latest episode of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped for your further entertainment.

“Better Call Saul” shows Jimmy can wear many masks in "Hero"

Episode four of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped.

Familiar film scenes in Lego

A film by Morgan Spence. Read the rest

Batman & Robin director accepts blame for nipple suits

Joel Schumacher: "I think that will be on my gravestone. It’s how I’ll be remembered." Read the rest

Frozen, the chip tune

Frozen, 16-bit. Read the rest

Video: All of The Simpsons couch gags, simultaneously

This is not an artwork by Nam June Paik but rather every couch gag from The Simpsons all at once. Read the rest

Twin Peaks returns to TV!

Welcome back to Twin Peaks.

On Friday, David Lynch tweeted "Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style! #damngoodcoffee" Read the rest

Tetris, the, er, movie

“This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page," said production company Threshold’s CEO Larry Kasanoff. "We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes... What you [will] see in ‘Tetris’ is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance."

"A ‘Tetris’ Movie Is in the Works" (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!) Read the rest

Amazing marching band performance of The Wizard of Oz

On Saturday, Ohio State University's marching band performed this fantastic tribute to The Wizard of Oz. Read the rest

Barbra Streisand: bikers and BDSM

Below, photos of Barbra Streisand doing biker BDSM from a shoot connected to the 1970 film The Owl and The Pussycat. Many more over at Dangerous Minds. The images were used in prop posters for a porn film titled Cycle Sluts starring Streisand's character.

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