Better Call Saul On Netflix Is The Most Effective Prequel Ever Made For One Reason

By TeeJay Small | Updated

When Better Call Saul was first announced, Breaking Bad fans met the news with cautious trepidation, as the AMC original series had already concluded with one of the most tightly wrapped and satisfying endings in television history.

Many fans felt that a prequel series could only serve to muddy the legacy of the show by spoon-feeding audiences a bunch of details that are better shrouded in mystery. Instead, Better Call Saul was written to round out the world of Breaking Bad, without wasting time explaining each and every little connection to the original show, making it one of the greatest prequels of all time.

Respects The Viewer’s Intelligence

better call saul review feature

Prequels are often plagued with one simple issue that makes them patently insufferable. While some prequels offer audiences a glance into how characters became the way that they are, gained their skills, or met their cohorts, most are bogged down with tying unnecessary connections to the original project.

In the case of Better Call Saul, for instance, the show never depicts Jimmy/Saul purchasing his iconic white Cadillac, because fans can safely assume that the impetus for that purchase simply came from the character thinking “hey, wouldn’t it be cool to buy a white Cadillac?”

A Prequel That Did The Exact Opposite

emma stone cruella

The best example of a prequel that fails in this regard, in an antithesis to Better Call Saul, is 2021’s Cruella. The movie, which serves as a prequel to the One Hundred and One Dalmatians franchise, concludes with a post-credits scene that reveals that Cruella de Vil gifted the Dalmatian puppies to Roger and Anita.

This is one of the most baffling and unnecessary added connections in prequel history, because the origin of the dogs was never a mystery that required solving- the audience could have just presumed that these characters got dogs because they wanted to be dog owners.

The Fine Details

better call saul home feature

Better Call Saul alludes to certain objects or characters that later appear in Breaking Bad but never breaks its own neck trying to force them into the narrative. In the final season of the show, Saul encounters the giant inflatable Statue of Liberty, which eagle-eyed fans already know will eventually adorn the roof of his shady office, though the series leaves it open-ended as to how and why he eventually took possession of the ornament.

The writers of Better Call Saul recognized from the very beginning that the series should focus more on the emotional and psychological growth (or lack thereof) of the characters, instead of the fine details.

Enrichens The Original Series

jonathan banks

When Better Call Saul does provide additional context for a certain object or relationship, it only serves to deepen the existing depiction of it in Breaking Bad.

The big reveal that a pair of characters are secretly buried under an important location after dying in the show’s final season makes a Breaking Bad rewatch even richer, and seeing the bond between characters like Mike and Gus develop over the course of several seasons sheds light on why characters made certain choices in the original show.

Furthermore, Hector Salamanca’s iconic bell receives a menacing backstory that fans could never have previously predicted, which strengthens his presence across both shows.

Now Streaming On Netflix

bob odenkirk lucky hank

If you haven’t yet had the chance to catch Better Call Saul, it’s currently available to stream in full on Netflix. The series completely lives up to its predecessor, and is widely considered by fans to be on par or better than Breaking Bad.