DAVID BIANCULLI

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JONATHAN STORM

 
 
 
 
 
BETTER CALL SAUL
June 19, 2017  | By David Bianculli

AMC, 10:00 p.m. ET

 
SEASON FINALE: We critics here at TVWW often agree to disagree, in a congenial clash of opinions that encourages frank but civil discussions of our opinions of television. Better Call Saul is a perfect example. David Hinckley has a new All Along the Watchtower column in which he admits to not caring much about the season finale of Saul because, he argues, there’s no one worth rooting for. Yet my reaction is so different that I consider Saul, even more than Fargo, this season’s very best drama – and it’s one I watch with heightened anticipation each week. I’m rooting for almost everyone, and rooting, most of all, for the story to take me to unexpected places, while arriving inevitably at its Breaking Bad “conclusion.” Last week ended with a shockingly abrupt car accident derailing Rhea Seehorn’s Kim (what a great final shot, pictured), and hinting at an aggressive lawsuit filed by Chuck McGill (Michael McKean), the unsupportive older brother of Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy. Both are characters who were never mentioned in the Breaking Bad series – and both are invaluable additions to this prequel backstory. How will they react to their respective adversities in tonight’s Season 3 finale? And how will Jimmy, soon to become Saul, react to them both?
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

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