The 2019 Emmy nominees have been announced, and AMC’s Better Call Saul snagged eleven nominations. Here’s why it’s a serious contender to win big.
With the Emmys just around the corner, the internet is buzzing about who exactly will be taking home the coveted golden statue. More than ever, this awards season seems to be a genuine toss-up when it comes to winners — even the typical awards season juggernaut, Game of Thrones, had a lackluster final season in terms of fan reactions.
Due to the fact that no single show or actor seems to have a lock on a certain award, we thought we’d make the case for why one series, Better Call Saul, deserves to win big come September.
For those who aren’t aware, Better Call Saul is a spinoff of the wildly popular AMC series Breaking Bad, and follows the life of James “Jimmy” McGill, a lawyer who will go on to become the infamously crooked conman Saul Goodman. It stars Bob Odenkirk as the titular soon-to-be Saul, and features Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks reprising their roles as Gus Fring and Mike Ehrmentraut from Breaking Bad.
But enough summarizing. Why should Better Call Saul be taking home more awards than some of the biggest shows in television history?
It isn’t afraid of being a slow burn.
In an era where massive action setpieces and 10-minute fight scenes seem to equate to popularity, Better Call Saul moved at its own steady pace. Even though it’s a show about criminal activity, it doesn’t fall back on stunts and spectacles to retain viewership — it’s much more interested in character-driven scenes and intricate camerawork.
Where some of its fellow nominees for Best Drama have been accused of rushing their plots or overstuffing episodes, Better Call Saul never worries about taking too long to get to the action, which is a welcome trait in an age where entertainment seems to follow the fast food model.
It has an incredible lead.
Some say that a show is no better than its lead, and if that’s true, then Better Call Saul should be winning every award under the sun. While it’s easy to forget about Bob Odenkirk when he’s up against A-list names like Kit Harrington and Jason Bateman, it would be *ahem* a crime to count him out of the race for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama.
As Jimmy McGill he is slippery and fast-talking, just like in Breaking Bad, but Odenkirk also brings a tragic quality to Jimmy that is painfully relatable and realistic at times. Watching him fumble his way through juggling family ties, a complicated relationship, and — oh yeah — ties to a drug kingpin is a testament to Odenkirk’s range as an actor.
He may have his roots in comedy, but he brings his A-game to every single scene, whether it be bargaining for his life or having a breakdown in his apartment. Odenkirk is a jack of all trades, and just like Jimmy McGill, once you start listening to him talk, it’s hard to look away.
The supporting cast are every bit as amazing as the lead.
While Odenkirk may do the brunt of the show’s heavy lifting, it would be impossible to talk about Better Call Saul without mentioning the supporting cast. Kim, Chuck, Mike, Nacho, and even Gus are all incredibly layered characters that are played to perfection by their respective actors.
Returnees from Breaking Bad, like Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito, are just as good (if not better) than they were in the father series, while newcomers like Rhea Seehorn (who, by the way, was robbed of a nomination for Best Leading Actress) and Michael Mando bring to life gripping new characters who shaped Jimmy McGill into the lawyer we all know as Saul Goodman.
The writing is some of the best on television.
With Vince Gilligan working behind the camera, it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Better Call Saul is one of the most well-written, tightly scripted shows in recent memory, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Gilligan, who also penned Breaking Bad, is a master of both drama and comedy writing, and he makes full use of the show’s idiosyncratic tone and talented cast to realize his amazing scripts.
It’s due for a win.
What else can we say? Better Call Saul has been on since 2015, yet it’s been routinley snubbed every year come awards season. Since its first season, it’s earned a staggering 32 — that’s right, 32 — Emmy nominations, but somehow has yet to bring home a single win.
For a show that’s been airing for this long, and that has been this consistently good, it’s mind-boggling to us that it hasn’t won anything at the Emmys. But hey, if everything pans out like we want it to, this could finally be the year that Better Call Saul gets its Emmy(s).
Have you watched Better Call Saul? Who are you rooting for this awards season? Sound off in the comments below.