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Better Call Saul in Albuquerque

He puts the “criminal” in your defense; meet Jimmy McGill before he became Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman.


Albuquerque is no stranger to successful television shows with Breaking Bad putting the city on the map and employing many New Mexicans. Better Call Saul has proved to be just as notable, with Season 2 premiering on February 15, 2016 and episodes streaming on Netflix.

“The first few episodes that I saw are better than Breaking Bad. They are smarter. They are sharper. I have never seen a prequel handled so cleverly,” writer Stephan Marche gushes in a blog review of the series beginnings on Esquire.com.

Preview the show:


Better Call Saul Set Photo

The prequel you waited for:

Since 2012, we’ve heard rumors about a Breaking Bad prequel. Around Albuquerque, film crews and stars have been spotted on location, and finally, in February 2015, the show came to fruition. 

Better Call Saul premiered February 8th and 9th in a two-night event on AMC and aired on Mondays at 10/9c. The season finale aired on April 6th and Season 2 kicks off February 15, 2016. The show stars actor Bob Odenkirk, and chronicles his Breaking Bad character Saul Goodman’s adventures when his name was still Jimmy McGill, six years prior to teaming up with meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Viewers get a look into this character’s beginnings and how he became the well-known Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad fame. In addition to Odenkirk, Better Call Saul reunites Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Thomas Schnauz, and Gennifer Hutchison – all Breaking Bad veterans, as well as the beloved Mike Ehrmantraut played by Jonathan Banks. The 10-part series will also be available on Netflix starting on February 10th and every following Tuesday.

"When introducing any series, especially one with the DNA of Breaking Bad, there are countless factors to consider in making sure the show gets the launch it deserves. We have a strong history with Vince, Peter, Bob, the studio and so many involved with this production; we are enjoying the process on ‘Saul' and all share a focus on making it a true television event. No half measures," said AMC president Charlie Collier in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Better Call Saul Team Photo

Better Call Saul in Albuquerque:
Just as with Breaking Bad, Albuquerque plays in integral role in Better Call Saul – almost serving as an additional character in the narrative. Gilligan and his team do not shy away from including iconic Albuquerque landscapes, locations and businesses as filming locations and have embraced the city as the home of the series. Pictured below, Mike waits in the Alvarado Transportation Center after arriving via train (NM Rail Runner Express).  

Better Call Saul Alvarado Transportation Center

Background on Bob:
Bob Odenkirk got his start in comedy, working as an Emmy-winning writer for Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show, and moving on to acting and live sketch, including HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David.

In 2009 Odenkirk joined the cast of AMC’s Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman – meant to provide some comic relief to the serious nature of the show. His performance proved to add a unique perspective to the story that was somewhat unexpected to the show’s creators.

“The more we worked with him, the more soul and depth we found. We loved that he was funny, but there was so much range there. He crushed it so completely that we started to daydream about what else we could do.” Gilligan said in an interview with the New York Times.

To the fans…
A note to fans from co-creators and executive producers Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould:
Welcome to the world of James M. McGill, Esq.

For viewers of Breaking Bad, there’s much that will be familiar in this series: the bright Albuquerque skies, the dark humor, and — most of all — the passion and devotion to detail from cast and crew.

Having said that, Better Call Saul is a brand new show. We’re telling a different story here — one with its own rhythm, its own look, its own tone. We’re excited to share it with you.

This show has been a crazy ride for us. The character of Jimmy McGill has taken us places we never expected. Jimmy’s not yet Saul Goodman: he’s his own man, and he’s messy and struggling and still finding himself. One day he’ll transform into Albuquerque’s favorite criminal lawyer, but right now he’s a more or less law-abiding underdog on the bottom rung of the legal system.

We’re loving every moment of Bob Odenkirk’s deeply human performance as unstoppable, inventive Jimmy races through an ethical slalom course, trying to make a name for himself.

We hope you enjoy it.
-    Vince & Peter
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Media Mentions
“To get a jump on what's sure to add to New Mexico's TV landscape, here's a tour of six must-see's from the famous show's new prequel, Better Call Saul.” Men's Journal 
 
“New Mexico's largest city is back to being featured in another television show more than a year after the end of AMC-TV series Breaking Bad.” New York Daily News, February 2015 
 
“For a while, the co-creators, who could write their own ticket given the success of 'Breaking Bad,' tried to talk themselves out of it, but they kept returning to Saul in part because they had fallen in love with the landscape and aesthetic of Albuquerque.” New York Times, January 2015

"Set six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White, Better Call Saul follows Bob Odenkirk's character when he's still just Jimmy McGill, a struggling lawyer who's hustling to make ends meet in picturesque Albuquerque, New Mexico." TV.com, January 2015

"More than a year after Walter White’s final curtain call, we’re back in the Albuquerque of Vince Gilligan’s mind, and it’s a beautiful thing to behold." MTV.com, January 2015

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Learn more about Breaking Bad being filmed in Albuquerque. 

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