For all the jokes that lawyers have endured, and Season 2 of AMC’s Better Call Saul has them, the Breaking Bad prequel has also shown the realities and warts of the profession in ways that other legal shows have overlooked.
In Season 2, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler vividly shows when lawyers literally eat dirt: After getting demoted to the file room at her firm HH&M, Kim literally takes to the stairwell during her lunch break to rolling phone calls in an attempt to hook a big fish case, of which she nabs. She rebounds at the firm, but never regains all the respect she lost. So, she sets out to hang her own sign, sharing office space with Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill.
“This is the Rhea Seehorn year,” exclaimed Better Call Saul leading man Bob Odenkirk at Deadline’s Contenders TV panel about his co-star’s nuanced, honest performance this season.
In regards to the depths that Better Call Saul plunges in dramatizing lawyers’ lives, creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould credit their writing staff.
Says Gould, “We’re lucky to have access to great brains. Gordon Smith comes from a family of lawyers, while Ann Cherkis, her father is a lawyer. And we brought people in from various specialties to chat with us…There’s not a lot of court room stuff, but we’re interested in the backroom stuff.”
Teased Gould about Monday’s episode, “It’s one of the most riveting bank hearings you’ll ever see.”
Added Gilligan, “My understanding of the law is minimal at best and watching Perry Mason episodes.” When Gilligan realized he was about to do a show about attorneys, he sighed, however, Gould reminded him that at its heart, Better Call Saul is a crime show.
With Breaking Bad baddie faves Hector and Tuco Salamanca grab plenty of screen time this season, Gilligan remained mum about the return of future characters from the Emmy-winning series.
Said Gilligan, “We come to realize that from the Breaking Bad universe, anyone (returning) is fair game. That’s where I have to leave it.”