‘Better Call Saul’ Showrunner Peter Gould Explains Challenges of Writing Season 6 — ‘You’re Always an Inch Away From Failure’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Better Call Saul: Bob Odenkirk

Better Call Saul showrunner Peter Gould didn’t have a simple job on his arms. Not solely did he must do justice to one of many biggest reveals of all time, Breaking Bad, he additionally needed to respect the unique storyline. His objective was to make the spinoff prequel distinctive, but logically correct because the precursor to Breaking Bad.

Over the course of 5 seasons, Better Call Saul has established itself as a extremely regarded sequence by each followers and critics. It’s not precisely like Breaking Bad — but it surely does depend on related in-depth storytelling and forward-thinking character improvement.

In an interview, Gould discussed how a lot the stress to be nice affected him and the way shut Better Call Saul was to turning into a complete failure.

‘Better Call Saul’ was virtually a comedy

Prior to pitching the Better Call Saul followers know and love, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Gould brainstormed some concepts they fortunately deserted.

“When we first started concocting the idea of doing a spinoff, we literally thought it’d be a half-hour show,” Gilligan advised Rolling Stone. “It’d be one thing akin to Dr. Katz, the place it’s mainly Saul Goodman in his loopy workplace with the Styrofoam columns and he’s visited each week by a special stand-up comedian.”

But that plan obtained scrapped for one more drama, solely completely different. “I stated, ‘Breaking Bad is about 25-percent humor, 75-percent drama and perhaps this would be the reverse of that,’” Gilligan continued. “Well [Better Call Saul] is each bit as dramatic as Breaking Bad ever was. I simply didn’t see any of that coming. I didn’t know the way good it might all be.”

Fans had extremely excessive requirements for ‘Better Call Saul’

Better Call Saul: Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk | Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

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Usually, a brand new sequence is a complete thriller for brand spanking new viewers. However, Better Call Saul already had a built-in fan base who anticipated content material the caliber of what Breaking Bad supplied. It was a perilously excessive bar for Gould to hurdle.

The showrunner known as the expectations “intimidating,” even when having assured viewers was useful for early scores. “We’ve got so much goodwill from the audience and we’re so lucky to be doing this,” he stated, in keeping with Backstage. “I think the key phrase is always, ‘Let’s not screw this up.’”

Gould and the writers explored each angle on ‘Better Call Saul’

Having a backstory through Breaking Bad means paying strict consideration to all of the little particulars in Better Call Saul, plus ensuring there are not any inconsistencies.

“We spent a lot of time poking at every idea we have, every scene we have, every moment we have,” Gould advised Backstage. “Does it make sense? Is it true to the character? Is it a good expression of what the character’s going through?”

He continued, “We can make a lot of mistakes and maybe get away with them, but the one thing we can’t do is lose sight of who these people are and what’s going on with them.”

‘Better Call Saul’ writers are compelled to take dangers

Failure is at all times an disagreeable risk. However, Better Call Saul grew to become a masterpiece as a result of it doesn’t attempt to copy Breaking Bad. The writers, with Gould within the lead, are prepared to inform the story the characters cause them to.

“What I’ve come to understand about the work that we’re doing is that you’re always an inch away from failure, and you just have to learn to live with the fact that any time you take a risk, it’s always a dangerous thing to do,” Gould concluded.

“But on the other hand, without taking the risks, there’s nothing worthwhile to show. So, you have to learn to live with anxiety and develop a high tolerance for creative risk.”

Better Call Saul Season 6 will start filming in 2021.

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