After a couple of months, I’m back at The Daily Beast with this fantastic chat with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who created the new Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. I had a fantastic chat with them about the new show, the perils of spinoffs, the paralyzing fear of trying to come up with a proper Breaking Bad ending and, unexpectedly, O.J. Simpson.
While Gilligan was certainly entitled to a nice, long hiatus after wrapping one of the greatest TV shows in history, the Breaking Bad creator was back at work on Saul barely a month later. As he told me,
“It’s like that old thing about if the horse throws you, you’ve got to get back up on the horse or otherwise you’re never going to ride it again,” says Gilligan. “Breaking Bad was so beyond any wildest dreams I could’ve imagined that if I’d had more time to sit on my hands and contemplate it, I’d probably sit around and double- and triple-guess every subsequent new idea I had for a program and say, ‘You know what, it’s not as good as Breaking Bad; I’d better wait for something that is as good.’ Suddenly, it’s 15 years later and it’s like, ‘People magazine has photos of the old guy who used to do Breaking Bad. Whatever happened to him?’ It’s better to get back up on the horse.”
It was such a pleasure speaking with Gilligan and Gould, and that interview is packed with terrific detail from them. In even better news, I’m happy (and relieved) to report that Better Call Saul is no Joey: it’s much more ambitious and rewarding, and is a worthy companion to Breaking Bad.