Better Call Saul
Went through seasons 5 and 6 of Better Call Saul the past few weeks. Spoilers below I guess.
There is a little bit of tension lost in this series because you know that characters like Saul, Gus, and Mike survive through to Breaking Bad. That means the tension primarily revolves around the fates of the newer characters, particularly Kim Wexler and to a lesser extent Howard Hamlin, Lalo Salamanca, and Nacho Varga. The last two seasons solidifies Jimmy's transformation into Saul and his involvement with Lalo and the drug cartel and the stakes escalate quickly for those characters.
Happy to say they stuck the landing. There was also a lot more post-Breaking Bad content in the final season than I expected, giving us closure on what happened to Saul at the end of it all. Those last few episodes might have seemed weird to anyone who's watched BCS and not Breaking Bad though.
Saul giving up his plea bargain at the end just to show Kim he has suffered through some sort of redemption is a bit idiotic, but very human. And the ending shows how a lot of his regrets revolve around not just his relationship with Kim, but also with his brother Chuck whose respect he never earned.
Kim is easily my favorite character in the show and Rhea Seehorn gives a fantastic performance. Her acting during the scene where Saul is trying to convince Lalo to let her go instead of him was just great. I'm glad Kim Wexler managed to get out of that relationship and into her new boring life, because who knows what fate she would have had if she stuck around until the BB days? That scene in the final season where she finally realizes how destructive she and Jimmy are for each other is so good too.
I count Breaking Bad among the best TV shows of the 2010s, which is a high bar to hit. I think BCS is pretty good, but probably not as good as Breaking Bad. I think it's because I got into BB late; I only started watching it after the show's run, so I got to binge the entire series in a relatively short amount of time and it all holds up as one big story to me. For BCS, I think I watched seasons 1 and 2 weekly as they aired, then binged seasons 3 and 4 two years later then seasons 5 and 6 this year, so it kind of feels "disjointed" to me if that makes sense. I still remember a lot of the big meme-able moments from Breaking Bad, but the details of the earlier seasons of BCS are lost on me. Maybe someday I'll get around to a binge rewatch of BCS + BB together.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
I've mentioned this before, but I held off on watching this film for a long time since I was already pretty happy with how Breaking Bad ended. Of all the major characters, perhaps Jesse is the one who needed to get out and deserved a fresh start the most, in spite of all the things he's done. The BB ending already gave him that. This film doesn't change that ending for him, but expounds on it and details how he managed to get on with his fresh start even with all the heat following the end of Breaking Bad. I think it was good to watch this after BCS had ended. BB gave us Walt's ending, and he managed to escape justice; BCS gave us closure around Saul who eventually got what he deserved; and El Camino gives us that same closure for Jesse. I'm especially happy that they managed to get a Jane cameo in there at the end; she was Jesse's one true love and tragedy and his life was never the same after her loss.