I'm typing this with a mix of excitement and sadness: the best drama show on any streaming service, Better Call Saul, begins its sixth and final season on Netflix later this month. If you haven't already seen it I'm jealous, because you have 50 episodes of absolute TV heaven to discover before the final series drops.
If you don't believe me that Better Call Saul is the best drama on any streaming service, just check out the Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Season 1: 97%. Season 2: 97%. Season 3: 98%. Season 4: 99%. Season 5: 99%. And the early word on Season 6 is that it maintains the exceptional quality. I can't wait to see it but I'll be sad to see it end in April 2022 because this is my absolute favourite show ever.
So what's so great about it? I'm glad you asked.
Why Better Call Saul is brilliant
Although it's a spin-off from the legendary Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a superb programme in its own right. There's some overlap with the BB world – you'll see some familiar faces as the show progresses – but it has its own story to tell and a whole new cast of characters for you to fall in love with and to fear.
Better Call Saul is the story of how a straight-laced lawyer becomes hopelessly corrupt and compromised, and it's an exceptional character study – not just of Saul, but of the people around him too. Rhea Seehorn as Saul's soulmate Kim is a revelation, and Jonathan Banks as sad pit bull / mentor / terrifying tough guy Mike Ehrmantraut is one of the great characters in modern TV. This is a show where every character gets to breathe, and while that means it can be a little slow to get its pieces in motion the pay-off is well worth the wait. And the foreshadowing adds a whole new element of tension: we know things are going to go very wrong towards the end. We just don't know how, or why.
Why do I like it so much? Because it has everything. It's incredibly tense, sometimes so much so that I watch from behind my fingers. It's often incredibly funny. And it has a really huge heart.
Better Call Saul is better than Breaking Bad, better than The Wire, better than Narcos and Gomorrah and The Shield and Line of Duty. Binge it this month. You can thank me later.