Better Call Saul Season 2 (Blu-ray review)
For those not blessed with cable (like me), it’s likely that you’ve missed Season 2 of Better Call Saul since it aired in February. Luckily, all 10 episodes will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th with some added bonus features. The question remains if the contents of the Blu-ray package is worth the near $40 price of admission. After all, why fork over the dough when you can just wait for these episodes to show up on Netflix? The average show-goer might have the patience to wait a few more months for that, but if you’re a die-hard Vince Gilligan enthusiast, this Blu-ray package offers just enough bang for your buck.
Chances are you started watching this show because you’re going through a bad phase of post-Breaking Bad depression since Better Call Saul is a prequel to the legendary series. Even though this show will quench your thirst, it holds an identity of its own despite being set in the same universe. This shouldn’t discourage you at all, but if you were somehow disappointed that Season 1 didn’t have a scene akin to when Jesse accidentally burned through a ceiling trying to dissolve a dead body in acid, this isn’t exactly the same type of show.
Season 2 delivers more of what we loved about Season 1 and then some. Jimmy McGill is on a slow but sure rise to become the great criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, and we get to see more of Albuquerque’s Cartel scene by following Mike Ehrmantraut as he tries to make a living working for various criminals. The show overall doesn’t deliver on the action/violence part as well as Breaking Bad did, but that doesn’t take away from the impressive writing. You’ll find yourself wondering how two separate events will wind up connecting with one another only to be amazed at how flawlessly they come together in the end of an episode. All of this wrapped up with a subtle but tense cliffhanger that will ultimately leave you satisfied… or begging you for Season 3 to come out sooner.
Picture quality on these Blu-ray discs is good. It’s nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. I streamed Season 1 on Netflix and I couldn’t tell the difference between what was running on a disc and what was not. If you have a poor internet connection, however, the Blu-ray will be a great choice if you don’t want any buffering or a sudden decrease in resolution. To be fair, Better Call Saul‘s cinematography isn’t trying to rub in your face how good it looks (with the exception of some impressive single-take shots), so it’s not like you’re going to be disappointed with the picture quality either way.
The Blu-ray set comes with 3 discs, each including 3-4 episodes and some special features that consist of:
- Table read of the first episode “Switch”
- Settling the Score: Original Music by Composer David Porter
- Building the Shot
- Jimmy and Kim: A Complicated Relationship
- The Takedown
- In Conversation: Jonathan Banks & Mark Margolis
- Constructing Davis & Main
- Landing FIFI
- Four in-show commercials at full-length
- Blooper Reel
- HSC: Beaches ‘n’ Peaches
Some of these features are located in the Special Features option in the Main Menu, but episode-specific ones like “The Takedown” and “Building the Shot” are located in the Episode Select option. Those aforementioned features are some of the best ones and will catch the eye of film-making enthusiasts like me. They are behind-the-scenes looks at a couple of the more impressive scenes in the season, one of which follows an ice cream truck that’s transporting more than just ice cream across the American border. “Constructing Davis & Main” provides a tour of the Davis & Main law offices set and offers some good perspective inside the set-design profession.
The “Switch” table-read is an underwhelming feature due to it just being a table-read, but it might be a good watch for aspiring screenwriters as they go through the whole script of episode 1. “Jimmy and Kim: A Complicated Relationship” dives into the psyche of both characters and how they view eachother. It’s a great way to know a little about the actors themselves, but it would have been nice to see similar features with different characters like Mike and Nacho.
Without spoiling it, there is a rather tense scene in the show that doesn’t have any music playing in the background. Series composer Dave Porter developed a track for that scene, but it didn’t make it in the final cut. Now we’re able to witness the scene with the track in place. A great lesson in how music can add or lessen an experience.
The Blooper Reel and in-show commercials offer some good laughs, but the “HSC: Beaches ‘n’ Peaches” feature is the one absolutely worth watching! I recommend watching all these features when you’re completely finished with the Season, but you can watch “HSC: Beaches ‘n’ Peaches” after Episode 2. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Whether you’re DYING to watch the latest season or you want to take a look inside the creative process of television production, the Better Call Saul Season 2 Blu-ray makes for a welcome addition to your collection. The quality of this season alone is enough to warrant a purchase. While I do wish they added more worthwhile features, the ones included are still pretty good. It remains to be seen if Better Call Saul will be as good as Breaking Bad, but even then this a show you do not want to miss out on!
Rating: 4/5 Atoms