Bryan's Blog

Bryan attempts a blog.

Better Call Saul Season 3 Preview: Episodes 1 and 2 set a deliberate pace that will pull you in.

The third season of Better Call Saul picks up exactly where the second season ended. There is no time skip. We are thrown right back into Chuck McGill’s foil lined library, coaxing his brother Jimmy into confessing that yes, he had sabotaged Chuck’s dealing with Mesa Verde. Which by extension gave Kim Wexler a big fish client and earned Jimmy a petty yet satisfactory victory over his arch nemesis Howard Hamlin. Just shy of a year from the initial airing of the Season 2 finale, we finally find out what Chuck’s plan is for the secretly recorded confessional and how our “hero” Jimmy will respond. We again see alliances solidified, forged and redefined.

It’s been almost a year since we saw Mike, perched on a distant sand dune ready to assassinate Tio Salamanca only to receive an ominous warning via car horn. “Don’t”. The first two episodes of Season 3 will offer no hasty answer as to who left the message. However, we are treated to engrossing performances by Johnathan Banks as he tries to outwit and discover who exactly has been keeping tabs on Mike.

It was nice to see Jimmy’s mail room friend Ernesto play a small but pivotal role in the larger overall plot. Of course, there will be some familiar faces from the Breaking Bad universe returning as well. Yes, one can surmise who shows up using AMC’s marketing material, but dare I say, that particular character is not alone. Just as we got a glimpse of pre-Breaking Bad Ken in Season 2, we get to see how another Breaking Bad ancillary character entered the scene. Also, per seasonal tradition, we get to check in with “Gene”! This season appears to be setting the stage for a greater in-depth look into how Jimmy McGill’s post Breaking Bad alter ego is holding up.

While viewing the first two episodes of Better Call Saul Season 3, I kept finding myself glancing at the clock, then back to the television, then at the elapsed time bar of the video for the episode itself. As the episodes kept moving forward I kept questioning how long I had been watching the episodes.

Was I experiencing dense tales snugly fit into their run time or was I viewing a long blossoming story given room to grow and breath? It seems counter intuitive, but the odd sense of time I was experiencing helped established an effective, deliberate pace. While the episodes are packed with minimalist progression, they are no less engrossing. Past seasons’ episodes have garnered some criticism for either moving too quickly establishing nothing or too slowly trying to establish a lot. If the first two episodes of this season are any indication, this will be the season Better Call Saul has found it’s own unique voice, ties to Breaking Bad be damned.

Speaking of Breaking Bad, there is also no doubt the series is well on it’s way to an inevitable collision with the pre-established introduction of Saul Goodman. We, the viewer, are well aware how this story ends. The march toward the inevitable merge grows shorter and shorter. Sometime in the not too distant future, Jimmy McGill will become Saul Goodman. Until then, Season three, while obviously trapped in the gravity of Breaking Bad still has time to expound before the words collide. This makes the nuanced and detailed creation of Jimmy McGill’s pre-Walter White world all the more impressive.

Better Call Saul season 3 premieres April 10 at 10/9c on AMC.

Rating: A

Mike Rowe Channels Paul Harvey; Loves the Trades

Less than twenty seconds into our interview, Mike Rowe exposes himself to be exactly the down to earth guy you’d expect him to be. Referencing my butter fingers habit of hanging up on guests, Mike Rowe is already cheerily busting my balls.

“First let me congratulate Bryan for not hanging up on me.”

The baritone voiced every man turned house hold name is calling into our show to discuss his new Podcast and his admiration for blue collar workers.

The Way I heard It with Mike Rowe (iTunes) is Rowe’s own podcast recorded while not narrating the dangers of fishing on the Bering Sea. The podcast, much like Paul Harvey’s classic radio series “The Rest of the Story”, is a collection of short stories using light theatricality and expert story crafting to capture the listeners attention.

“When I was kid, Paul Harvey was always there and did this thing called ‘The Rest of the Story’. They were basically biographies wrapped in a mystery. I just remember so many times riding around in my crappy little car and listening to these things, getting to where I was going, but being unable to get out of the car until I heard the end of the story so I could know who the hell he had been talking about.”

“As you guys know, there are no good ideas left in world.” States Rowe. One could almost see his tongue firmly planted in cheek as he continues, “Or at least, no original ideas.”

“I am in awe of people who wake up clean and come home dirty and along the course of the day fix a problem that I can’t fix. “

The short, neatly packaged, easily digestible true to life tales are written by Mike and his team. These stories rely heavy on back ground details to draw the listener in. Just as your mind starts racing to beat the story teller to the punch line, Mike reveals the pay off. It’s easy listening that is delivered with a precise narration familiar to anyone who has watched basic cable anytime in the last 14 years.

“You know, I’m a television guy and I had no real idea how podcasts work. We did 34 tests.” Rowe recalls. “I was just throwing them out there. People who know called back and said ‘Hey, 10 million people listen to this. You should do it again.’ So, we are calling it Season 2, but I don’t know what it means.”

Rowe acknowledges that much of his notoriety is a byproduct of hosting 10 years of his show dirty jobs. For the uninitiated, Dirty Jobs featured Rowe performing those rarely thought about often disgusting occupations which afford the rest of us our standard of living.

“I am in awe of people who wake up clean and come home dirty and along the course of the day fix a problem that I can’t fix. I can’t do that. There’s a gene, that’s recessive that I don’t have”, Rowe says admirably. “I’m just a fan.”

Being a fan of the blue collar working man provided Mike with the inspiration he needed to create “Mike Rowe Works” ( a foundation to support and promote blue color jobs, just like those on he performed on television. “All I kept hearing was there are no jobs and no one is hiring. Then I’d go do these jobs and all I would hear is that there is a shortage of workers. I knew there had to be some sort of disconnect.”

Mike has since moved on from Dirty Jobs and is currently developing another television project that will air later this year. In the meantime, however, don’t bother asking Mike to apply any of the skills he has learned over the years.

“You can call me.” He says with a smile, “But I’m not coming.”

To hear the interview with Mike Rowe and many other great celebrities, please check out Nothing Important at or subscribe on iTunes HERE