AMC Presents ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘Mad Men’ and “Halt and Catch Fire’ [TCA 2015]

amc tca winter 2015
Day Four of the Televisions Critics Association (TCA) Winter 2015 Press Tour started with AMC presenting one new and two returning shows.

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul (2)

Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Caul Saul, set six years earlier, follows Saul Goodman in his early days as a small-time lawyer.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– “If everyone else does it one way, we’re somewhat contrarian and like to show people what they haven’t seen before.” – Executive producer Vince Gilligan on their use of Black & White to show the present and color to show the past.

– Patrick Fabian who plays the character of Howard Hamlin said he was a fan of Breaking Bad and on the first day of reading, when he saw Jonathan Banks he told him “they fucking shot Mike” and Banks went “I know! Worst day of my life.”

– Bob Odenkirk joked that every time he gets into the office he says “Has Walter White called yet?” He added, “Jesse would be in middle school.”

– When asked how many characters from Breaking Bad would appear, Gilligan said that a big part of the fun for them in setting the show 6 years earlier is to allow the sky to be the limit.

– Executive producer Peter Gould did reveal that Walt and Jesse would not appear in season 1. To which Gilligan added, “we’re not saying it will never happen, but we’re not saying it will happen.”

– Gilligan explained that the Saul we first met in Breaking Bad is not the Saul we’re starting out with in Better Caul Saul. He added that there is “a lot more nuances to his ethics.”

– Gilligan also explained that Walter White had a very existential and immediate problem in Breaking Bad, so the whole show had to be a very accelerated storytelling, but this show doesn’t have that.

– Gilligan shared that he wasn’t sure how good the show was going to be until he saw it getting put together in the editing room and thought, “shit, this is good.” He is really proud of it and added that episode 1 and 2 are really good and that it only gets better from there.

– “It is a goddamn good show.” – Vince Gilligan

Better Call Saul premieres February 8, 2015 at 10pm.

Mad Men

Mad Men Season 7 Episode 5 The Runaways (2)

Mad Men will return for one last time before closing its doors for good.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– Elisabeth Moss said that she’s surprised that Penny hasn’t changed in a lot of ways.

– Christina Hendricks was surprised at the creativity of executive producer Matthew Weiner in bringing all these people into Joan’s life over the seasons.

– Jon Hamm joked when asked how he feels about the show ending, “I’m thrilled that it’s ending. I’m looking forward to be unemployed.” He later added more seriously that he is of course sad the show is ending mostly because he will miss everyone he’s been working with on the show.

– When asked about a Mad Men spinoff, Jon Hamm joked that the title could be “Better Call Pete.”

– “If you’re watching the show, you’re watching the show right.” -Matthew Weiner when asked about some of the conspiracy theories about the show.

– Weiner said that each of the last seven episode feels like a series finale.

– “Finally a “How I Met Your Mother” question!” Jon Hamm joked when someone asked a question bringing up the How I Met Your Mother finale.

– “Sometimes people have to be protected from what they want to see happen,” Weiner said. He added, “You can’t give them everything that they want.”

– “It was surprising to the end.” -John Slattery

– “I was surprised in the best way and really happy with it.” -Elisabeth Moss on the finale.

Mad Men returns to finish its final season on Sunday, April 5th at 10pm.

Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) Episode 10 1984 (2)

AMC’s original series, Halt and Catch Fire, which follows the rise of the PC era in the 1980s, will be back for its second season this year.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

– The new season starts off on March 1985.

– Some themes from last season will continue this season including the thin line separating genius from delusions and the fallout from following your dreams.

– “I think these characters would find this moment in time absolutely thrilling.” -Lee Pace

– Executive producer Jonathan Lisco said he has a “geeky love affair” with the title of the show.

Halt and Catch Fire returns Spring/Summer 2015.