We live in an age where TV producers are able to make their shows as creatively fulfilling as they can. In the past, the medium of television had been somewhat restrictive, as it needed to fit within the network time parameters, as well as have fitting content for their sponsors. To top it all off, the shows had to be made with the knowledge that audiences wouldn’t be able to tune in every week, so they better damn well make sure if they DO tune in that they’re not confused or thrown for a loop.
The age of cable and streaming TV has led to a whole new era in the medium, where producers are less restricted than ever before. As a result, today’s series are about as amazing as they’ve ever been in the past. But that’s not to say they’re perfect. In the age of more story-based TV, shows still run the risk of overstaying their welcome — just take a look at shows The Walking Dead, where there seems to be no endgame in mind.
This is such a fate that Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould wants to desperately avoid. While the show seemed to be en route to collide with Breaking Bad in theory, Better Call Saul has proven to have quite the deliberate pacing. At the rate it’s going, who knows when it’ll finally clash with the Breaking Bad timeline. Speaking with Uproxx, Gould discussed whether or not they have a solid plan in place to end things.
"Yes. The writers room has been closed for quite a while now. We all had lunch together just a couple of weeks ago, and that was one of the main questions we were asking ourselves: How much story is there? I think we’re getting a better idea. I will say I think this show has a definite limit to it. It’s a story with a beginning and a middle and a definite end. I have to say, I would rather have it end too soon than go on too long. It’s the old showbiz adage: 'Leave them wanting more.' I would rather have people wish there had been more seasons than them going, 'Oh, is that still on?'
"The incentive in show business, in every way, is to stay on. Financially, the longer a show is on, the more money everyone makes. But there’s another reason to do it, too: we love working together. I’ve had 10 years of working with a lot of the same people. It’s been the greatest creative experience of my life. I don’t expect anything, no matter what I do, is ever going to come close to this."
Of course, one of the big questions (and risks) for a show like this is whether or not it will get renewed long enough to finish the story it set out to tell. The fact is that Better Call Saul has had a steady decline in its ratings since it premiered a couple years back, and as of Season 3 is only hitting around 1.75 million viewers an episode (Season 1 had closer to 3 million an episode). On the plus side, however, the show damn good, and while I’d hesitate to say it’s better than Breaking Bad, it’s certainly good enough to stand next to its predecessor.
All in all, it seems like Gould and company have an understanding of how long a show needs to be in order to work. So long as they keep that in mind, we have little doubt they’ll overstay their welcome.
How many more seasons do you think Better Call Saul has in it? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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