For my review I have chosen to take a more in-depth look at the commercials of Jimmy McGill from Better Call Saul.
The AMC series Better Call Saul stars Bob Odenkirk in the role of Jimmy McGill (AKA Saul Goodman). His character is always on the lookout for a way to gain more fame and paying clients in order to further his business as a lawyer in the state of Albuquerque.
The video above is a compilation of various adverts he has filmed throughout the duration of the show, always with a hidden motive behind them. In the first minute of the video we see Jimmy giving a heartfelt message to his audience, expressing how he has just barely made enough money to buy a billboard to advertise his ‘fledgeling law firm’, only to have it taken down 24 hours after being put up. This was done due to Jimmy replicating the look of a larger law firm by the name of Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM), a firm he used to work at. Jimmy made this advert out of spite in order to turn heads his way, given that his last name is also McGill and that he should have a stake in this company seeing as his older brother Chuck is one of the heads of the firm. Little do the audience know that when the worker who is removing Jimmy’s advert falls, it is all staged and that this is all simply a publicity stunt for Jimmy to boost his popularity albeit in a questionable manner; but such is the nature of the Better Call Saul series.
Next up is the advert in which Jimmy envisions an older woman struggling to have the essentials in her home, primarily the heating; this is due to the nursing home which she is staying at syphoning money from their residents’ accounts, unbeknownst to them and their families. In order to get this nursing home to give the residents their money back in an ongoing lawsuit led by Jimmy, he plans to release this advert to the public without the consent of the firm he is working with at the time (Davis & Main). This causes his boss Clifford to become enraged and almost gets him fired. I found that the scene in which Jimmy is explaining his vision to the film crew to be very similar to the way I visualise things. Instead of writing things down I prefer to talk about them and act them out, either to myself or to others and then gauge their opinion on my ideas.
Following this advert is an advert which is never aired by Jimmy and is simply used as an intimidation tactic towards a legal rival of his client. Mesa Verde, a well established bank chain is attempting to evict a man from his land because they allegedly have ownership of it and wish to build a new property on top of his current house. The man refuses and enlists Jimmy’s help to make sure this does not happen; and so he begins filming, bringing in fake testimonies of Mesa Verde customers experiencing severe problems with the bank as a company. Be it random evictions, rashes which occurred after using bank facilities and even alleging having seen an employee with his pants down! On top of all of this, Jimmy uses a previously aired advert by Mesa Verde themselves, featuring the current head of the company’s father as a point of ridicule. This series of ads made consider attempting to make a defamatory advert for the ‘waking world’s’ houses and how boring they are, not featuring any fire, demons, sulphur air fresheners or brimstone.
Second to last is the advert Jimmy releases in order to make some money since at this stage of his career he has lost his job as a lawyer. In this ad we see the first instance of him using his alias, Saul Goodman, where he pretends to be working for TV adverts. In this advert Jimmy uses the rule of three and inclusive language to make his point clear to the viewer: you need to be on TV. It is a cheesy, quick advert which is straight to the point and features many, many star-wipe transitions, further setting in its tackiness. This specific advert was what initially inspired me to attempt to make an advert for Tartarus Housing Ltd. and gave me some excellent pointers on how to make it comedic and trashy at the same time, while also giving my intended audience the information I want them to have.
Lastly, we have the shot of Jimmy in front of the Star-Spangled Banner, gazing into the distance patriotically. This was part of a bigger advert pertaining to a con he was trying to pull off by having a war veteran appear in front of a fighter jet. One of the more irrelevant adverts towards my project, I did not feel that there would be anything related to this overt display of patriotism in my advert which was ultimately never made.
Overall, these adverts serve the purpose of showing that despite Jimmy McGill being one man, he is able to change the opinion of hundreds of people through his natural charisma and showmanship. His is a multifaceted character with the ability to extreme lengths to get things to go his way, even if they are offensive, invasive and defamatory. This is why Bob Odenkirk’s portrayal of Jimmy McGill is so influential to my own character, Mick McFahren; these traits are those which I wished to convey through McFahren during my 3 hours at The TAKEOVER.