Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

At Last: A Sequel I Can Get Behind

It finally happened.

Yesterday, Netflix announced that El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will air on the the streaming service on October 11.

Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman on the original show for five seasons and reprises his role for this sequel, summed up my feelings pretty well:

“It’s a chapter of Breaking Bad that I didn’t realize I wanted. And now that I have it, I’m so happy that it’s there.”

I’ve long been funny about sequels and prequels and even second+ seasons of very good TV shows. Our entertainment industry has a long tradition of not knowing when the horse is dead, or they don’t care if the horse is dead so long as there’s a critical mass that will pay to see it (though their motivation could also be like that of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in The Producers). We end up with too many sequels or too many seasons of a tired TV show limping along, and we either forget what made it so good in the first place, or we just hope it will recapture some of the original magic, or we still somehow care about characters despite what second and third and fourth teams of writers/directors/creators turn them into.

But I have hope for this one. Not only because Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gilligan is really good at what he does, but also because the track record for television seems to be improving. After season two of The Good Place, I really didn’t see how they could keep that premise rolling. They have. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has rolled right on. Season two of The OA was very good. And my most anticipated (and feared) sequel season, HBO’s Barry, somehow managed to equal–and even exceed, at times–an excellent first season.

So, on October 11 I think I’ll plunk myself down in front of the TV and see what happened to Jesse Pinkman. I’ll be rooting for him, too, hoping he can find a way to shed the horrors he endured through five seasons of Breaking Bad.

How are you all doing?

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