'Better Call Saul': What's the verdict?

Story highlights

  • Much-anticipated "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better Call Saul" premiered Sunday
  • The first episode was a showcase for the acting talents of Bob Odenkirk
  • Critics and fans raved about the spinoff

(CNN)At long last, "Breaking Bad" fans got to see the first episode of "Better Call Saul" on Sunday night.

The spinoff's much-hyped premiere started off slowly, with a downright depressing look at a defeated Saul (Bob Odenkirk), working at a Cinnabon, reminiscing about the good old days of his law firm.
Then we flashed back to 2002 to see Jimmy McGill -- as Saul used to be known -- struggling to keep clients and pay the bills between issues with his brother, Chuck, and some skateboarding twins who reminded him of his con-artist days.
    When Jimmy teamed up with the twins to basically bribe a potential client into signing with him, things went horribly awry, with a hit-and-run and Jimmy ultimately taken at gunpoint, a cliffhanger to be resolved on Monday night's episode.
    'Breaking Bad' spin-off breaks cable record
    'Breaking Bad' spin-off breaks cable record


      'Breaking Bad' spin-off breaks cable record


    'Breaking Bad' spin-off breaks cable record 03:28
    There were a few shout-outs to "Breaking Bad," in particular the character of Mike Ehrmantraut, but this show is more of a balance of comedy and drama than the critically acclaimed "Bad."
    Much of it rests on the performance of Odenkirk as Jimmy, and he delivered an Emmy-worthy performance here. We can't wait to see what's to come.
    Critics loved it -- the show stands at 100% on RottenTomatoes.com -- and fans on Twitter responded rapturously.