When it was announced AMC was producing a spin-off to "Breaking Bad" - what I view as the greatest television show of all-time - I was really skeptical. Look, I love the smarmy Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), but I just didn't think he could be the central character of a compelling drama.

When it was announced AMC was producing a spin-off to "Breaking Bad" - what I view as the greatest television show of all-time - I was really skeptical. Look, I love the smarmy Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), but I just didn't think he could be the central character of a compelling drama.

I should've known to never doubt "Breaking Bad" creator (and "Better Call Saul" executive producer) Vince Gilligan and his writing lieutenant Peter Gould, who is the showrunner for series and created the titular character. After viewing the first three episodes, I am pleased to announce "Better Call Saul" is pretty damn great.

Our story of Saul begins six years before he meets Walter White and his world gets turned upside down. But things aren't great for Saul, who is actually Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk), a down-on-his-luck lawyer scrambling to get by.

The parallels between Water and Jimmy won't be lost on any "Breaking Bad" fan in these early episodes - Jimmy's life sucks, and he can't get the respect he wants/deserves - but there's a completely different tone to this series. There is some violence, and some dangerous old/future friends (most importantly Jonathon Bank's Mike) lurking on the periphery, but "Better Call Saul" is nowhere near as dark and harrowing as "Breaking Bad."

Those who couldn't handle the visceral nature of the meth trade will want to give "Saul" a shot, too. Yes, you'll be missing out on some meta fun if you haven't seen the original series, but you should quickly fall for this world. The pilot, directed by Gilligan, is strong, and things get even better in the following two episodes.

Jimmy's exploits carry a black humor, but there's no bleakness to the proceedings. In fact, one of the most enjoyable moments in this early TV season is a montage in the second episode - directed by "Breaking Bad" M.V.P. Michelle MacLaren - where Jimmy is just making his rounds at the courthouse. It's fun, weird and a lot like "Breaking Bad" … only on Molly instead of meth.

So, let's all - "Breaking Bad" geeks and those who've never seen it - get excited about "Better Call Saul."

[Photo courtesy of AMC]