ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the beginning of the end of the Breaking Bad universe, with the final season of spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’ premiering Monday night. “The storyline, the plot, it’s all just genius,” said Nolan Petrina, a fan of all the series, visiting Albuquerque from Ohio.
“It’s tough because one of the appeals of the show is that you don’t want to get away from those characters,” said Ed Petrina, another fan of all the series visiting from Ohio.
For the past 14 years, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have been a constant for the state’s TV and film industry. This latest season of Better Call Saul employed 400 New Mexico crew members, more than 150 New Mexico principal actors, and 1,500 local background talent. It also highlighted Albuquerque along the way.
“It’s so local but at the same time it’s so big,” said Alejandro Gallegos, an Albuquerque teen who is a fan of Breaking Bad. “It’s just cool to see like, all the landmarks and I’ve seen places that are like, a block away from my house and it’s just cool to be able to see that in the show that so many people have watched.”
“I love the fact that Albuquerque is the sixth character in the show,” said Edward Candelaria, co-owner of The Breaking Bad Store in Old Town. “They don’t mask it. They use the real street addresses, the real towns and everting. Everything is exactly how you would if you were a native to the town.”
The iconic shows even lead to local tours and that store dedicated to the series in historic Old Town. While fans are sad to see the series end, they said the shows’ legacies will be forever.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Candelaria. “We were always saying they’re filming. now it’s like they’re gone and there’s going to be no more. The fandom is always going to be on. Breaking Bad is not just a TV show. It’s like, ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘Star Trek’, it has the cult thing about the show…it’s always going to live on.”
“I think it’s definitely one of the hallmarks of Albuquerque. It definitely has. It’s just part of Albuquerque. It’s part of our culture,” said Gallegos.
People held watch parties around Albuquerque Monday night, including one at Tractor Brewing in Wells Park hosted by the owners of The Breaking Bad Store ABQ.
The first two episodes of Better Call Saul air tonight (April 18) from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. MT on AMC and AMC+. An encore presentation begins at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The final season consists of 13 episodes. “Better Call Saul” has been shot in New Mexico since 2015.