The first reviews for AMC's Breaking Bad spin-off comedy drama Better Call Saul are beginning to trickle in and acolytes of Bryan Cranston's Walter White will like what they read. Set six years earlier than the events in Breaking Bad, Saul focuses on Albuquerque lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odernkirk) and his various questionable legal exploits.

Better Call SaulBob Odenkirk [L] on the set of Better Call Saul with creator Vince Gilligan [R]

The series - which has already been green-lit for season 2 - will premiere on February 8, 2015, though some TV journalists have been treated to the first three episodes. 

"The instant the duct tape is ripped off his mouth by his captors, a certain Saul-ness kicks in and Odenkirk's talent is on full display as Jimmy delivers a pleading, philosophical monologue on--among other things--the awful nature of revenge," wrote Hank Stuever of the Washington Post.

More: Better Call Saul just got real. It's coming February 8, 2015.

"If I began watching "Better Call Saul!" as a skeptic, the first three episodes have mostly made me a believer. There are nods to the parent show - and those are among the more emotionally affecting parts of this young series - but "Saul" quickly learns to function as its own thing," said Alan Sepinwall of

Better Call SaulBob Odenkirk reprises his role as Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul

"Like Saul himself, its identity is a work in progress. The energetic visual storytelling engages, but the deliberate pacing left me restless," said Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly.

"The first hour moves slower than people might be expecting, but builds to and ends on a wonderful cliff-hanger that is partly but not fully solved in the second episode," said Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter.

More: Bryan Cranston rules out Better Call Saul cameo, but will direct

"Essentially, "Saul" is an extended origin story, possessing "Bad's" flavor and black comedy but at least initially lacking its emotional core. While that dictates a mixed verdict, the creative auspices nevertheless bode well," said Brian Lowry of Variety, cautiously.

"I think [fans] are going to be shocked at how it takes them to a new place so fast," Odenkirk told Entertainment Tonight at the TCA Winter Press Tour. "It hits the ground running."

The first two episodes of Better Call Saul premiere on Sunday February 8, 2015.