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How 'Better Call Saul' Found Itself Trending on Twitter

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 23, 2016 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 23, 2016 |


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The bad news for Better Call Saul is that its second season premiere was down a humbling 24 percent from last season in the overnight ratings. The good news is, overnight ratings no longer matter. The series no longer has The Walking Dead lead-in it had with its series premiere and it was facing off against the Grammys. Once a full week’s viewership had been accounted for, ratings for Saul put it third among scripted cable programming for the week, behind only The Walking Dead and People vs. O.J. Simpson.

Still, while Breaking Bad was regularly a major topic of conversation on Twitter, Better Call Saul is not a show that regularly burns up social media. It’s not really that kind of show: It’s a character drama, and a slow-burning one, at that. It’s a show about the transformation of a man from Slippin’ Jimmy to Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman to Gene in Omaha and about what, exactly, provokes that transformation. The transformation is gradual and subtle — it took us an entire season to learn that Jimmy’s inability to gain his brother’s approval put him on the path toward Saul, and in its second season, the rejection of his girlfriend, Kim, seems to be keeping him on that path. Jimmy wants to be Slippin’ Jimmy, and every time someone he loves rejects him, he morphs a little more into the ultimate Slippin’ Jimmy: Saul Goodman, who is Jimmy McGill with a soul shrouded in pain.

But every once in a while, Saul hits that sweet spot where prestige drama and the Internet beautifully merge, by which I mean: Additions to the Urban Dictionary. Last season saw Jimmy McGill coin the “Chicago Sunroof” — the act of taking a dump through an automobile’s sunroof — and last night saw the series add another soon-to-be new entry into the Urban Dictionary: A Hoboken Squat Cobbler.

What is a Hoboken Squat Cobbler? It actually reminded me of something a character on Showtime’s United States of Tara used to do: She let men pay to watch her sit on pies, through the Internet. That character was actually played by Brie Larson (a fact that I’d completely forgotten until this moment).

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Similarly, a Hoboken Squat Cobbler involves a naked man sitting down on a pie and wiggling around. Crying may or may not be involved. It’s a fetish.

It was also what Jimmy insisted his client was hiding in his drug hole last night. No, it wasn’t drugs. It was a video of him doing the Hoboken Squat Cobbler. You know, the Full Moon Pie, the Boston Cream Splat, Simple Simon the Ass Man.

As Peter Gould relayed to Alan Sepinwall, the idea to come up for a name for the act actually came from Bob Odenkirk himself. The script simply called for Jimmy to say that his client “sits in pies.” It was Odenkirk who insisted it have a name, and the writers who ran with it, coming up with several variations on the Hoboken Squat Cobbler.

Clearly, with a new term like that, Twitter lit a fire.

And yes, there is a Twitter account of Squat Cobbler already. You’ll never look at a pie the same way again.

If you are so inclined, you can actually watch the entire Hoboken Squat Cobbler scene here.


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