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Better Call Saul Ripped Over Its 'Horrendous' Spanish

Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring "sounds like he learned the language in business school."
  • Giancarlo Esposito in Better Call Saul (Photo: AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
    Giancarlo Esposito in Better Call Saul (Photo: AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

    Better Call Saul has plenty of strong points, but one area where the series falls short is in its Spanish-language scenes.

    That's according to Fidel Martinez, a fan of the show who writes the Los Angeles Times Latinx Files, a weekly column that focuses on the American Latinx experience.

    "It's '¿Dónde está la biblioteca?'-level bad," writes Martinez.

    The writer describes a scene that's meant to be serious and important as "cringe and borderline hilarious" due to the actors' use of Spanish. For Spanish speakers, said Martinez, "the illusion is broken" due to actor Mark Margolis' poor Spanish — a delivery that clearly indicates he doesn't speak the language, as he's neither Mexican nor Latinx.

    Martinez also points out that while actor Steven Bauer is fluent in Spanish, he was born in Cuba, and he's meant to be speaking in a Mexican accent and dialect.

    "You are no longer watching a scene with Mexican cartel members," writes Martinez."You are instead watching a scene in which two actors pretend to play those roles."

    As for Gus Fring (played by Giancarlo Esposito), his character is supposed to be native Chilean, but according to Martinez "he sounds like he learned the language in business school." 

    Fans on Twitter have long noted the poor use of Spanish in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, with many now agreeing with Martinez's article. One Twitter user called it a "Spot-on assessment," while another said it was "The Take we've all been waiting for."

    Back in April, another person Tweeted, "The amount of actors in Better Call Saul cast for Spanish-speaking roles that very obviously don't actually speak Spanish baffles me."

    Better Call Saul is currently airing its final season. New episodes air Mondays at 9:00 PM ET on AMC.

    People are talking about Better Call Saul in our forums. Join the conversation.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Better Call Saul, AMC, Breaking Bad, Latinx TV, Los Angeles Times, Twitter