CliqueClack TV

Why I like Breaking Bad’s Skyler White

Most of the men I know don't like 'Breaking Bad's' Skyler White. I think Walt is lucky to have her.

Most of my friends don’t like Skyler White. I’ve convinced them all (and all of them are men, by the way) to watch Breaking Bad, and they all like it, but, “Man, his wife is a bitch.” I thought that was incredible, because I’ve always liked Skyler. Is that because I’m a woman? Who knows. But when I decided to write this post, I did a little research and found out that my friends are not alone. There is a whole Facebook group devoted to hating Skyler White.


Maybe Anna Gunn just blows me away, but I think Skyler is complicated, loving, funny, wry, confused, bitchy, and a joy to watch. She has had a slow, steady increase in interesting story lines, particularly starting in Season 2 when she gets a job and starts to figure out what Walt isn’t what he appears. Even being pregnant, she is radiant. Anna Gunn has a classic beauty that isn’t as anorexic as most actresses, but very sultry. She is loyal, she is a good parent, and she is a close sister. Even when she is furious with Marie for shop-lifting a diamond Tiara, she doesn’t turn her in. This is perhaps our first clue that Skyler is not a snitch.

Skyler isn’t a snitch, and she is no dummy. Whatever her faults, no matter how conventional and straight-laced she appears to be, I think Skyler has some depth. For one thing, she pieces together that Walt is involved in drugs. She realizes she has been wearing Cancer Blinders to his disappearances, his fugue, and his second cell phone, so she digs a little and puts together the truth. The scene in Season 3 in which she confronts Walt and tells him all that she has found out is masterful. When is she going to win an Emmy for her performances?

Even her relationship with Ted is illuminating. Ted is also breaking the law. Again: Skyler doesn’t approve, but she doesn’t turn him in. So we are threading together the tapestry that Skyler believes in loyalty more than the law.

These three seasons have laid the groundwork for Skyler’s path to breaking bad. In addition to her great moment confronting Walt about his activities, she has two other stellar moments. One is when she drives Walt to the car wash and tells him, “If you’re going to launder money, you might as well do it right.” Then she tells him that she never filed their divorce papers so she can’t be compelled to testify against him. Without expression, she looks him straight in the eye and says, “So. There’s that.”

The next is when she tells Marie a complicated story about Walt having a gambling problem that explains all of his bizarre behaviors and the money they are loaning Marie and Hank — but is also something that Marie won’t consider reporting to her DEA husband.

It’s been extremely rewarding watching Skyler wake from her normal, boring, middle class existence to having wicked, forgiven sex in the car outside the PTA meeting, to having an affair with her boss to get back at Walt, to entering a complicated money laundering scheme. Gunn has had some fantastic material to work with, and I can’t believe she isn’t a bigger star.

Photo Credit: AMC/Breaking Bad

Categories: | Breaking Bad | General | TV Shows |

8 Responses to “Why I like Breaking Bad’s Skyler White”

March 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

You’re making me remember how much I LOVE (and miss) this show.

I don’t hate Skyler, and she is way less annoying than Betty Draper.

One of my most favorite moments of the entire series is when she tells Walt: “I fucked Ted”

March 29, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I forgot to mention that I was really surprised she wasn’t nominated for more awards for her season three performance. It was brilliant.

March 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM

. . . . .

Well … isn’t this interesting …

Color me “against the grain” because – right from the get go – I dug Anna Gunn in the Skyler White roll.

You see, I recently (a relative term, to be certain) acquired Season 1 of Breaking Bad and have been attempting (again, a relative term) to get through episode #2 … late at night … falling asleep … each and every time. (Mock me if you will. I have big shoulders, I can take it.) It’s not that it’s boring, it’s just that I begin watching around midnight and I keep winking off.

Anywho, knowing very little about the series other than what I pick up as bits and pieces, I find I’ve instantly taken to Skylar and am more than ready and willing to see where this all leads.

So, there’s that …

March 29, 2011 at 7:20 PM

I think she’s great. Her character has developed in unpredictable ways. Without giving away too much info here, I think I really came to love her most when, in season three, she told Marie how Walt made all his money. A true friend/wife.

Michael, don’t give up on it. The plots take on great unexpected twists and turns and the characters that are added (some subtracted) are incredibly interesting/bizarre.

I watch it mostly for the artitic filming. There is so much stated though the use of lighting, color and balance.

We’re almost through season 3. Is there a season 4?

March 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

. . . . .

<——— won't be giving up

April 26, 2011 at 4:25 AM

Granted Walter is seriously breaking the law through the first two seasons,his only major fault is being caught with a second cell phone. Skyler’s frustration, passive aggression, and down right bitchy attitude comes out already at the second or third episode, before the damn second phone! I mean Walter is a mild-mannered school teacher who has no life whatsoever and she runs him like an old vacuum cleaner. I mean Rita was a bit too whiny or nosy at times with Dexter, but she still didn’t mind too much if he spent all hours of the night slicing his next victim.
I suppose my maleness may be at fault here, but look at the circumstances. He obviously dislikes his life, finds out he has cancer, and goes a little crazy. If I was in his situation I would go a little batsh$% insane!! I just can’t stand how Skyler is so melodramatic and seems to bring everything in to be about her.
Screw it I can’t be formal or nice about this….She’s a frakin bitch! She doesn’t get cool until later in the third season.

June 2, 2011 at 9:15 AM

From the moment I started watching Breaking Bad everything about Skyler made my skin crawl. From her treatment of her son and husband to her vapid existence. I think this character will either remind you of the overbearing, controlling girlfriend you were glad to be rid of or the overbearing, controlling wife who you never had the balls to say “fuck this” to. I think if you, as a woman, can’t understand where the men who hate this character are coming from, you’re probably one of these busy body bitches yourself.

This isn’t any normal case of dislike either. Whenever her or her scheming c**t of a sister appear on screen, I have to stop myself from stopping the video or skipping to the next scene.

i don’t think this is a battle of the sexes type problem. Skyler does not represent the majority of women, just the scheming, busy body, PTA member type women who look down on everyone elses children and cannot form friendships with other women who they see simply as competition. unfortunately the 60s and 70s generations seemed to produce a lot of these poor excuses for humans.

No doubt the middle of the road bitches of my generation are out there, I just don’t come across them in my life.

The thing that gets me is that becuase these type of people,particularly women, conform to expectations of society i.e. married, mortage, kids, PTA member, these people actually consider themselves good people while they walk over everyone else around them to make sure that they too conform to their middle american cliche of good, clean living.

OK, rant over. This character just reminded me of everything I hate about, middle class, middle of the road, nothing to offer the world women who walk round with a chip on their shoulder and bully every male in their life into conformity.

Tip for life for men here too. If you ever meet your girlfriends parents and the mother is blatently wearing the trowsers, run, run as fast as you can, don’t look back. Or if your own mother wore the trousers in your family, its time to hand over your nut sack and shut your mouth.

July 27, 2011 at 4:41 AM

I’m a woman and I can’t stand this heartless bitch. Skyler White needs to die.

Powered By OneLink