Why Do You Hate Skyler White? | Jack Saint

Why Do You Hate Skyler White? | Jack Saint

– [Male] Is it expected for
me to absolutely hate Skyler? I’m watching my way
(soft piano music) through ‘Breaking Bad’ for the first time, up to season three, episode three and I’ve been completely
avoiding this sub until now to avoid all spoilers. If what I’m about to
say is common knowledge, at least you now know why. Basically, I absolutely
loathe Skyler White. Perhaps more than any another
TV character I’ve ever seen, on a level with Joffrey from GoT. Everything she says, everything she does and the way she behaves around everyone just makes me wanna hit her
in the face with a brick. Fair enough, she’s been going through some life-altering tough times, but she acts like such a (bleep). I just wanna reach an episode where she gets killed off. No spoilers, please. – [Man] I hated her
(lively brass band music) ball busting, control freakish,
white bread, housewifey, milquetoast ways from the moment I first clapped eyes on her. – [Woman] I’m a female,
(lively carousel music) and I hate her ever-living guts! When anything tragic happens
in her life, I laugh inside. I don’t know why my
hatred for her is so deep. I think it’s her stupid face. (groans) – [Man] I hate her
attitude, I hate her face, I hate her body language, I hate her. She’s beyond fucking annoying, to the extent I’m having an
issue finishing the series and I’m only at season two. – [Man] I hate Skyler so much.
(rock guitar music) Everything she does annoys me and I generally just hate her so much. – [Man] Why couldn’t the Mexican cartel come for Skyler instead of Walt or Hank? She is such a loud mouth and just is out to fuck up Walt’s life. – [Man] The fact that she’s
(fast rock music) always in Walt’s business,
always getting involved in everything, being so
obsessed with what he’s doing. Doesn’t she just piss everyone off? – [Man] She overrules Walt
(slow piano music) despite what he tries to
do to fix their issues, all while having cancer. Anna Gunn is one of those man-women. Mannish face, lanky body, man-feet. She doesn’t change much from start to end. Too bad the kids don’t find
out the truth about her, take all that money, and tell her how much of
a bad shit mother she is. – [Man] Your opinion is a common one. Be careful though because
there’s always people who like to call you sexist
for having that opinion. (upbeat jazz music) – Did Skyler White in ‘Breaking
Bad’ do anything wrong? I’ve just finished re-watching the show and I’m here to tell you, objectively, no– Okay, so obviously across
these (quack) seasons of character conflict
and intense family drama that make up ‘Breaking Bad’, there’s plenty of legitimate
reasons you could find to wind up disliking Skyler White, the increasingly volatile
wife of main character, Walt. She starts the show as kind of a snob, being weirdly judge-y about
her husband smoking weed, despite him having terminal cancer. In one later scene,
after a tense encounter, we’re shown Skyler smoking a cigarette while pregnant. Throughout the series, she
makes impulse decisions that wind up putting her
family in direct danger and of course– – I fucked Ted – The show is multilayered
and doesn’t have any interest in having any character
serve as a clear cut, morally pure individual. Even Walt Junior doesn’t make it out of the series fully unscathed. – [Walt Junior] Why you gotta be such a, a bitch? – [Hank] Hey, hey, hey. – [Walt Junior] Fucking die already. Just give up and die. – Jessie is at his core, a
naive kid with a good heart. But nonetheless, frequently
makes selfish choices that knowingly hurt those around him. Hank is a dependable family man. But still in the end, a
bit of a dick-head cop. And Gus is a fabulous chef with a wonderful taste in jumpers who also threatens to butcher a man’s entire family.
– [Gus] I will kill your wife. I will kill your son. I will kill your infant daughter. – [Jack Saint] For the most part, the fan base surrounding
the show got there. And were able to navigate
the muddy emotional waters of the show’s cast. Except for Skyler. People really, really, really, really, really fucking hated Skyler. – [Man] Skyler always annoyed me. She loved Walt before
he became a drug dealer. Why is that a problem
after all of his attempts to show her that his family is safe? – [Woman] I was hoping that
Tuko’s cousins would into the house and chop her up. – [Jack] Negative
discussions of the character were so common during
the show’s initial run that it almost became kind of a meme. She regularly topped most hated polls, cast and crew alike
received myriad complaints about her character, and this pickup artist blog, even refers to her as a minger. So today we’re gonna break up
why these people are wrong, why they’re partially right, and then why they’re wrong again. Let’s go!
(descending whistle) – [Skyler] You know what, Walt. Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family. (electronic music)
♪Sell us some dope, ♪ ♪ Sell us some dope, ♪ ♪ Sell us some dope,
sell us some dope, dope ♪ – Hey folks, this episode
has been generously sponsored by NordVPN, an online privacy service
serving over one million users. In lieu of using my spot just to personally recommend the service, I did wanna briefly go
over some recent events that I’m sure a fair few
of you have heard about. Last month, news broke that
last year a NordVPN server had been compromised. And since then there’s been
a lot of mis-information regarding what’s happened
and what’s being done. The short version is that while there was a temporary breach, this was
isolated to a single server and no sensitive user data
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committee on cyber security, transitioning to 100% fully owned servers and more that’s detailed
in the links I’ve included in the description. I’m not saying this out of
any contractual obligation, hearing that a service
I’ve promoted in the past could’ve left my viewers at risk was a huge concern to me. So I’ve been trying to learn
as much as possible about this. If this incident has left you skeptical, I don’t blame you. But, if you’re looking for a
service to encrypt your data and provide online personal security, I’d still 100% recommend NordVPN. For a limited time, Nord is also offering 70%
off of a three year plan. As well as (quack) extra
months of the service for free. So if you’re interested, use
the offer code Jack Saint at nordvpn.com/jacksaint . So, I think if you ask the
average person who disliked the character of Skyler
White, why they disliked her, the answer you’ll get can
usually be summed up by because she was written to be unlikeable. Particularly in seasons
two and three of the show, when Skyler hate was at its peak, she’s always almost
framed as an antagonist to our main characters. Somebody trying to get in
the way of them succeeding with their various schemes. As I’ve described, this starts
with something as simple as Skyler trying to get Walt
to stop associating himself with his shady dealer ex-pupil. Then, as it goes on, we
get Skyler finding out about Walt’s double life
as a drug’s manufacturer, threatening to expose him to the police, forcing him to leave the family home and just generally preventing
Walt from his envisioned dream of leaving a life of luxury to his family. Skyler makes everything harder
for our main characters. Aside from early in season four wherein she’s forced to
help Walt with his schemes, or risk having him expose
their whole operation. Place your bets for when the
fan base temporarily decided she was actually kind of okay. But, well I think the reasoning
that everyone hated Skyler because she got in Walt’s
way gets a lot weaker when you realize that
also described almost the entire rest of the show’s cast. Some of whom are amongst its
most beloved of characters. Mike and Hank would probably
be the easy examples here. Fan favorites who
undeniably put Walt through a lot of trouble over the show’s run. (fist punch) No, this goes a bit deeper. And I think a good place
to start is a close look at one sequence of the show, one that barely ever gets talked about, but I think is actually one of the most impactful
across the entire series. It was a scene for me that really cemented the character of Walter White as an almost effortless manipulator. And, as it turns out, was the
time a lot of the community decided Skyler was
definitely a big fat b– (electric guitar music) Season three episode three IFT
starts uncharacteristically with the focus squarely on Skyler as she goes about her daily life. For some context, the finale
of the show’s previous season had ended with Skyler finally putting all the pieces together, becoming the first person
to finally work out Walt’s criminal double life. Her response was to get her and her family as far away from him as possible. Not only because of how hard he’d deceived those
close to him, but because that deception was so he could work one of the most dangerous
possible jobs for someone with a wife and kids. So, she calls for a divorce and tells Walt to quietly leave the
family home in exchange for not outing him as a secret crime lord. A choice, that would risk making her an accessory to his crimes. Except, at the start of this episode, Walt didn’t stick to the deal. – [Walt] I’ve got your
restraining order right here! Restrain this! – [Jack] See, in the last scene of the previous episode, Walt
had decided he was fed up of being made to feel like
he had done something wrong, breaking back into the house
and re-establishing himself as the man of the household. He calls Skyler’s bluff. She threatens to call the police and he tells her to go for it. So, it’s watching this scene
as it plays out from this point that I think it is really interesting. I think it offers a really visceral look at the dynamic between Walt and Skyler. And by extension, the audience. In the past I have talked
about the ways media can frame conflicts between
characters in such a way that you can be lead to
look more sympathetically at one person or the other, even in situations where
dialogue or actions should point towards our
sympathies being elsewhere. So for example in the case
of musical biopic ‘The Dirt’, a band member can beat
his girlfriend in the face but because we’re focusing so much on his reaction and immediate regret, it’s him we’re being drawn to emotionally. That’s not really the case here. Pretty pointedly, this tense encounter between Walt and Skyler never gives us a definitive perspective. Shots will either show both
character’s emotional conflict or will get close ups of each. But never one more than the other. As a quick point of reference
here, re-watch the scene and consider how much
you’re really thinking about Walt Junior’s emotional
state after he enters the conversation. Not much. Or at least not as much
as Skyler and Walt. So, dialogue here is all the
audience is really left with. And given that dialogues
is almost entirely through characters who
know they have to disguise significant parts of the context here, it makes the scene kind
of a Rorschach test. You see what you want to see. So, when the police
arrive and we see Skyler desperately working out
whether to out Walt’s crimes while he stands in the back
cradling their daughter, if you’re sympathetic to Walt, you see Skyler at her worst. Here’s Walt desperately
trying to reestablish himself as the loving father who only wants his family back together. And here’s Skyler, trying
to get Walt kicked out of the house because of her own moral purity. If you are sympathetic to Skyler, you see all the same things
but you come away feeling the opposite. Here’s a guy playing a pantomime version of the father he never really was. Knowingly rubbing it into his wife’s face that she’s in no position
to call him out for it. When Walt says – I haven’t been the most
attentive husband lately – [Jack] You don’t just hear the words, but all the bullshit
performance behind them. It’s a spot on demonstration
of gaslighting behavior with Walt projecting a heavily
skewed version of reality, to cast Skyler’s perspective into doubt. Hearing the way I’ve gone over
this, you might be tempted to think it’s pretty straightforward that Walt is the bad guy here. Manufacturing this narrative of him being the regretful father who
knows he’s done wrong but just wants that one last chance, even though we know full well he doesn’t really regret
anything he’s done and he is going to keep doing it whether or not Skyler approves. But the response to this scene by fans echoes a lot of the same
talking points we heard from Skyler haters earlier. That this is another case
of Skyler trying to be an obsessive control freak,
getting in the way of Walt as he attempts to keep his life together. Walt Junior agrees with that summation. – [Walt Junior] Why you gotta,
why you gotta do this to Dad? – [Jack] As Skyler makes the
call not to out Walt infront of his son and daughter,
the scene closes out. So, what do we learn? Well to break that down,
I first have to take away any elusion that there’s several
equally perspectives here. Walt is not an earnest loving family man who made mistakes but
wants to make amends. And Skyler is completely
justified in every impulse she had to get him as far away
from the kids as possible by any means necessary. This is true both from Walt’s perspective, who knows full well that rival dealers and thugs had threatened
and attempted to kill him repeatedly by this point, and from the audience’s. Like, literally, at the
end of the last episode we saw two cartel members
enter the family home with axes ready to butcher Walt
at a moment’s notice. This was exactly the kind
of situation Skyler feared when she first gave Walter the boot. And it happened moments
earlier in the narrative. Yeah, the narrative
that Walt was just doing what he thought was best
and Skyler was being unreasonably combative went on. Now, was all of this just
because of implicit misogyny on the part of the viewers? Yeah, for at least some of
the viewers, definitely. As the actor who played Skyler, Anna Gunn, expressed herself in a piece she wrote in 2013 on the subject, there were clearly gendered aspects of the kinds of criticism she received. In her own words. – [Woman] A typical online
post complained that Skyler was a shrieking hypocritical
harpy and didn’t deserve the great life she has. I have never hated a TV-show character as much as I hate her one poster wrote. The consensus among the haters was clear. Skyler was a ball and
chain, a drag, a shrew, an annoying bitch wife. – [Jack] Scenes like
the one I just went into were not uncommon in the show at all especially not as we
move into season four. The narrative dissonance
would only grow between the risks Walt was taking and the danger he was putting his family
in and his dogged insistence that he was keeping them safe and they had nothing to worry about.
– [Walt] You are safe. You, Junior, Holly. You are completely safe. – One of his most famous
moments of bad arse-ry, the “I am the danger” speech is a perfect encapsulation of this. A moment where Skyler questions Walt, on the level to which he really
has things under control. Leading to an authoritative monologue where Walt declares that, if anything, he’s the one other people
should be afraid of. – You clearly, don’t know
who you’re talking to so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. – [Jack] A few moments later. (kicking) (thumping) (tasering) – I did not do this! – I will kill your infant daughter. – However you shake it,
the reality is the same. On basically every occasion
we see Skyler nagging, complaining at, disparaging
Walt’s position, her concerns are absolutely spot on. Hot take.
(fire crackling) Even what seems to be
the most cited example of Skyler being just as bad
or even worse than Walt, her sleeping with Ted and then
throwing it in Walt’s face, was basically the
correct move at the time. It was a bold gambit to alienate a man who by his continued actions
was only putting his Family at greater and greater risk. It was a power move. As much as Walt playing the
doting father to paint Skyler as an unreasonable house
wife to the police, except Skyler wasn’t unreasonable and Walt was endangering his family. And the decision she makes that
do put the family in danger, the direct result of Walt’s continued ego preventing him from
admitting to any problems. (electronic sustained chord) So at this point I guess
we’re left with two options. That those who continue to
hate her character were either not particularly paying
attention to the story or that the reasons they
disliked her were not about if her actions were technically
correct or justified. Or maybe they’re just really pro-weed. – Do not sell marijuana to my husband. – So the question is, what
was it that made Skyler so unsympathetic, even if she was right? And it turns out, in the realms of shows, about men leading seedy second lives and constantly fucking up
while their partners are hated for reasons fully validated by the story, Skyler isn’t alone. So “Breaking Bad” joins a
lot of other prestige drama that’s also involves a
lot of dudes gas-lighting their partners while living
out sordid double lives. The key examples I take
her are “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men” and their
sad, sad little brother “Dexter”. Also “Fargo” to a lesser extent and “Barry” to a lesser-er lesser extent. All of these series
involve, to some degree, male main characters with
criminal seconds live their wives or girlfriends either know nothing or very little about. And in all those cases,
those tensions form a lot of the shows’ lasting conflict. Except “Fargo”. They kind of resolve that one early. – Oh jeez. Oh jeez. – [Jack] The significant
others are left in the dark whilst the male leader
murders, steals, deals and usually cheats on their partner. And low and behold, it’s those partners that fans tend to wind up hating most. – It is funny because I have had people go “I can’t stand that woman”
or “I can’t stand this” or whatever and I’m like
but Barry kills people. (laughing) – Carmela Soprano and
especially Betty Draper, regularly get the same
dismissive treatment that Skyler does, often hated by fans and seen as unreasonable,
combative, disloyal and obsessed. To be clear, I don’t feel the same way about all these characters. No shade to Betty stands,
but I get why people would hate her a lot more than I do with someone like Skyler. Skyler never made her
son cry over a sandwich. But this is a pattern. Dudes who are clearly
doing some underhanded shit that could easily break apart
or put their family in danger, and hate bestowed on
the woman of the family as they become increasingly
disturbed and aggravated. These emotions are justified. They are rational responses
to being kept in the dark about fundamental parts
of their partners lives. But why are they still
characterized as the unreasonable, overly emotional, nagging,
ball and chain (beep) as described by Gunn. In simple terms, it’s
because it’s not about doing the right thing. It’s about doing what a
wife or girlfriend character is expected to do. In the same way Skyler contradicts
Walt’s invented narrative as either the loving family
man or infallible crime lord, these characters contradict
their pre-established roles in the story. To be disruptive, to be
disloyal, to argue and betray are not bad because they are wrong or irrational choices
given their situations but because those characters
should be the opposites. Co-operative, loyal, store war supporters of the lead character. Betty Draper was a model of
the 50s suburban house wife. That’s literally her career
prior to marrying Don. She, like these other characters,
simply reveals herself to be too human to keep
within the strict confines of what she’s supposed to be. And, almost compulsively,
she is disdained for it. By contrast, these stories are
composed of male characters desperately trying to fit
within masculine roles. – [Gus] What does a man do, Walt? A man provides for his family. – [Jack] It could be
something really abstract. Dexter Morgan clearly contextualized as a genuine psychopath
with deep, deep problems. But nonetheless, filling
that hyper masculine punish-er style, slaughter in
the name of good archetype. Or it could be as in
your face as Don Draper, the slick executive who
every dude wants to be and every woman wants to be with. Tony Soprano, the Italian mob boss and Heisenberg, the feared drug king pin. Classic roles of masculine
dominance and authority. – You’re god damn right. – Within these stories,
it doesn’t really matter if these characters are right. Don’s desperation to
conform to this archetype lead to nothing but
constant anxiety, alcoholism and broken relationships
with almost every woman in his life. Walt repeatedly refuses clear exists from his dangerous situation
in his ruthless desire to maintain an air of supremacy. Lester Nygaard thinks he’s real cool until he trips and falls,
into a big, big hole. These men embody the toxic reality of trying to confirm to
these unhealthy roles they’re told they should aspire to. But, by the nature of the
fact that the audience is also being fed these roles, a large chunk of them don’t
see a cautionary tale. In the back of their head, they see men aspiring to be alpha males. And they think to themselves, hey maybe if he can
actually make it, I can too. So even if they’re
repeatedly shown to be wrong, even if it’s constantly
demonstrating how destructive and miserable this
unending desperate struggle to fit this imagined role is, in the back of their head the
audience still cheers them on. Sure this is mostly going to be men, but it’d be naive to assume all of us aren’t just as well taught
through media what the ideals of our gender, sexuality or whatever else are supposed to be. Much as she’s the first to identify the reality of Walt’s
criminal double life, Skyler is the first to
see through the illusion of him being motivated by
anything but his own feelings of pride, ego and self evaluation. In the concluding episode of
the show, Walt finally says what anyone who’d really
been paying attention would’ve long since realized. – You need to understand
– If I have to hear one more time that you did this for the family – [Walt] I did it for me. – [Jack] When you re watch “Breaking Bad” with all of this in mind,
it’s hard not to see Skyler as a pretty heroic character. Particularly in her knowledge that all of her efforts to protect her family, would repeatedly lead
to her being demonized. And all of her predictions
of the negatives outcomes of Walt’s choices, would come to pass exactly. The marriage would crumble. She would be alienated from her son. Her family would be broken. In all of “Breaking Bad”,
Skyler chose very little on the basis that it was
what made her feel good. And on the rare occasions she did, it would be a constant source of criticism and dismay from viewers. She would frequently let
herself look monstrous or ridiculous or idiotic. Because she wasn’t seeking
to fit within a role that she found pleasing. She did what she felt was right. Genuinely. In a constant effort to
protect the ones she loved. I’m not somebody
(piano music) who has spent too much
of my life trying to fit a rigid masculine ideal. But I have found myself
constantly surrounded by male figures who very clearly have. What I see is the same toxic cycle. Attempts to reach some level of respect through authority or dominance that ultimately lead
to nothing but disdain and resentment. The problem is this is not
something we can often identify when we’re going through it first hand. The common speculation
about when Walt is Walt and when he becomes Heisenberg,
represents this pretty well. It’s hard to really know if
this is a face he’s adopting, one he’s faking or if it was
always under the surface. Ideally, this is what
stories like “Breaking Bad”, “Mad Men” and the others
I’ve discussed here can do. Allowing us to take a
step back, and recognize the narratives we’re being fed and are unknowingly trying to match up to. Certainly I think they help me. The trouble is, to do
any of this in the case of targeting ideas like toxic
masculinity, you first have to depict it which inevitably
attracts those who’ve never really been forced to
think critically about it. I’m sure for many viewers, “Breaking Bad” was always
a rags to riches story of a dying cancer patient
becoming a bad arsed crime lord, right up until the show all
but beat them in the head that he was wrong. It’s been billed from the start as the story of Mr
Chips becoming Scarface. And a lot of dudes still
kind of idolize Scarface. (tv playing in background) – [Together] Say hello
to my little friend! (gunfire) – [Walt Junior] Nice – [Jack] That’s why I have to thank those who subject themselves
to the inevitable hatred that comes from people
when they realize a belief they never really questioned
is being challenged. And I think in this case to
thank most of all Anna Gunn, a person who suffered a
unique level of harassment and disdain for the role
she played in this tale. I’m gonna leave here today
with the concluding line from Gunn’s article on
her time with Skyler and the reception of her character. The outcome of a decade spent dealing with an increasingly bitter fan base. Sending her anything from
hate mail to death threats. – [Woman] I can’t say
that I have enjoyed being the center of the storm of Skyler hate. But in the end, I’m glad that
this discussion has happened, that it has taken place in public and that it has illuminated some of
the dark and murky corners that we often ignore or
pretend aren’t still there in our everyday lives. – [Jack] Hey folks, thanks
so much for watching. Sorry for the delay on this one, I re-watched all of “Breaking
Bad” to prep for this and then I re-watched a
bunch of “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men” as further prep and then I played a bunch of X-COM. That wasn’t prep, I just did it. But if you’d like to join me in playing it and more during my
off-time, please check out my regular live stream
at twitch.tv/lacksaint . Aside from that, you can
also get in touch with me on Twitter @lackingsaint . I hope you all enjoyed this. If so, please consider
giving this video a like, subscribing or sharing it
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work, you can help support it by throwing me a buck
or two over on Patreon or Ko-fi for one time donations. Either way, it helps
keep the channel going. It also gets you in the
credits scrolling by now. On top of all the people on this list, I’d like to give a special
thanks to A Recusant, Callan Stein, Connor Dobbs,
Cowrara, IndustrialRobot, malpertuis, NoMoreWorlds
and Taurun The Exile. With an extra special thanks
to Leftist Tech Support. Also, one final thank you to NordVPN for sponsoring me on this video. Reminder to check out the link below for an exclusive offer on their service. Other than that, thanks
again for watching. Love you all and stay safe.

100 Replies to “Why Do You Hate Skyler White? | Jack Saint”

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    Here I am hot off the presses with my Breaking Bad takes like 5 years after the series ended. I have things to say! Are they good things? That's for you to decide, and argue endlessly about in the comments section. I look forward to reading what you have to say! As always, please remember to share if you enjoy, and have a great weekend.

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  2. One thing that is missing from this analysis is Skylar’s intro. She never got a cool intro like the other characters we meet. She’s introduced by screaming at Walt on the phone for using the wrong credit card. Later, she’s shown to be uncaring by giving him a half hearted birthday handy and hurting him physically in the process.

    It’s absolutely true that a lot of her behavior is justified, and it’s true sexism plays a role in the amount of hate she gets. But the sexism really starts with show runners who have to have known how Skylar’s intro would make people feel about her.

  3. I find this such a great and poignant video since when I first watched the show I was one of the people who really did hate Skyler and empathize with Walter, and rewatching feel the total opposite. I guess I never really understood "why" but after this video it helped me realize that my own experiences in toxic relationships made me able to realize Walt's gaslighting nature whereas when I first saw the series I just entered my first (and arguably most toxic) relationship.

  4. Average guy does many horrible, evil things: "I like him because I'm average and wish I could be a cool asshole."
    Woman has one flaw: "WHAT A BIIIITCH!!! I HOPE SHE DIIIIES!"

    So basically, if every female character isn't Carol Brady, idiots will find any small reason to hate on her.

  5. I also disliked Skylar, and I'm sure the reasons you talk about are why a lot of people did, but for me it was mainly that as the show went on, she seemed unwilling to get her family away from a guy who was obviously unstable and insanely dangerous.

  6. You endorse the use of an ugly misogynistic slur against women, especially lesbains which has been used with death threats and threats of rape. And you endorse the harrassment of a lesbian politican simply for standing up for women. You are just a gross misogynist yourself hypocrite

  7. Uh what the heck, people hate Skyler? I saw the thumbnail and was like "That can't be the breaking bad wife". People continue to disappoint.

  8. I hated her because things wouldn’t have been so bad if she had just supported him. She showed her ability to steer things in the right direction, but willfully abandoned a dying man who risked everything to make sure she will always be taken care of. Regardless of Walt’s intentions after the fact, the original reason he started was to provide for his family after he’s gone instead of leaving them with a load of medical and funeral bills. She never tried to understand at least that much.

    Even in the end Walt was forced to admit to her that he did it for himself, which wasn’t even true because we saw on screen him struggling to calculate everything they will need for bills, college, etc. Then she suddenly pulls a knife on him out of nowhere as if he’s an immediate threat to her, just because he wants them to pack their things and go. I can’t see any wife really acting this way to her husband, regardless of if he’s become a criminal. Meaning she only loves him as long as he stays the cowering little stooge that she married. That’s why shes so unlikable to me.

  9. Audience loves the protagonist and hates the antagonist. Even if the protagonist is a badguy and the antagonist is a good guy.

  10. that scene you discuss around 13 minutes in, i can't begin to imagine seeing anything but how horribly helpless skyler clearly felt. got very distinct memories of that part, the feeling of being trapped and voiceless. amazingly done scene- the idea that anyone is on walt's side there is alien to me.

  11. Why is everyone's videos out of focus this week. First Thought Slime now Jack Saint. Is there a 'thing' I'm not aware of?

  12. So what you're saying is that Reddit doesn't have a sufficiently feminist reading of Breaking Bad. Well colour me surprised.

  13. People hated the made up character Skyler based upon the story as it played out. You want to go back and say why this invented character was prescient. Quite simply, no sane man would want to be married to a woman as unstable and unsupportive as Skyler. Keep in mind the Jewish owned media creates stories at first appealing to white men which subsequently turn into character assassination. Go to Pakistan and tell them about toxic masculinity. Please go and disarm our enemies. Don't come back.

  14. People hated the made up character Skyler based upon the story as it played out. You want to go back and say why this invented character was prescient. Quite simply, no sane man would want to be married to a woman as unstable and unsupportive as Skyler. Keep in mind the Jewish owned media creates stories at first appealing to white men which subsequently turn into character assassination. Go to Pakistan and tell them about toxic masculinity. Please go and disarm our enemies. Don't come back.

  15. People hated the made up character Skyler based upon the story as it played out. You want to go back and say why this invented character was prescient. Quite simply, no sane man would want to be married to a woman as unstable and unsupportive as Skyler. Keep in mind the Jewish owned media creates stories at first appealing to white men which subsequently turn into character assassination. Go to Pakistan and tell them about toxic masculinity. Please go and disarm our enemies. Don't come back.

  16. Hank was a fan favorite? How? He was so awful. I hated literally every character in this show except Jessie, Jessica Jones’ character, Saul and Gus.

  17. Before watching this video… The reason people hate Skylar is that Walter White is the clear protagonist. He is introduced in a very sympathetic fashion. The story trains viewers to root for his success. As the seasons go on, we only want that success to continue; we want him at the top of the food chain. We root against those who oppose him, and Skylar is at or near the top of that list. It's really that simple. People "hate" her because she opposes the central character's journey in a story we're invested in. I get actively annoyed when people don't understand how stories work. Sure, as the seasons went on, Walter became less and less sympathetic, to the point of becoming the villain of his own story. But in case we forget, there was always a larger villain in that show, which served to force audiences to continue rooting for Walter over the worse villain. And every now and then, Walter would do something remotely human, reinforcing the investment, which also reinforced the opposition to his opponents.

    I guess what I'm saying is blame the writers for why we hate skylar. FYI – I never hated skylar

  18. Most of the most incredible scenes and memorable moments for me, were with Skylar. Her journey, even as a passenger, was every bit as enthralling as Walter's. She also facilitated some of the most iconic parts. Yes, she started as a cookie cutter "don't let the wife find out" mum, but she changed. Before she found out, I assumed she's drop Walter like a turd in an ice-cream cone. There was every indication that she would develop this way… the awkward confrontation with Jessie, where she told him to stop selling Walter pot. But that's not what happened… She was curious, then greedy, then conniving (I mean, she ran the whole laundering operation…) she became an accomplice, and committed so many crimes that if Walter hadn't made that call which he knew was being listened in on and saved her ass, she'd have gone to jail. She was fascinatingly complex, always doing the last thing you were expecting. She was largely shielded from the blood and the dirt, but she knew it existed, and chose to ignore it, making her complicit. She was brave, conniving, cunning, selfish, dishonest, sociopathic, in short, a female Walter White, who could match him in every way, and was in many ways, more powerful than he was. The only real difference between her and Walter, was that she didn't lose her empathy. Strong women are real people!

  19. Thing I’ve come to realize with this video; “prestige tv” writers, especially the white male ones, can’t write women for shit it seems.

  20. I don't understand why people hate her. She wanted her husband and kids to be ok- people bitch at her for almost "ruining" Walt's plans but WE SEE WHERE THAT GOT HIM

  21. I too didn't enjoy Sky very much, but if I had to contextualize it, I think it was the way in which she narratively butts heads against her husband. Now, I can't speak for Mad Men or The Sopranos, so this is just me speaking of my time with Sky, but it often felt like she came in, and her antagonism didn't cause things to happen narratively, she didn't make things change, she caused things to stop. Where you might hope an antagonist causes the protagonist to adapt or change their strategy, be clever in how they deal with the antagonism, Walt doesn't often have those interactions with Sky. He often doesn't change or adapt when she gets antagonistic, he just does his best to sidestep it or ignore it entirely, leading to a facet of the story that sometimes feels like the same issues from Sky over and over and over, yet narratively nothing changes. There are moments when she will cause things in the plot to change, and those are the really good moments for her character, but they feel so few and far between. Do I agree some people might not like the wife character not standing by her destructive husband? Yes I do, but I would like to bring up an antithesis in the form of Lagertha from 'Vikings'. Lagertha defies her husband, is not the supportive wife, but is much beloved. I think the big difference is how proactive Lagertha is, how much she causes the plot to change, how much occurs in the story because of her actions. Yes, different stories with different characters. But I wonder if some of the hate towards Sky isn't also the way she influences the plot with her antagonism, or more often fails to influence the plot.

  22. I always appreciate your intelligent and well thought commentary, and I especially appreciate you addressing this subject.

    I always thought the hate towards Skyler was strange, and I love your defense and commentary of her.

  23. It's funny – in the start of the show, all the folks around Walt in his life were portrayed as really annoying people, Skyler included. But as time progressed, they became more mellow, and Walt became more awful. And it became sort of almost clear that the earlier show was a lot more from his perspective, he sees Skyler as this nagging woman, and everybody else as lousy people, while in reality he's just a miserable unhappy sod who hates his life actions and probably himself, and this is essentially reflection.

    As time progressed, the perspective switches to being more objective – less Walt's own perspective, and more of a neutral perspective. And would you know it – walt becomes more and more awful, as we're beginning to see him through reality's eyes and not his own eyes, and the people around him become more and more "mellow" and reasonable.

    Poor Skyler is a saint throughout most of the show, for putting up with the awful things he kept bringing into their lives. I always thought that the point of the show was to show how awful and horrid Walter is, how disgusting of a human he had become, and never even realized there's a whole subsection of viewers that saw the show and perceived the complete opposite, seeing Walt as the hero, even though he really is just a small, petty man, who is a disgusting and underhanded waste of flesh and skin.

  24. Anna Gunn and the writers/directors did a FANTASTIC job with the character of Skyler White. I absolutely despised her while watching the show, but that just highlighted how amazing the performance/storytelling was. I KNEW Walt was the bad guy and Skyler was right while watching, but I couldn't help but hate her anyway…

  25. Walt deserved to be cheated on at a bare minimum. This Skylar hatred is some kind of strange pathology that I never understood from the beginning and understand even less after re-watching the series recently. What is wrong with these people?

    WALT IS THE BAD GUY in this show. That is the entire point.

  26. what I love about Barry is that it doesn't try to make him out to be this great guy, its instead his struggle with being a good person.

  27. I think Skyler is a 100% justified in almost everything she does but I still don't like her.

    I don't like Walter either, he is really infuriating, but he is a little more enjoyable to watch.

  28. I never got the Skylar hate train. Sure, she's this judgey, uptight, white lady with a stupid name but that's hardly the worst thing in the world. And yet everyone seemed to hate her for a bit! Why?! She's just this person you know? She's supposed to be kinda annoying and unbearable, but she's a good mom and a good wife! That's her point! If you really hate her that's kind of fucked up.

  29. Overall there's an argument to be made about how the Skylar hate is excessive but you tried way too hard to be woke here. She's not a hero, she was powerless and reactive throughout the entire story. She was cruel and hypocritical.

    Tbh libs usually make the worst critics because they don't understand the difference between symbolic empowerment and actual empowerment.

  30. I understood the Skyler hate upon second viewing but she proves over and over to be a quick thinker and total BAMF. I think she's a great character.

  31. I was a Skyler hater when the series premiered but upon rewatching it recently I was infinitely more sympathetic to her. She held up so much better than most would have in her shoes.

  32. An example of another character who isn’t supposed to be relatable but people adore is Rorschach from Watchmen
    Literally the writer said that he is a bad example and was meant to be portrayed as one
    Yet fans adore him
    Some people see what they want no matter what

  33. This video doesn't really analyze whether there is a legitimate reason to dislike Skylar; instead it focuses on in what ways Skylar's decisions were justified. This isn't a balanced view. To be balanced it should look at Skylar's perspective on Walt starting in Season 1. She doesn't trust him, patronizes him, and guilt-trips him fairly regularly. She clearly does not respect him much. This is used in the early seasons to engender sympathy toward Walt; his bad marriage is just another reason for his dissatisfaction. Skylar later becomes a crucial reference point for how that sympathy has been twisted, because as Walt morphs into a worse and worse person his treatment of Skylar become completely unjustified and all semblance of comparison evaporate, forcing the realization that Skylar's disrespect was really not that important in the first place – or at least it didn't merit the extreme reaction Walt had of deciding to sell drugs. It was one of many small things that drove Walt to crime, and yet Walt's evil outgrew the sum of these greivances.

  34. I'm not familiar enough with BB specifically to judge, having only watched sporadically, but everything you say rings super true for the trend. One thing I thing is part of it that didn't come up in the video is motivation. Not what it is but just… having any. Audiences like characters who want things and do things to get them and so many wives and girlfriends are not just written lacking in personal story-related goals or desires, but actually as the anti-motivation vacuum of the show. Whether it's sitcoms or dramas, TV is full of eye-rolling nagging women telling their menfolk not to do the things that make this a story. We like characters who are strongly motivated, even when they're doing bad things, like Walt, and here are these characters written as living roadblocks to the story and the fun.

    Some writers, aware of the risks of the disliked sensible nag character invert things and make her super supportive. Like, idk, Hawkeye's wife in Avengers 2. It's better, funner to watch at least, but it doesn't solve the basic problem. These women aren't any more motivated (indeed their encouraging of the male heroes' antics is sometimes downright batty) but they get a pass from audiences because they're enabling the fun.

    I would like to see more women supporting characters who are in conflict with the men because they are equally strongly motivated by their own priorities.

  35. My first viewing was in college with my roommates, and we all hated Skyler as well as Hank or anyone that got in the way of Walt directly. I rewatched it again after losing my job and learning a lot about myself, and I couldn't believe how I felt about Skyler and Hank in particular. It transformed in my mind, I consumed an entirely different show. I was horrified by Walt and for Skyler.

    Never have had such a change in media from just a few years. Probably never will have such a thing again, Breaking Bad is both incredibly well made and my own brain chemistry was specific to hit the points it did. Strange.

  36. Someone doesn't have to behave badly for you to hate them, and Skyler's behavior is exemplary considering the circumstances. They could be perfectly lovely by any quantitative measure but if their cadence and body language and facial expressions are as unctuous and smarmy and plaintive as that character's then of course you're going to find them insufferable no matter what they say or do. It has nothing to do with the plot or characterization or any elements of the show whatsoever, it's entirely about Skyler's anti-charisma and everything else is just a rationalization. The actor might not be like that in real life at all and is just putting on a different affect, but if she'd chosen a different performance of if they'd gotten someone else to play her, I'm confident people wouldn't have hated the character at all and been on her side throughout the whole run of the show, as she performed the exact same actions thwarting Walt.

  37. She definitely hit her nadir in the middle of the series, but I think Skyler got a lot better in the last couple of seasons.
    What I really don't get is the hate for Anna Gunn. She's a great actress!

  38. While I think the misogyny point is very reaching, the rest is spot on. Skylar isn't fun, she's real. She's honest. She's the closest thing to an authority that Walt fears answering to.
    Gus, Mike and Hank all are fun and apart of the drug world. While all occupying different spaces within that world, they're still apart of it. We as viewers want to be entrenched in the drug dealing world, but when Skylar steps in we are forced away from it. That's the biggest reason I dreaded her throughout the series.
    No one wants to be told that the fun they're enjoying is actually kind of fucked up and they're a little sick for enjoying/endorsing it. That's what she does and she's totally justified.

  39. The first time I watched BrBa, I didn't like Skyler because if my husband was suddenly a drug lord making millions every week and killing other drug lords, I'd find that insanely awesome and try to fully join his crime life and embrace the luxury provided by that, so I could never truly comprehend Skyler's problem with it, after a second view I could, because I realized how lawful good she was during the time she was working for Ted, so everything just clicked

  40. I always thought, "Wow Walts a dick kinda… so is Skyler. They both suck." But she's genuinely a victim. I mean, her husband was selling and producing meth and she was afraid of him.

  41. I'd love a t.v. series from the perspective of a woman trying to survive the crumbling mania of her serial-killer-drug-dealer-sociopath-father-that-just-wants-to-love/control-her-life-and-the-people-she-loves.

    And somehow not make it a horror movie. C:

  42. Anyone here watched the Shield, the protagonist's wife was relatively close to Skylar, I wonder how she was perceived, probably not as bad considering her circumstanced. Though ironically the show condemns Vic McKey far less than it condemns Walter

  43. I’m glad you brought up the “I am the danger” scene and juxtaposed it with Walt getting beat like a bitch. Before I watched breaking bad and saw the scene out of context, I always thought Walter white was some certified badass but after watching the show I see that it was simply a symptom of his ego and narcissism.

  44. so it's just another example of right wing troglodytes being motivated by an association of feelings over facts. A character makes them feel a certain way, which they enjoy so that character must be good and any other character that is in the way must therefore be evil.

  45. there needs to be a series like that mainly from the perspective of the wife/partner and children, also all others who suffer from those toxic roles

  46. I personally hated Skylar just because the actress puts on that shrill, whiny voice and acts so pretentious all the time. It wasn't her actions nearly as much as her over-the-top holier than thou body language and attitude. Skylar also seems like she's only concerned with her personal moral issues with Walt's behavior and not truly concerned with how his behavior affected the family. Like when they have that discussion at dinner in S1 and Marie says she thinks Walt should decide if he wants to do chemo or not so Skylar flips out and commandeers a discussion that's supposed to be about Walt, all while shaming Marie for daring to contradict her and accurately state that chemo is ultimately Walt's decision.

    I had no issues with Betty Draper save for how terrible she was to her kids and no issues with Carmella save for her hypocrisy and compliance with Tony's behavior. That's because when those characters confront their spouses it felt real and like they actually cared about their families. They also weren't pretentious and whiny about it, they felt genuinely torn and angry.

  47. Ugh thank you, skyler genuinely annoyed me in the first few episodes but everything after that was a reaction to the domino effect of Walt’s breaking bad.

    I don’t understand why people hate her so much and shit on her for cheating on Walt when Walt literally killed people and cooks meth that destroys people’s lives, and that’s outside of all the distance and gaslight he was doing within the marriage. I really don’t give a single shit about her fucking Ted, it made so much sense that her character reacted that way at that time and I’m baffled that people hate her for it, especially after what walt became.

  48. "But _ kills people" Yes, but this is a fantasy world with characters and a story we don't often see in every day life and it's enjoyable on a darker level to watch characters like Barry or Walter be a different kind of bad or evil. It's cathartic and macabre fun. Every single day of my life I deal with angry, annoying bitchy women yelling at me (a woman and a dog groomer) at my job, at the store or even online. So there is a level or realistic every day annoyances that I don't want to deal with in my fantasy shows, I also don't want to deal with whiny, pissy baby men who throw tantrums. So while a lot of these characters are "right" I'm not here to watch or root for the "right" mortal road here. I'm watching a dude with cancer sell meth….you miss the point if you start expecting people who are lead to root for and like a drug dealer to also side with the correct, legal and emotional argument here. These shows make you root for the "bad" guy and in turn the clearly "right" person is then the antagonist. Anyone trying to STOP Dexter no matter how horrible he is as a human is going to be disliked because we are taught to like Dexter…that's why we are watching the show. We see this in OITNB, a full cast of women who did to be far some shitty things and are the 'bad' guys of society but you root for them regardless and while they are in prison they do even worse to each other but you still root for them even if they are say….rioting and attacking guards.

    That's the major flaw in your whole argument. The "BAD" guys are the main characters, we are trained to enjoy them and root for them and the objectively "GOOD" characters are then written and viewed as negative since they are hindering the progression of the character we are trained to enjoy. Taking a rational look at these character's isn't the point…these are not normal and rational situations we are watching. And the whole 'alpha male' bit was a wee bit cringe…NO ONE looked at Walter and said 'I wanna do / be like that guy'. We saw a well written, sad, desperate and WRONG man make horrible choices and mistakes and die. You REALLY think a huge chunk of watchers wanted to be like Walter? Really? Cause that's the first time I've heard that take before. People liking a character doth not equal them wishing to BE them in any real way, nor does it mean they view that character as some weird ideal "alpha" asserting dominance….I'm just honestly baffled by that whole bit of your script and can only boil it down to some WEIRD projection on your own part. But I guess we gotta cram that weird 'toxic masculinity' in there somewhere even if the answer you're looking for is 'she's written to be a foil' and that's literally it. Womp womp WOMMMPPPPPP.

    Skyler was the correct, moral and good character. But we are not watching this show to see a woman leave her shitty husband and move on with her life.

  49. The first time I watched Breaking Bad I hated Skylar, I think it’s because of how invested we are in the drama of the story and she is a nagging character that dislikes the drama when we are enjoying it. However after watching it a second time, her progression from caring and concerned to horrible is laid out. She says “tell me what’s wrong right now or it’ll never be the same” and he doesn’t. I’m just saying there is evidence to support her being horrible and I think it’s good writing.

  50. Let me start by saying I like Anna Gunn. She seems super awesome.

    But Skyler?

    I only hated her from season 2 episode 3, when she became hyper passive aggressive without any way to reason with her, and hypocritical (it’s totally Cool Ted breaks the law, lets shag him!) and angry over everything, and it did. not. stop. until season 4 episode 3. Then she became sympathetic after that, and a good character that made sense.

    Kim Wexler never had to resort to passive aggressive bullshit. She straight up just didn’t tolerate things she felt was wrong.

  51. (Keep in mind that I’m a teenage girl) I remember when I first watched Mad Men, I fucking hated Betty so much. I didn’t hate Don half as much as I hated Betty. When she (SPOILER) got lung cancer in the end, I was so happy. I then rewatched the show and tried looking at it through other characters POV (Pete’s and Betty’s) and wow I felt like an idiot. Betty is no where near my favorite character but fuck she had a bunch of mental illnesses and a horrible husband…

  52. I don't agree at all that these men are aspiring to be "alpha" males, as if they seriously are infatuated with some societal depiction of a dominant male. It's never that psychological. If they reflected on that it would sound ridiculous. No, it's so much simpler. They get a taste for power, and need it more and more. The more power they get, the harder it is to maintain control until they lose everything. Women are no different at all. Power corrupts equally, these stories are just focusing on men attaining that power. My take on Skyler though, she gets better as Walt gets worse. Walt starts out as an anti-hero, who evolves quite clearly into a villain. But it's clear Skyler was trying to be a deterrent to Walt's anti-hero persona, and as a viewer you see her as getting in the way of Walt succeeding. Then at some point you wish she would be the one that could get through to him to talk him out of it, but she doesn't succeed at that either. So ultimately, she just ends up the victim of Walt's obsession with power and greed.

  53. Excellent analysis. What a sad yet very accurate picture of humanity, or better yet, the lack of humanity in current times.

  54. A couple years ago I tried to rewatch breaking bad and found myself really at odds with Walt. Looking at it again with fresh eyes and a little older had me more on Skyler’s side. It got to the point where I couldn’t even finish season 2. I could not overlook how reckless Walt was with his family.

  55. This video says Walter was pretending to be a good caring father in front of the cops, he wasn't pretending! He was a good caring father

  56. compare these women to the ones in the CW super shows before they're clued into the secret identity shit. There's definitely misogyny in the audience response, but the "girlfriend/family part" of the early seasons of those shows is actually boring compared to the superhero stuff.

  57. Great points. Very well articulated. I hear you and appreciate this point of view…. but fuck Skylar White. And basically everyone on the show to be honest. They're all trash. 10/10 a great show.

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