People give Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn tons of crap for being the actor who plays Skyler White

It may have also awakened some kind of protective family extinct at that point, because rather than her being the one holding it over Walt, Hank is now holding it over them.

I think you’re missing some of the subtleties in her performance. Skylar’s not at all back in her “happy housewife” role - just look at her reaction when Walt proposes to buy a second car wash. She clearly is still afraid of Walt - she just allowed herself to relax a little now that he’s out. Also there’s still the possibility that she might retain something like a vestige of honest-to-god love for Walt, or at least the man he once war (or rather, pretended to be).

Other than that, her backing Walt is pure self-preservation. Keep in mind that what Skylar and Walt have in common, most of all, is that they’re both grade-a, master bullshiters. What Skylar doesn’t have however, is Walt’s raging ego and utter recklessness (not to mention his complete lack of a conscience). She still realizes how deep in shit both of them are - unlike Walt, who thinks of himself as invincible untill it’s to late.
Keep in mind that if Walt hadn’t confronted Hank about the GPS device, there’s not much that Hank could have done - he pretty much said so himself.

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I’m not sure that she likes it, per se, but she’s clearly not uncomfortable with it. After all, pretty much the entire point of the Beneke storyline back in season 3 (I think) was to show that Skylar’s got no problem with fixing books even if there isn’t anything to gain for her.

I have to disagree about Jack Gleeson. If I met him, I would probably not be able to stop myself from punching him, and I’ve heard many others ay the same thing. I wouldn’t have the same compulsion for Anna Gunn, even though I dislike the character of Skylar. Even if I blamed Anna for Skylar’s behavior, I wouldn’t feel the kind of hatred I feel for Joffrey.

Your defensiveness is duly noted.

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I’m not buying the idea that people dislike the Skyler character because she’s a “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated women.” It might manifest in some hate-blogging out there that way, but I don’t buy that it is the logic behind the hate.

People love Walter White. He’s not only loved, he is ecstatically loved. People were calling 911 in Connecticut because they couldn’t get their fix. Any character that becomes Walter’s antagonist is going to come out being hated and, quite frankly, Skyler is one of Walter’s antagonists. She may have become complicit in his dealings, but only marginally supportive and has always been a force pushing him in a different direction.

I think her role is incredibly important and awesome and I wouldn’t change her character, but people are going to look at her as the “villain” she is. People want Walter to win; they want him to be bad-ass and beat his enemies because they love the idea of their high school chemist teacher (a people’s anti-hero) becoming this monstrosity. At the same time, he also needs a very close, personal relation to push him back from falling permanently into that brink. That’s Skyler’s role.

But people still want to see Walter win and Skyler is a danger to that. Is it because she is a “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated woman?” I don’t see how. That’s a large part of her role in the show, but that doesn’t mean the character is HATED because of these properties but instead because she’s an antagonist. She can be a “strong, nonsubmissive, ill-treated woman” while still suppporting Walter as a protagonist , but she isn’t (and people would love her for it, though I find the current story more interesting).

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Harlan Ellison wrote about this problem back in the late sixties.

Television viewers, their minds confused and infantilized by the phosphor illusions of Hollywood and Madison Avenue, confronting and berating soap-opera actors in public because of the Bad Things their characters did on TV.

In public, mind you: on the streets of LA, angry housewives, unable to distinguish Life from Art, confront off-duty actors and vent real anger over fictional grievances.

See The Glass Teat – I haven’t read it in thirty-odd years, and I’m sure it’s a sixties period piece, but I’ll bet it stands up well.

I wonder … back in Shakespeare’s day, if you were an actor who played, say, Richard the Third … would you have to watch your back every damned time you walked into a pub?

What the hell is with all the spoilers in the comments? I had to stop reading after a couple, and that was too many. Grrrr.

We have a lot of filming in our neighborhood. I have experienced walking around a familiar corner and coming face to face with a TV star. The first thing that occurs to you is to acknowledge them and say hello because you are certain you know them. If you are thinking fast you realize and maybe just a happy nod passes between you. It is eerie. I think the brain isn’t prepared for fictional people at some deep level. A familiar face that you associate with good times elicits a good feeling and a desire to acknowledge. Ach, I don’t know that person, it’s that woman from NCIS.

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At first I thought the writers were giving Walt an unbelievably ballsy move when he confronted Hank about the tracker.

I genuinely thought he was going to play dumb about the device and demand to know why Hank was tracking him.
This was actually a break with his character, he would normally go for the obfuscation gambit by throwing himself deeper into the lie; but not this time.

If by “people” you mean “assholes”, then yeah.

Seriously, I love Breaking Bad. It is, without a doubt, one of the best dramatic shows ever to grace Television, a near perfect storm of writing, directing and acting.
And I “like” Walter White as a character. He’s interesting and, on some level, sympathetic. Hell, I might (ahem) even have made a mental fistpump when he offed Gus so spectacularly, or during the “Say my name”-scene last season (excuse me, last half of the current season. Yeah right, AMC.).

But do I want to see him win? Hell Fucking No. The man is an evil piece of shit, way, way past redemption, and whatever’s coming his way is well and truly deserved.
From the flashforwards (I hate that term, by the way. Fuck you, Lost.) it’s already clear that Hank/The DEA will catch up to Walt, allthough he will be able to elude the more personal consequences by the way of Saul’s disappearance guy, albeit temporarily.

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I disagree. Walt has done some unbelievably stupid shit in the past - like most recently when he killed Mike. Problem is, up until now he’s been able to get away with it.

I think I agree with you. I know I don’t dislike Skyler because shes strong, mostly because I don’t actually see her as a strong character. It’s because of the way she has treated Walt, who although may deserve to be treated that way, is a character we’re very fond of.

I actually like her MORE when she is strong. That scene with hank in the last episode was fantastic. She was terrified and yet courageous, in a weird way a massive moment of strength, you could cut the adrenaline with a knife. I didn’t hate her during that scene, I felt like she was finally on our side.

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He’s always done stupid shit. I just mean that normally, when lying about his life, the tendency is to invest in the bigger lie.

HE’S JUST A BOY

So anyway, gathering my thoughts; having grown up pretty typically male, awakening to feminism (or perhaps more accurately, attempting to appreciate that I had been occupying the mental space close to one diametric pole of a field of thought) was a fairly difficult paradigm shift to accomplish.
It took years of situations where I would catch myself behaving like an ass, be disgusted with myself and be freaked out enough to forcibly amend my behaviour.
I guess, it should be easier for younger people growing up in this, if not perfect, perhaps merely more open society but if you were born in or before the eighties; I got love for you but wise up.

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Skylar was written as unsympathetic in the first episode of the show. Recall the begrudging birthday handjob while she was bidding on Ebay auctions?

She became a more complex, interesting, and often sympathetic character since, but she was first established as pretty contemptuous of Walt, with whom we were totally sympathetic during the first half of that first episode, for the last time in the series.

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Assholes? No. Some people want to see the world burn in the realm of fiction just to see what happens. It’s a play on morals and an experiment. We write characters like Walt, and we watch their stories, because we want to explore mankind’s dark side and experiment with consequences and ingenuity.

He may be an evil piece of shit, and I agree with that, but that doesn’t mean we want to see his final demise and an end to his story. Then again, it would probably be interesting to see what happens when he does go to prison. Considering he’s not only been a big drug producer and a murderer, though, he’d probably end up executed by the system. That’s not so fun. We want to see the world burn for a while. That’s not being an asshole, that’s just curiosity.

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My buddy took an instant dislike to her, and his idea is that the writers use her to recreate every bad experience they ever had with women.

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