Anna Gunn and ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Skyler White: just the tip of a very big iceberg

TV critic Maureen Ryan, writing for The Huffington Post:

“Breaking Bad” is an undoubtedly a great show, but, as is the case with too many television dramas, for while there it didn’t really know what to do with its female characters. The AMC drama clearly struggled to make Skyler and Marie Shrader (wife of DEA agent Hank Schrader) anything but subsidiary figures who rarely moved into — or deserved — the spotlight. Their behaviors and reactions were easy to predict, and if the writers didn’t show consistent interest in their emotional lives and the women’s inner depths, why would viewers care about them, let alone have positive responses to them?

While I can’t express myself as eloquently as Ryan does here, I got the same feeling when reading through Anna Gunn’s NYT editorial. Gunn makes a lot of good points about some of the extreme Skyler haters on the show. But especially in Breaking Bad’s first few seasons, Skyler just wasn’t that fleshed out as a character; she was at times pretty easy to root against (Mad Men’s Betty, as Ryan writes about later, shares a very similar problem.)