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Breaking Bad's Skyler White And TVs Most Loathed Female Characters

by Luke Cope
18 April 2013 28 Comments

Behind every dominating male character there seems to be an annoying female who nobody likes. Here are the five that attract the most hate.

Skyler White

Wow, I hate Skyler White, but when you look at the description of the last 3 series of Breaking Bad then surely we should empathise with Skyler more than her meth cooking husband Walt. But we don’t. why is this? It could be the fact that Skyler is built like Michael Phelps or that she has a stronger jaw-line than most boxers. I think, however, it’s just because we follow Walt’s plight more than hers. We understood Walt’s original plan of making money by doing bad things to provide for his family. He obviously went off the rails somewhat but I hated Skyler for sleeping with Ted Beneke way more than I have ever hated Walt for any of his bad deeds. If she is in any way a part of Walt’s inevitable demise in the long awaited finale then she will go down as one of TV’s most hated characters of all time.

Betty Francis

Betty is Mad Men’s top dog Don Draper’s extremely hot but boring and immature ex-wife. It’s like the writers could have made Betty into a great character but she’s just too housewifely to be liked and just comes across as emotionally shallow. If you look at the infidelity stats against her husband Don then we should be feeling sorry for Betty but no, we get behind Don and his conquests because they are just more interesting that his wooden wife. Betty is also a pretty piss poor mother, which doesn’t help her get the female fan vote.


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 Lori Grimes 

Let me give you a run down of The Walking Dead’s Lori Grimes if you haven’t seen the show yet. Her husband Rick is hospitalized with a gun shot wound whilst a zombie apocalypse breaks out, his best friend Shane tells her he is dead. One month later and she is already sleeping with Shane when shockingly she is reunited with husband Rick who turns out to be alive. Several zombie attack scenes later during which Lori contributes absolutely nothing but constantly losing her son, husband Rick kills Shane who was planning on murdering him and taking his father/husband role. When Lori is informed of this she is actually annoyed with Rick! Oh and I forgot to mention Shane tried to rape her previously. Lori was never given much of a chance was she? My only wish was that she was killed off in a worse way than what she was.

Rhonda Pearlman

I have watched The Wire an abundance of times and I really struggled to remember Rhonda’s name when it came to writing this article. That says it all really. All that really sticks in my mind about Rhonda are her Churchill like jowls and high sense of self worth. The Wire is a sexist show and apart from Snoop and Kima, who are heavily masculine, there are no popular female characters in the show and Rhonda is left to carry the load on her own. A forceful and confident lawyer, she should surely be a role model for female watchers but her strong career focused characteristics are overshadowed by generally ruining scenes and sleeping with married men, albeit with fan favourite McNulty.

Debra Morgan

Debra, you’re a detective and your brother has been slaughtering people under your nose for years. You fool. Couple this kind of stupidity with her hick dress sense and constant swearing that borders on the ridiculous then you have a character that will grind on people series after series. Her constant need for love and attention lead her into the arms of the ice truck killer and by that point (Only series 1) I wasn’t bothered if she was mutilated by him or not. In fact I’m fairly sure the only person that has ever found her truly appealing is sex pest Masuka.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Jimmy James Jameson 10:04 am, 18-Apr-2013

Agreed. But I would rather watch an entire series starring the five characters above, than a single episode of sex and the city. How they managed to pull off a series where each and every character - main and peripheral - was a total cunt, is quite beyond me.

bnd 10:17 am, 18-Apr-2013

im not sure i hate skyler that much cos she is in a fuckin funny position, what with a baby and her husband going beyond a nervous breakdown!!! might make u a bit edgy!!

Ellie 10:52 am, 18-Apr-2013

Talk about emotionally shallow.. most of the comments and criticism here are based on their appearance or their apparent failing as a woman (bad mother, bad role model). You're acknowledging that their male counterparts ALSO have some failings and yet this doesn't make you hate them? You hate Skyler White for cheating on Walt, yet you can get behind Don Draper for cheating on Betty just because she's 'boring' and his 'conquests' were 'interesting'? What kind of ridiculous double standards are those? (PS: Do you really think Don is any better as a parent than Betty is?) Oh, and Lori. I don't watch The Walking Dead, but do you really expect any widowed person to remain chaste and alone for the rest of their life? I'm not an active feminist as such, but this kind of narrow minded perspective reflects the ignorance that gives women a shit time in the media. *End scene*

LC 11:19 am, 18-Apr-2013

@Ellie The article is about actresses that have been given character roles that are inevitably going to be hated in top shows. The shows rarely make you empathise with them unlike their male counterparts

Nick Chase 11:24 am, 18-Apr-2013

Monica fucking Geller/Bing should be on this list.

Ellie 11:40 am, 18-Apr-2013

@LC, I don't believe the hate they attract is inevitable. And I don't know if the lack of empathy has anything to do with how the show presents the character, but rather how the male perspective chooses to view them. If Skyler White's characteristics were transferred to a male role (i.e emotionally cold, manipulative, a provider, a cheat) I very much doubt you would have the same feelings towards her. Because the aforementioned traits are effectively those of Don Draper, and he's clearly not a hated character. If anything, the guy is a hero. It's seems that you think it's fine that he (husband, father) can sleep with as many women (single or otherwise) as he wants but as soon as someone like Rhonda sleeps with a married guy.. well, she's just a slut. And I don't condone the behaviour of either of them. It's just staggering how clear and unashamed your double standards are between the sexes.

LC 12:03 pm, 18-Apr-2013

I haven't met anyone, male or female that is a Skylar White fan. That's because there are actually double standards between the sexes in these shows but because the male characters are given more depth and a better arc fans of the shows get behind them more than a character that has less depth. Things like Don's infidelity are used as an excuse because of his troubled past and high pressured job. Skylar's reasons for sleeping with Ted were mostly out of spite, and spited a character that fans have been encouraged to get behind from the start, so she is inevitably going to be hated for something like that. These are how the shows have been written and there seems to be a pattern that's all

Koaste 12:18 pm, 18-Apr-2013

You're obviously not up to date on Dexter...

bnd 12:52 pm, 18-Apr-2013

@ you guys - I think that Skyler was put in a desperately difficult situation and where i think Breaking Bad is very effective is that there arent really black and white good and bad characters. You might route for Walter White but there is no doubt it - he is a top grade asshole. He starts out with the best intentions but in my opinion he had developed into some kind of demon. Skyler I thought was more about how a normal woman might handle the situation and how she reacts is due to the insane pressures Walter puts her under.

bnd 12:53 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Walters cancer spreading if you like

Sean 1:24 pm, 18-Apr-2013

I think the problem that you're realising is that writers, being mostly male, don't know how to write with these strong female characters. They are strong and importatnt to their shows plot. But the learning curve of the writers of how the character comes across evolves over time. I hated Skyler White for the first two series because she didn't come across as a believable strong woman. Until she cheated and then, then she was good. The character had evolved to become better. Another example of this is Penny from Big Bang Theory. As an eye candy/voice of people character she was pretty pathetic. Until she became the semi-alcoholic life juggler she is now. *Spoilers* You want Lori to die in a worse manner than dying after bleeding out from an ad-hoc ceserain section birth with no anesthic or pain relief, only to be shot in the head by her own 10 year old son watching the entire thing to make sure she doesn't become a zombie? You're a cold, cold person.

JimmyC 1:34 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Skyler's a hypocrite and so's Betsy and that's the beauty of both series: there's no black and white, everyone's compromised and everyone's got a price.

Buddy Roy 1:55 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Juliet from Lost. Easily. Just constantly pulls the 'smell the fart' face of the Joey Tribiani School of Acting

Ellie 3:11 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Hi @LC, what your saying now (in your last comment) isn't really what you've said in your article. I agree that the writers have created the character backgrounds and story arcs that help form empathy (or lack of), but your article doesn't reflect on this at all. If this is your argument, it's certainly not coming across as the theme of your writing. As it stands, it reads as a viewer's interpretation of the characters, rather than something the show has caused. And if I may be so bold to say, a somewhat gender-biased interpretation. But at least we can agree on one thing: there's no clear definition between the good and bad guy. In any of the shows.

Ellie 3:11 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Oh, and I absolutely hated Skyler in the first two series as well. It was when she started kicking serious business ass and started supporting and talking to Walt that her strength really came out. bnd I totally agree. I love Walt but (I hate to say it) it's like he's lost sight of his initial goal and is tumbling out of control. Skyler was under exceptional pressure and emotional strain during the series where she didn't know about Walt's meth business. So that instantly gave some empathy, from me at least.

bnd 4:09 pm, 18-Apr-2013

his initial goal is long gone man he is a loon

Ryan 5:49 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Thank goodness, I thought I was the only one that hated Skylar as well! Good call on Lori from The Walking Dead too. I wish she had got pulled apart by zombies!

lord creator 8:23 pm, 18-Apr-2013

Lily from How I Met Your Mother, Phoebe from Friends

mike 9:46 am, 8-May-2013

glen close who plays patty hewes in damages, pure evil, but you cant help but like her

vual grimoire 12:34 am, 24-May-2013

A real drug lord would have buried Sklyer's irritating ass ages ago. Well, the whole show is baroque. I love Breaking Bad but you watch it twice and it's full of plot holes. Nevertheless, it remains inspired work. Sadly, real Mexican drug wholesalers make Don Eladio seem like Little Bo Peep. They are ruthless psychopaths who are no smarter than their lowest customer. Just far more ruthless. It's quaint to believe a few percentage of purity would make any difference to them. They would simply kill the competition and make theirs the only product available. But BB is still a great show, hugely entertaining - except for Skyler, of course. For the upcoming episode, Hank should stagger out of toilet and blame her for everything, call her a dirty slut then blow her away. Hank then shoots Marie just to shut her up. So Hank decides to join forces with Walt, making them unbeatable since they know all the inside DEA info.

ManlyMan 3:09 pm, 9-Jun-2013

Quote (some prostitute named Ellie) "do you really expect any widowed person to remain chaste and alone for the rest of their life?" Answer: Yes.

sil 3:02 pm, 4-Jul-2013

As in their wasnt in it that hasnt been said multiple times before on the internet. Try and provide something more insightful next time as opposed to something which could have been cut and pasted from some reddit thread.

Tracie 7:50 pm, 4-Jul-2013

I am so relieved that I am not the only woman out there hating skyler. She just makes me want to vomit as well as her stupid sister on the show. If Vince wanted in any way to make these two characters likeable he failed.

lyann 7:59 pm, 19-Jul-2013

The reason why I hate Skyler is because she is a hypocrite! She acts so moral yet she was cooking the books for her former boss. Next, she approaches Walt about participating in effective money laundering. She then enlists others to threaten Ted into using Walt's tainted drug money to pay the taxes so that she won't go to jail. But during season five she is outraged and feels morally compromised that her husband is a killer of rival or fellow drug dealers who were out to kill him? What does she think that the production of methamphetimine does to the people who use it? I find this character as morally reprehensible as Walter White. Therefore, her dramatics in this past season make me want to puke.

Lisa R. 7:15 pm, 5-Aug-2013

Wow! I was actually going to leave a comment in Skylar's defense until I read Ellie's ignorantly defensive comments. Your insecurities make us strong feminists look like idiots. The writers obviously are making Lori and Skylar the antagonist. Their sole purpose in the show is to aggravate and stress out the HERO. Adultery is NEVER ok no matter how many promiscuous moral lacking females try to justify it. And cheating is the #1 way to make an audience loath a female character.

Kayla C. 7:23 pm, 5-Aug-2013

I agree! Skylar and Lori are both detestable. Lori deserved a slower more painful death, with some salt in the wounds. I could not believe how happy it made me to watch her die! Now, if only we could all be so lucky as to have seen Skylar and her baby suffer a similar fate to Lori ;)

Jolly Boy Bohn 11:30 pm, 13-Aug-2013

I agree that Debra Morgan's character is laughable in many ways. To be honest, Miami Metro Homicide are the worst cops EVER. Seems weird that one day she's an idiot junior cop in the vice squad and wihin couple of years she's the Lieutenant in charge of everything - just utterly ridiculous. BUT I have to say that Jennifer Carpenter's acting is fucking superb, especially in the later couple of series.

Jordan222 1:48 am, 14-Aug-2013

What pisses me off is when someone gets labeled as a misogynist for commenting "I hate skylar white" I hate her because she's a hypocrite!!! Where gender equal now, it means women can pay for dinner, hold open the car door for a man and lead while dancing. It also means if your a f-ing hypocrite people can f-ing hate you.

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