Vince Gilligan, the writer of “Breaking Bad,” is still bothered by the animosity Skyler White experienced during the run of the series from 2008 to 2013.
The co-creator of “Better Call Saul” discussed the misogynistic fan response to Anna Gunn, who portrayed the wife of Bryan Cranston’s drug-dealing high school teacher Walter White, in a recent interview with The New Yorker. Gunn even went on to write an opinion piece for the New York Times in August 2013, one month before the conclusion of the final season, evidently shocked by the outcry from viewers who supported Walter and criticized Skyler.
Skyler was universally despised when the show initially debuted, according to Gilligan, who spoke to The New Yorker. “I believe Skyler’s actress Anna Gunn had a problem with that. I can admit that that has always bothered me because the character Skyler did nothing to merit that. And Anna undoubtedly didn’t do anything to earn that. She did an excellent job in the role.
But Gilligan now realizes that the narrative may have prompted these responses. “I recognize in retrospect that the show was rigged, in that the narration was exclusively via Walt’s eyes, even in sequences he wasn’t there for,” he remarked. Even his archrival Gus, played by Giancarlo Esposito, didn’t experience the hostility Skyler did. It is an odd thing. Even after all these years, I still consider it.
Gunn got two Emmy awards for her portrayal of Skyler and previously spoke out about the abuse she endured from Walter White’s ardent supporters, saying it “wasn’t a fun thing to go through.”
And while Walter White, nicknamed Heinsberg, continues to be revered by “Breaking Bad” viewers, Gilligan has a different perspective on the complex lead character.
The “Better Call Saul” creator admitted that the more time passes since the end of “Breaking Bad,” the less sympathy he has for Walter. “He received a lifeline at an early stage. And if he had been a better person, he would have swallowed his ego and seized the chance to use the money his old friends offered him to treat his cancer. He exits on his own terms, but not without leaving a path of devastation in his wake. I give that more attention than I once did.
Gilligan’s fascination with Walter White “wears off,” much like Skyler’s feelings for her divorced husband in the television series.
Why was this guy so awesome, like, for reals? Gillian enquired. He was incredibly self-righteous and sanctimonious. His ego was as big as California. He also consistently perceived himself as a victim. He was always complaining about how the world undervalued him and how his talent was never recognized. When you evaluate everything, you find yourself asking, “Why did I support this guy?”
Fans, however, supported Bob Odenkirk’s portrayal of attorney Saul in the prequel series “Better Call Saul.” The AMC series made history altogether when its last season became the top acquisition driver in the history of the AMC+ streaming service, quadrupling its Season 6 viewership for last week’s series finale.
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