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The Women of Breaking Bad

Despite the popularity and artistic greatness of "Breaking Bad," the one critique I continue to apply to one of my favorite series is the relative weakness and low amount of characterization of its female characters in relation to the multi-faceted, finely constructed male characters. This article could take the form of diving more deeply into each woman’s psychology (to prove me wrong, perhaps) or (if you agree with me) supporting the lack of balance between the men and women of the series in terms of characterization. The primary women under question could include Skyler White, Marie Schrader, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, Jane Margolis, Andrea Cantillo, and even Saul’s secretary Francesca and the school principal Carmen Molina. Maybe even Gretchen Schwartz? Let me know what you think!

  • Really like the idea for the article. I think it would probably be best to stick to Skylarm Marie, Jane and Lydia, purely because they have the most material to work on (not to say the others can't be mentioned). It seemed that whenever a female character got any sort of potential development (Marie's stealing for instance) it was a very small part of the show and got swept under the carpet very quickly. I also don't think the traditional "male gaze" theory comes into this analysis, but I don't have a huge knowledge on too much feminist theories. Tough, but interesting subject to write. – Jamie 5 years ago
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  • This is a great idea! I loved Breaking Bad and I constantly felt sorry for Skyler after she discovers Walter's double life. What angered me most was how Skyler was considered by many fans of the show as "annoying" or "nagging." I found myself often defending her, considering that the bad guy was Walt. For Skyler, you could discuss her affair with Ted, perhaps defending her decision to engage in an affair. As for Lydia, you can state how Lydia takes charge of the meth operation. Just an idea. – Amanda Dominguez-Chio 5 years ago
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  • Great topic. I just snagged it. – Tigey 4 years ago
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  • Great idea. – JayB3rry 3 years ago
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  • Yes!! You mention the weakness of the women, which I totally see, but maybe you can thread in some of their powerful moments (even though there might be a few, it could help your point.) I would love to hear about Skylar and her reaction to finding out about Walter. There was definitely a point where she stopped taking shit from him and had to make some big moves to protect her family. – as1833 3 years ago
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  • Very interesting and worthwhile topic. Though this is a show with a male protagonist, female characters could still have been well-rounded and have greater agency without taking any time away from Walt. Perhaps mention shows like Buffy or Orphan Black with female lead and female heavy casts who still have well-developed male characters like Xander (Buffy) and Felix (OB). As for diving into each woman's pscyhology, I think this is a great idea and could do it with all the women you mentioned, spending more time on Skyler than the principal. A main issue with these characters (Marie, Andrea) is how often their actions are motivated by men, while the supporting male characters (Hank, Todd) can have their own motivation and agency. – n1421997 3 years ago
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