Breaking Bad has been over for a few years now, but there are some rumors that a new movie based off the critically-acclaimed series is on its way. Fans are looking forward to seeing their favorite meth-selling duo back on the screen, but it’s probably safe to say that not everyone is looking forward to seeing Skyler (played by Anna Gunn), Walter White’s wife, back. She was always a polarizing figure on the show, although it’s not totally clear why.
Skylar took a lot of heat for being stern, even though it was her husband who was literally cooking meth. In 2013, after the show ended, Gunn wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, talking about the hate she received.
I was unprepared for the vitriolic response [Skyler] inspired. Thousands of people have “liked” the Facebook page “I Hate Skyler White.” Tens of thousands have “liked” a similar Facebook page with a name that cannot be printed here. When people started telling me about the “hate boards” for Skyler on the Web site for AMC, the network that broadcasts the show, I knew it was probably best not to look, but I wanted to understand what was happening.
The consensus among the haters was clear: Skyler was a ball-and-chain, a drag, a shrew, an “annoying bitch wife.”
But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom. Could it be that they can’t stand a woman who won’t suffer silently or “stand by her man”? That they despise her because she won’t back down or give up? Or because she is, in fact, Walter’s equal?
It’s notable that viewers have expressed similar feelings about other complex TV wives — Carmela Soprano of “The Sopranos,” Betty Draper of “Mad Men.” Male characters don’t seem to inspire this kind of public venting and vitriol.
Six years later, Gunn is still grappling with how much people hated her character. In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Gunn admitted she wrote the op-ed because she felt the sexism she faced while on the show was “shocking.”
“I feel like I came to understand what it was, which was just the undercurrent of extreme sexism. The idea of gender roles being so deeply ingrained — it was shocking to me,” Gunn said. “But I’m not sorry it happened, because it put me out on the other side going, ‘Huh, that’s really interesting.’ And I felt compelled to say something, not necessarily for myself, but for my daughters and other women. The vehemence of it, and the fact that it was just allowed — it was the id gone wild.”
Even though she’s not on social media, the 50-year-old actress was stunned when people close to her informed her of what appeared to be a death threat.
“There was this college student who had just watched an episode where Skyler makes Walt take Walt Jr’s car back, and she was very upset about that,” Gunn recalled. “So she tweeted: ‘Can somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?’ Which to me sounds like a death threat. So the police checked it out. And she said, ‘Oh, I just saw the episode, you know.’ And they said, ‘Well, you did use her actual name.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I know but … I guess there’s not free speech.’”
Gunn also pointed out that even when the show’s creator actively tried to make Walter White be hated, it didn’t work.
“Even when Vince Gilligan thought he was writing hard enough on Walt, the audience continued to side with him,” Gunn pointed out.
To end off her op-ed in 2013, Gunn said she wasn’t ready for all the criticism, but she’s glad the conversation happened.
But I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.
I can’t say that I have enjoyed being the center of the storm of Skyler hate. But in the end, I’m glad that this discussion has happened, that it has taken place in public and that it has illuminated some of the dark and murky corners that we often ignore or pretend aren’t still there in our everyday lives.
I think Gunn brings up an interesting point, that we’re always quick to dismiss the behavior of male characters while looking at female characters through a harsher lens. That being said…I really didn’t like Skyler.
Grey’s Anatomy has been on for such a long time, it’s hard to believe that there was a time when it wasn’t part of our daily lives. It’s been 15 years of doctors Meredith Grey, Alex Karev, Richard Webber, Cristina Yang, and everyone else, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Any fan of the show will tell you that, yes, it’s started to decline in quality. That’s not to say it’s not still good, but it’s just not the level it used to be at. Most of us are still watching because we’ve been with the show so long, but nothing will beat the early seasons of the medical drama.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, let’s take a look at the best episodes the show has ever seen. Obviously we can’t put all of them on here, but these are the episodes we’ll never be able to forget, for better or for worse. Keep in mind: these are in no particular order.
1. Into You Like A Train
Episode: Season 2, Episode 6
Why we won’t forget it: This was the episode that made us all sob, and I’d argue it was the first time we really understood just how good this show was going to be. Bonnie and Tom, two characters we’ve never met before this episode, come to the hospital after being impaled on a metal pole in a train crash.
We grew to love these characters in the short time we knew them, and when Bonnie realized she was the one who was going to die, it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch how she handled it. Meredith didn’t want to leave Bonnie to die, yelling “What about her? We can’t just abandon her?” It gives me goosebumps to think about it. Bonnie was young, she had so much life to live, and she died with grace.
2. Dark Was The Night
Episode: Season 8, episode 9
Why we won’t forget it: All Cristina wanted was to learn from Teddy. Teddy was the first teacher to really teach Cristina about cardio, so when Owen convinced Cristina to operate on Teddy’s husband without her knowledge, you just knew it was going to end poorly.
While on the table, Cristina can’t save Teddy’s husband, Henry, and he ends up passing away. When Cristina finds out that it’s Henry, you can feel the crushing sadness. I remember yelling at my TV during this episode, but I don’t know if I was yelling in anger at Owen or yelling in support of Cristina. Honestly, it was probably both.
3. Didn’t We Almost Have It All?
Episode: Season 3, Episode 25
Why we won’t forget it: How could I ever forget Meredith having to cut Cristina out of her wedding dress after Preston Burke left her at the alter? I won’t forget, I can’t forget. This was one of the most pinnacle moments of the series, because even though it was heart-wrenching to watch Cristina lose the love of her life, I truly think it made her a better person.
If Cristina had married Burke, I think she would have lived in his shadow and wouldn’t have grown into the strong, incredible surgeon she came to be. What made Cristina so special was that she knew her career was what she wanted, and she didn’t let anyone get in the way of that.
4. Now Or Never
Episode: Season 5, Episode 24
Why we won’t forget it: George O’Malley deserved better. He did. I know he died a hero, and I know he was doing the right thing, but poor George deserved to have a wonderful life. At the very least, he deserved to die with his friends and family being able to recognize him.
When George came into the hospital, no one knew it was him, but there was a feeling that John Doe would end up being someone the audience recognized. As George starting writing “007” in Meredith’s hand, I’ll admit I didn’t know what it meant at first. Then it clicked. Then I cried. To me, this was the saddest death on the show, but George deserved more than what Seattle Grace Hospital could give him.
Episode: Season 8, Episode 24
Why we won’t forget it: Some will argue that the plane crash episode of Grey’s is where it jumped the shark, and I can see where they’re coming from. How could a plane crash in the woods and not kill everyone, or at least seriously injure them?
That being said, the episode still crushed all of our emotions. There are many moments to choose from, like Arizona Robbins screaming as her leg is completely destroyed, or Derek having to break his own hand to save himself, but there’s no doubt that the worst moment of the entire episode was watching Lexi Grey slowly die while trapped under the plane. Mark Sloan was there to hold her hand and tell her he loved her, but Lexi should have ended up with Mark, and they should have had cute babies, and she should. not. have. died.
6. Song Beneath The Song
Episode: Season 7, Episode 18
Why we won’t forget it: Judge me all you want, but I loved the musical episode of the show. Yes, i know it was cheesy, but I love musicals and I love Grey’s Anatomy. Not to mention, the episode was extremely emotional.
Callie Torres and Arizona were put through the ringer throughout their relationship, but nothing was more trying than their car accident. Callie, who was pregnant at the time, flew through the windshield and was on death’s door. It wasn’t until her spirit came into her hospital room that Callie finally woke up, and learned that she had a daughter. Watching Sara Ramirez, who plays Callie, sing “The Story” still gives me goosebumps.
7. Going, Going, Gone
Episode: Season 9, Episode 1
Why we won’t forget it: This episode was downright unfair. After the plane crash, we thought Mark was going to be okay…but we were wrong. When Webber explains the “surge” to Mark, where patients who are dying get a last boost of energy before passing away, you knew it wasn’t good.
You could make a solid argument that Mark was the character with the most growth on the series, second maybe to Karev. He went from a womanizing serial bachelor to a man in love and a father. He was just starting a new chapter in his life, and even though Lexi was gone, he still had his daughter Sophia. Sadly, the entire episode was basically a eulogy for McSteamy, and we cried through the entire thing.
8. As We Know It
Episode: Season 2, Episode 17
Why we won’t forget it: “It’s Meredith. The girl with the bomb is Meredith.” This is one of the most iconic lines of the series, and it came towards the end of the second season. Even though we knew Meredith wasn’t going to die (it’s called GREY’S Anatomy, after all) this episode saw our heart rates go through the roof.
The tension the show was able to create in a short amount of time is nothing short of miraculous. Watching the team wheel the hospital bed down the hallway had me on the edge of my seat, especially when they almost hit the stanchion on the floor. Plus, watching the bomb squad guy get blown to bits after you thought everyone would be okay scared the living daylight out of us all.
9. Walk On Water/Drowning On Dry Land
Episode: Season 3, Episode 15 & 16
Why we won’t forget it: I hear a lot of people say that this is when they started watching the show, and to those people I say…what took you so long? The ferry crash episodes were some of the most iconic of the series. Again, you knew Meredith couldn’t die, but the longer she was unconscious, the more you started to wonder…are they actually going to kill her off?
The thing that struck me the most about these episodes were the relationships between all the characters and how much Meredith meant to them. From attendings, to residents, to all the interns, everyone showed genuine concern for her life. Despite the drama and fights that happened between everyone, when one of their own went down they were there to help.
10. Unbreak My Heart
Episode: Season 12, Episode 11
Why we won’t forget it: I am unashamed of my love for “Japril,” which is the couple name of Jackson Avery and April Kepner, of course. Their love story started out as a fun fling, but their feelings for each other grew and grew. Tragedy struck when they lost their first child, Samuel, to a genetic disorder, and they were never the same since then.
This episode showed us the love story of Japril through a series of flashbacks starting at the end and taking us back to the beginning. It let us see where everything went wrong, while also reminding us the love that these two had was absolutely real.
11. Losing My Religion
Episode: Season 2, Episode 27
Why we won’t forget it: Denny Duquette was flawed, yes, but that’s what made him and Izzie Stevens such an intriguing couple. When they first started flirting, I was skeptical, but then things grew into something special and I really was rooting for them.
This episode is the one where Denny died, and we watched Izzie show up to the hospital in her prom dress, only to find out her fiancée had died. Just gut-wrenching. We also had to see Karev pick Izzie up and carry her home, which somehow made things even worse.
12. Deterioration Of The Fight Or Flight Response
Episode: Season 2, Episode 26
Why we won’t forget it: Cutting the LVAD wire was a dumb choice, but in the defense of the interns…they had no idea that Burke was going to be shot in the ambulance bay that night. In theory, though it was insane, their plan made sense. But what you have to remember about Seattle Grace Hospital is that nothing can ever go right.
When Izzie is manually pumping to keep Denny alive, you can feel the fear through the screen. Everyone knows they’ve messed up, everyone knows Denny is dying, and everyone knows nothing will be the same ever again.
13. How To Save A Life
Episode: Season 11, Episode 21
Why we won’t forget it: If you ask me, this is where the show jumped the shark. I know why Derek Shepard had to die, because they didn’t want his and Meredith’s love story to end in divorce, but was this really any better?
We won’t ever forget this episode, because it was a pivotal moment in the series that changed its course forever. However, it was far from perfect. That doesn’t mean we didn’t cry our eyes out, though, when Zola asked Meredith if she was going to be able to fix daddy.
14. Fear (Of The Unknown)
Episode: Season 10, Episode 24
Why we won’t forget it: Cristina Yang was, and remains to this day, one of the best characters to ever appear on Grey’s Anatomy. Even though I hated that she had to leave, I felt like she got to do it on her own terms, and as the best version of herself. Plus, she didn’t leave via a massive tragedy, so let’s call that a win.
Cristina left to better her career, and she made sure to leave Meredith with some of the best advice on the planet. “You are a gifted surgeon with an extraordinary mind. Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dream, but he is not the sun. You are.” Wise, wise words.
15. The Sound Of Silence
Episode: Season 12, Episode 9
Why we won’t forget it: We always knew Meredith and Alex were close, but this was one of the first episodes after Derek’s death that we really witnessed the intense friendship they share. After Meredith is attacked by a patient, Alex is by her side every single step of the way. You can see the fear in his eyes when Meredith is hurt, because you know that they’re not just friends…they’re family.
When Alex brings Meredith’s kids in to see her, he says “you’ve been asking me every day, ‘when can we see Mommy?'” which means he’s been caring for her kids while she’s been in the hospital, or at the very least has been seeing them every day. It shows Alex’s growth, and it shows Meredith’s resilience.
16. Stairway To Heaven
Episode: Season 5, Episode 13
Why we won’t forget it: This episode is the second half of a two-parter, and while most people may not have it on their list, I think it’s a very crucial point in the series. A death row inmate is brought to the hospital, and Meredith is doing her best to find the good in him. Derek doesn’t agree with it, but when Meredith goes to the prison when the patient is killed, Derek is there waiting for her after it happens.
This is also the episode where Izzie finally accepts that there is something wrong with her, and that seeing Denny isn’t just a fun game. Something isn’t right, and she needs to find out what is going on. We all knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be good, but watching Izzie finally come to terms with it somehow made it more real.
17. Sanctuary/Death And All His Friends
Episode: Season 6, Episode 23 & 24
Why we won’t forget it: These two episodes are the best in the entire series, and I’ll argue that fact until I’m blue in the face. I could watch them one hundred times and still feel the same tension, despair, and sadness I felt the first time around. I don’t even know where to begin. When you find out there’s a shooter in the hospital, and then see him in the elevator with Cristina, you can’t help but hold your breath.
Then, after Derek gets shot and Cristina is operating on him with Jackson, Meredith telling the gunman to shoot her instead of him is an extremely selfless act of love that we’ll never forget.
But perhaps the most upsetting moment was after Charles Percy got shot, and Miranda Bailey realized all the elevators were on emergency stop and she wasn’t able to get him help. As she sat and cradled Charles in her lap, and he asked if he was dying, the emotion displayed in Bailey’s face was nothing short of heartbreaking.
So there you have it. Our list of the most unforgettable Grey’s Anatomy episodes.
A lot of people probably remember All In The Family as an iconic sitcom from the 70s. Those of you that do remember will admit that the humor on the show doesn’t really hold up today. Whether it’s because people have become more sensitive, or because times really have changed, well that’s still up for debate. One thing is for sure though…we’re about to find out.
Norman Lear, who wrote and produced both All In The Family and its spinoff The Jeffersons, is rebooting both shows for a one-night-only TV special that will run about 90 minutes. Lear will be pairing up with Jimmy Kimmel to bring the shows back to life.
Lear is excited to see his shows come back to life and prove some of those people who don’t think the humor will hold up wrong.
They have said over and over again that these two shows were meant for the ’70s and would not work today. We disagree with them and are her to prove, with two great casts depicting All in the Family and The Jeffersons, the timeliness of human nature.
I cannot wait to see what these glorious performers make in our time of these indelible characters, and I couldn’t be more grateful for Jimmy Kimmel, Sony and ABC for their collective willingness to conceive and pursue this never-been-done-before event.
Kimmel also commented on the revival, saying he’s thrilled to have so many people agreed to be a part of it.
The fact that a group of Oscar winners eagerly agreed to play these iconic characters is a testament to the greatness of these shows and their creator, Norman Lear. To be a part of this is a dream come true for me and everyone involved.
So who are these people that Kimmel is talking about? Let’s find out!
Wanda Sykes as Louise “Weezie” Jefferson
Sykes is going to have some big shoes to fill, as the original Weezie, played by Isabel Sanford, won an Emmy for her job in the role in 1981. Sanford was the first black woman to win in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
However, if anyone is up to the task, it’s Sykes. The comedian is currently appearing on Blackish, for which she’s been nominated for two Emmy Awards.
Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson
Originally played by Sherman Hemsley, George Jefferson got started as the next-door neighbor of the Bunkers. Hemsley was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance, and won the NAACP Image Award.
As for Foxx, he won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray, so the talent is definitely not lacking. It will be interesting to see if he can get the comedic timing.
Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker
Edith Bunker, or as Archie called her, Dingbat, was a beloved character on the show. When she was killed off in the spin-off Archie Bunker’s Place, fans were left shocked and saddened that their favorite TV housewife no longer existed in the fictional world. The role was played by Jean Stapleton, who took home three Emmys and two Golden Globes for her work.
Now, it will be up to Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei to bring the character back to life.
Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker
I’m not sure they could have picked a better person for this if they tried. Noted gruff Harrelson is tasked with bringing the “lovable bigot” back to the small screen. The Emmy winner and three-time Oscar nominee has the comedic timing and sarcastic attitude to give us a great Archie Bunker.
Originally played by Carroll O’Connor, Bunker is the main reason most people don’t think the show could hold up today. Despite the controversy, O’Connor played the role perfectly, brining home four Emmy awards for his work.
Those are the roles we know for sure, but there are three other actors who have been confirmed to be on the series, although their exact roles haven’t been confirmed. One of those people is Justina Machado, and there aren’t any rumors as to who she might play.
That being said, the other two have some rumors swirling around them.
POTENTIALLY: Ellie Kemper as Gloria Stivic
Absolutely no one can replace the work that Sally Struthers did as Stivic, but it seems Ellie Kemper might give it her best shot. Struthers won two Emmys as Archie Bunker’s daughter, and Kemper has been nominated for two Emmys for her role as the title character in Unbreakable Kimmy Scmidt.
POTENTIALLY: Will Ferrell as Tom Willis
Will Ferrell is rumored to be playing Tom Willis, who was one half of an interracial couple living next door to George and Louise Jefferson. The role was originally played by Franklin Cover, but I’d love to see what Ferrell could do with it!
I’m a little curious to see how they bring the humor of All In The Family to such a politically sensitive world, but I know I’ll definitely be tuning in!