Outside of “Do car washes or laser tag centers make for better money laundering operations?” there’s not a lot fan debate surrounding Breaking Bad as we close in on the finale eight episodes. Discussion and theorizing? Certainly. Lots of that. But seeing as how pretty much everyone agrees BEST SHOW EVA there aren’t many aspects of the show that can be termed divisive.
And then there’s Skyler White.
Anna Gunn has the unenviable task of providing a semblance of a moral compass on the show and her efforts have earned her fan responses that seemingly sway somewhere between “I don’t entirely hate her” to “GET THAT BUZZKILL OFF MY SCREEN.” So much so that Vince Gilligan has even had to weigh in on the Skyler haters.
Which leads me to a new statistical approach on Skyler hating taken by one Breaking Bad fan — inspired by a recent breakdown of IMDb Breaking Bad episode ratings — where he or she has correlated how well-liked an episode is with how often Skyler is in it to determine just how disliked she really is.
Some things I found:
- The average episode rating was 8.84.
- The average occurrence of ‘Skyler’ was 8.30.
- In the top 10 highest rated episodes, the average occurrence of ‘Skyler’ was 4.6 and the average rating was 9.57.
- In the bottom 10 rated episodes, the average occurrence of ‘Skyler’ was 10.1 and the average rating was 8.21
- In the 10 episodes with the highest occurrence of ‘Skyler’, the average rating was 8.54 where ‘Skyler’ was found an average of 14.6 times.
- In the 10 episodes with the fewest occurrence of ‘Skyler’, the average rating was 9.23 where ‘Skyler’ was found an average of 2.6 times.
The R-Value of the two data sets is -0.54 (This is the strength of the relationship). The negative number shows that it is an inverse relationship.
If you interested in going full numbers geek the water is warm over in a Reddit comment thread. It reminds me why I roofied myself right after I handed in my statistics final in college.
What does it all MEAN though? Nothing really. The numbers show there’s a slight inverse relationship to how good fans think an episode is to how much Skyler is in it, but the correlation is not so glaring to be meaningful in my opinion. If anything the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” episode (18) not representing a massive gap kind of undermines the whole study. I mean, I defy you to watch this all the way through.
So. Much. Cringing.