« Who's Older?™: True Love | Home | Anti-Americanism in consumers »

January 13, 2005


Law & Order goes lesbo-crazy

Any Law & Order fan will tell you that the best days of the show are behind us, but last night's episode might be the proverbial nail in the coffin. We've known that this season would bring the departure of Serena Southerlyn, aka Lawyer Barbie, and last night's episode was the one. The episode dealt with a case based on the murder of Jam Master Jay, but the notable stuff happened during the last few minutes of the show.

The DA calls Serena into his office and fires her. His reasoning is that she uses her heart more than her head in thinking through cases, and that this makes her better suited for advocacy work than for prosecution. A reasonable argument, but seeing as Serena's character has been this way the whole time she's been on the show, wouldn't the DA have come to a decision like this years ago? It sounds more like a conversation that a boss and his employee would have after 6 months, not four years.

Anyway, after she's been fired, Serena looks at the DA, and says, "Is this because I'm a lesbian?"


Either this is just terrible writing, or the Law & Order producers wanted to throw in a little zinger as their worst ever character departs. Are we as an audience now supposed to go back through our memory of Serena, seeing everything she ever did through this new lesbian lens? The show has never been about the personal lives of the central characters, but still, if you're going to make a main character a lesbian, wouldn't it have been good to let the world know that, you know, before the last 5 seconds of her career on the show? This is not the time for character development.

Or if the writers knew they had to get rid of Serena, and since she's such a boring and poorly developed character, made even worse by wooden acting by Elisabeth Rohm, so they thought they'd throw in this zinger, then this is where it gets offensive. Something like sexual orientation is not just a throwaway detail, especially on a popular mainstream show like Law & Order. Especially when it is revealed as part of an employee questioning the reason they're losing their job. I don't think the show's writers intended anything offensive by it, but I do think they've run out of good ideas, and they accidentally suggest through this stunt that being a secret lesbian in the Manhattan DA's office is just a tossed-off little detail. They're grasping for anything sensational they can find, and they resort to something like this as a poorly-timed cheap shot at generating interest in a dull character.

Badly done, L & O.

[tx Agent 0019 for notification about this important but misguided episode]

categories: Gender, TV
posted by amy at 9:23 AM | #

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: