Serena Southerlyn deserved better! By Lola Louise

March 26, 2024

I’m watching Law & Order properly for the first time, I mean I have seen SVU but thought, let’s try the original. Threw on Season 12 after Sky recommended it. I’m like “Wow, Serena is so twinkly, like damn. I wish. Goals. So stunning” It takes a few episodes to get to know a character better and I soon realised that she’s completely underrated. We only hear sprinkles of who she is. Never a full story. Just bits here and there. I swear she was brought in to “sit still, look pretty” when there was so much more potential.

The amount of misogyny towards her is unreal. I get it, it’s a boys club. Was casual misogyny normal in the 2000’s? I don’t even know. She is undermined constantly and not taken seriously by anyone. The moment she voices an opinion or shows any empathy, she’s insulted but the men can do exactly the same with no repercussions. I’m glad she has the power to stand up for herself. She gets so much thrown at her, all the dirty work, that’s hers.

Where is her happiness? Why isn’t she allowed anything nice? Within the first season, she nearly gets disbarred for trying to not get someone murdered. She deserves a medal. “She misrepresented herself” why was everyone so willing to let her go in if they knew it would be interpreted as that? He asked for “a lawyer” not a “defence attorney.” Misrepresentation mattered more to others than the fact someone was alive because of her.

When the episode that came around about 2 lesbian teens. The line that stayed with me was the line about coming out, it was something like “Even if your parents are accepting, it doesn’t make it any easier.” As someone who has done that, I was suddenly pinging. I go to my friends and I’m like “this is giving queer. Don’t you think?” Only someone who has came out would know how hard it is even if they’re accepted. Plus, around the 2000’s, most people weren’t very accepting, especially gen x. Some of which still aren’t. I now have a theory that the best friend she had in college was actually her girlfriend. She did mentioned she dated men but nothing happened. Another clue.

Then comes the stance on gay marriage. She was all for it, others really weren’t and they challenged their views. She stood her ground and never took part in the case as she didn’t agree with her colleagues. Best thing she could have done. I wouldn’t dare fight against something I’m for, a community I’m part of.

The dirtiest thing they did to her was fire her for being emotional and biased against people who had bad upbringings. It’s called showing empathy. How is that a bad thing? It helps others feel comfortable enough to talk in what can be an intense atmosphere. Mr Branch is the biggest hypocrite, he’s as biased as they come, pushing his conservative views on everyone else. But, I guess he’s above consequences for being a bigot.

I feel like Serena would have been better joining SVU. She would have been appreciated a lot more part of that team. She genuinely cares about victims and saying that’s bad, is just insanity and immoral.

Her character had so much potential to be one of the best but it felt like they had no clue what to do with her. I would have loved to see her more open about who she is and not hide it. It would have been so progressive for the time. Having her meet a woman, that would have been amazing to see. Bring back Serena, do her justice!!!

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