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Why was Serena Fired?

  • Avatar of servo75

    servo75

    [1]Sep 19, 2006
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    I know this isn't a timely topic, but I just joined this forum and the question's been bugging me since I saw that episode on rerun.

    I didn't see many of the episodes in that season prior to being fired, so maybe I'm missing someting.  When was it discovered she was a lesbian?  From the episodes I did see, I could tell there was occasional tension, like in the "Gov Love" episode when McCoy decided to nullify the gay marraiges and Serena said, "I don't think I'll be much help to you in Albany."  So maybe she was known as a lesbian by that episode but I didn't see it mentioned. Still I didn't see that conflict as so bad that she would be fired over it.  Maybe someone who saw more 2004-05 episodes could provide some insight.

    The reasoining given on the show was that she was in too much disagreement with Branch. Yeah she disagreed with McCoy too but I don't think he cared all that much. She's not the first ADA, however, to have personal problems with a given case. So then Borge comes on board and I look for her to be tougher and more of a "team player" than Southerlyn, but I haven't seen it. A few episodes in, she argued with McCoy (and so did I) about the guilt of the hit-and-run driver who pursued the kidnapper. I'm just not sure I see the logic here. Anyone care to add their two cents?
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  • Avatar of trishtaz

    trishtaz

    [2]Sep 19, 2006
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    The ADA will never be totally a team player because the purpose of the character is to be a counterpoint to Jack's single-minded pursuit of a conviction. The thing I love about L&O is that they're not afraid to present arguments on both sides of most issues. And that they're as faithful to discussing caselaw like real attorneys as television can be (about as accurate as medicine is in ER, I would guess). Having Jack's assistant disagree is a good way to change up the debate from just having the defense attorneys make the arguments all the time. Besides, it's the nature of the profession to consider a case from all angles.

    If you mean that earlier ADAs did not buck the system as much as Serena did, you're probably right, but I think it was an evolution of the use of her character, and I think it gave the series more depth.

    BTW, I do not know what happened to Serena. Haven't gotten to that episode in syndication yet!
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  • Avatar of Vessa289

    Vessa289

    [3]Sep 20, 2006
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    I saw all the episodes in the 2004-2005 season, and I still can't tell you why she was fired. There is speculation that she was fired for being a lesbian, because Branch is conservative, but I don't think that's really the point the writers were trying to make. (And no, there wasn't really too much of a hint of it in earlier episodes, they just seemed to think that they'd throw the lesbian line in at the last moment, to go out with a bang).

    She was fired because she took the side of defendants a little too often, argued with Branch over his decisions, and Branch seemed to think that she'd be better off working as a defence attorney or something if she was going to be compassionate and understanding about defendants.

    There were a few arguments between Branch and Southerlyn in the episodes preceding her last one which were meant to show this friction. Personally, I thought they were all a little staged. They had disagreed before, about fairly similar issues, but now it suddenly got loud and dramatic. I was asking myself in some episodes "why are the yelling? They've had differences of opinion before and they never had to raise their voices about it". Ultimately, I don't think they staged her exit from the show very well. They had about six months or something to figure out how to let the character go, but it seemed like they never really figured it out.
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  • Avatar of dramafreezone

    dramafreezone

    [4]Sep 20, 2006
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    My guess would be that the producers finally realized what a horrible actress Elisabeth Rohm really is.

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  • Avatar of Vessa289

    Vessa289

    [5]Sep 21, 2006
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    I heard that they asked her to stay on an extra half season, because they didn't want to scare the audience with too many cast changes all at once (they didn't want to introduce Fontana and the new ADA at the same time).

    Guess that hasn't been bothering them lately.
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  • Avatar of dmarex

    dmarex

    [6]Sep 22, 2006
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    Elizabeth Rohm a bad actress? I wouldn't say so.
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  • Avatar of JusticeLeaguer

    JusticeLeaguer

    [7]Sep 22, 2006
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    She was fired for being a lezbo
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  • Avatar of donnii79

    donnii79

    [8]Sep 22, 2006
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    I remember thinking to myself in the 2nd or 3rd episode with Fred Dalton Thompson that the Serena character was going to leave due to him.  It was the episode where they convicted 3 kids and sent them to death row when the true criminal was finally caught.  It was predictalbe that she would get into trouble with her views and him.  I really liked Elizabeth Rohm though! She was one of my faves! Much better than Jamie Ross!
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  • Avatar of pgsuperfan

    pgsuperfan

    [9]Sep 23, 2006
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    I think she was the best ADA so far
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  • Avatar of sdho

    sdho

    [10]Sep 24, 2006
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    They seem to be getting progressively worse since her. Nora Lewin never would have fired her

    (And I have no real world idea why she was taken out. Rohm hasn't done anything since then, besides star in a Lifetime movie)
    Edited on 09/24/2006 8:41pm
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  • Avatar of Vessa289

    Vessa289

    [11]Sep 25, 2006
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    I think she said she 'wanted to do more movies', that same old line that all actors give when they leave a TV show. I think she had a minor role in Miss Congeniality 2 after she left.
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  • Avatar of Dewbak75

    Dewbak75

    [12]Sep 25, 2006
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    I don't remember all of Branch's speech at the end of her last episode, but she was basically thinking and acting too much like a defense attorney, not enough like a prosecutor. The whole lesbian thing was just a last-minute reveal to try and make her departure interesting.

    I still think their best junior ADA was Abbie Carmichael, played by Angie Harmon. They haven't had one since who was as interesting a character or played by as good an actress. When Sam Waterston eventually leaves the show, I would love it if they managed to bring her back as the lead ADA.
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  • Avatar of GraeLeigh

    GraeLeigh

    [13]Oct 1, 2006
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    Officially she was fired because Branch found her too passionate and thought she'd be better as defense attorney.
    I'd love to see Serena return to some episodes opposite to Jack like we saw Jamie Ross.
    Personnally I really liked Serena, I miss her, as well as her 'fights' with Branch, at last they put in the show an ADA with opinions, like Abbie Carmichael (what a lovely couple they'd do).

    Serena being fired made absolutly no sense, and her coming-out as she was leaving was even worse *sigh*

    Although I did read that it was a request from actress Elisabeth Röhm
    since she's a real life lesbian, well I'd say bisexual, since she's
    been engaged in the past.

    I found this on wikipedia and it perfectly summarizes the "what the WTF reaction from the audience as they made her coming out.
    "Southerlyn's sexual orientation had never previously been mentioned on the show. In the course of her
    appearance on the show, Southerlyn mentioned having had boyfriends in
    college, although in one episode involving the murder of a recently outed high school student at the hands of her closeted
    girlfriend, she told McCoy a story about "a non-stereotypical gay
    friend" who was deeply closeted and did not find the courage to come
    out until college. In an episode where a ball player accused of murder
    was revealed to be gay she asked how it was possible for someone to
    prefer being known as a killer than as a gay man. Another example was
    when she strongly objected to McCoy seeking to invalidate gay marriage in the state of New York in order to compel testimony from one of the partners regarding a murder the other had committed."
    Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Southerlyn
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  • Avatar of Vessa289

    Vessa289

    [14]Oct 2, 2006
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    Is Rohm a lesbian in real life? I hadn't ever heard that before. In fact, I heard that she was living with some reporter guy.
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  • Avatar of klabut

    klabut

    [15]Oct 3, 2006
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    Vessa289 wrote:
    Is Rohm a lesbian in real life? I hadn't ever heard that before. In fact, I heard that she was living with some reporter guy.


    No there is a big difference from a T.V show and real life.

    ----

    I can't help but admit there was really no reason for firing her. She was the best D.A they could have at least not ended it like that I mean whenever I watch law and order with her I think how she a lesbian? I think the main reason was showing compassion for defendants or something like I dunno it  was never really explained well at all Dick Wolf could have a done a lot better job of explaining it that's for sure. Maybe have her come back as a gust appearance being a defense attorney or something like that.
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  • Avatar of Vessa289

    Vessa289

    [16]Oct 4, 2006
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    klabut wrote:
    Vessa289 wrote:
    Is Rohm a lesbian in real life? I hadn't ever heard that before. In fact, I heard that she was living with some reporter guy.


    No there is a big difference from a T.V show and real life.

    ----


    I've never come across it in any articles or anything, so I'd be interested if GraeLeigh has a source on where they read that. Not that it would make a difference. It was still silly to drop that statement in at the last minute, just to make a 'big' exit.
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  • Avatar of E_Queen

    E_Queen

    [17]Oct 4, 2006
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    Dewbak75 wrote:
    I don't remember all of Branch's speech at the end of her last episode, but she was basically thinking and acting too much like a defense attorney, not enough like a prosecutor. The whole lesbian thing was just a last-minute reveal to try and make her departure interesting.

    I still think their best junior ADA was Abbie Carmichael, played by Angie Harmon. They haven't had one since who was as interesting a character or played by as good an actress. When Sam Waterston eventually leaves the show, I would love it if they managed to bring her back as the lead ADA.


    I agree with you 110%!
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  • Avatar of Urban_Sombrero

    Urban_Sombrero

    [18]Oct 4, 2006
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    I loved Carmichael, but I'm not sure the show has a post-Waterston future. I think they'd have a damn hard time replacing Jack, they were able to replace Stone (a great character btw) because the show was still young. I don't see a show that's been around so long being able to replace a guy who's been the cornerstone since the 5th season. As for Serena, the whole dynamic between her and Arthur couldn't go on forever. Someone was going to have to give. You have to think Arthur never wanted her around to begin with. She was brought in by Nora Lewin who was the polar opposite of Arthur politically.
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