Holby City: Dofty together, Berena apart

(Series 20, ep. 50 ‘The Right Sort of Animal’ by Ed Sellek 11.12.18) Pop over to Metro for a full review of this glorious episode. Before you go, some random thoughts.

– How fabulous was this episode? I love the quirky things that Ed Sellek puts in his scripts and there were loads of them here. Xavier’s reference to The World According to Garp (telling Serena she was ‘pre-disastered’) has shot him right up in my estimation, and there was another literary reference with Morgan the Organ – the poor man who got hit right in the middle of Pachelbel’s Canon (ouch). The stained glass face stuck in Lexy was brilliant too.

– Reverend Richard Coles’ appearance was really nicely done. His character Henry De Havilland added to the general quirkiness of the wedding in a really joyous way.

– Greta (Zoe Croft) looked absolutely beautiful.

– I also loved Greta’s advice to Dom. Both Greta and Jason are great at getting straight to the heart of things and cutting through the nonsense.

– It was nice to hear Lee Mead using his singing talents, and well done to David Ames for being able to be sung at without going bright red and giggling. Or is that just me?

– It was also lovely to have a Dofty wedding. I was so happy I forgot (till it was over) that Carole Copeland and Sheilagh Chiltern weren’t even there. Luckily both of them will be making appearances in the next few months (see the winter trailer) – but will they ever meet?

– I have a lot of thoughts about Berena, which you can read about in a separate piece over at Metro.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Holby City: Dofty together, Berena apart

  1. Pat Doohan

    I agree with all your thoughts Sue.

  2. Wendy

    An enjoyable episode.
    I do hope that’s not the last of Jemma Redgrave’s appearances. Also hope Serena and Leah do not have a relationship. Leah’s character isn’t one I like yet however I’ve thought that about other characters initially.
    Found the bits about character development in Sue’s book interesting.

  3. RPC

    PART 1
    As the reaction to the recent break-up of Serena and Bernie (there is no Berena anymore so I won’t refer to them as such) on Hobly City unfolds and the “thank yous” for the “beautiful journey” rise to the rafters, I say “wait…”
    Not all of us are part of that choir. Some of us hold the opinion that Holby’s end to this relationship was not beautiful but was rather mishandled and hurtful. Members of the Holby production and staff were more than willing to accept awards and kudos for the portrayal of this lesbian relationship. Now, they need to accept the criticism.
    I live across the pond in the United States. But I was so taken with this story line that I subscribed to BritBox and encouraged others to do so. So my take may be uniquely American, that is, we lack that ever enticing British reserve, but I don’t think so.
    Representation does matter.
    And this, in the long run-at the end of the “beautiful journey”-is how Holby represented a mature lesbian relationship?
    Lesbians cheat. Of course, some do but not all of us.
    Lesbians have this “undeniable sexual attraction” and then it dies within six months to a year. No, that’s not quite what happens. Some lesbians have very healthy and erotic relationships with their partners well into their seventies.
    Lesbian relationships are angst filled. No, some lesbians actually enjoy the company of their partners and share good humor (like Serena and Bernie did BEFORE they became lovers).
    Perhaps what is so disheartening about the Holby’s representation of a lesbian relationship is that we should not fall in love with our best friend. As friends, Serena and Bernie had each other’s back. As lovers, they did not.
    These are just a few takeaways of Holby’s portrayal of a lesbian relationship. So I ask, how far have we come really? The result was the same as in the past, lesbian relationships are doomed for failure
    For me, it isn’t so much the break-up, although that is sad enough if Bernie and Serena can’t make it, but rather, how Hobly went about doing it. Contrary to the justification for the break up, it really wasn’t mature or complicated. The notion of “if you love someone set them free” is a romantic notion of an adolescent. Adults work on their relationships. Adult, mature relationships are hard. Holby gave up on Bernie and Serena. We didn’t.

  4. RPC

    PART 2
    Oh sure, the excuse is that Serana’s storyline wouldn’t be dramatic enough “cooing” love in the phone to Bernie. Except, why is Serena’s drama always associated with relationships. Her mother? Her cheating husband? Her fractured relationship with her daughter? Her daughter’s death? Do I dare say it is rather sexist? Why don’t the writers create drama for Serena’s strong character with other story lines? She is after all a Harvard graduate (I heard Harvard is going to ask for their degree back because what fool would give up Bernie Woolf?). Why not make her CEO and face those challenges? Or, face malpractice litigation? Or, she can take on rail system (joke)? There are a plethora of story lines for creative writers.
    And the justification that Jemma Redgrave can only commit to occasional appearances is equally a contrived excuse. Do we know what Ric does at home? Her appearances could have been weaved into the story line. Mature adults can make long distant relationships work. They could meet half way…maybe in Kiev.
    If Holby wanted to end their relationship it could have ended in June. Instead we got the “I can’t imagine a life without you.” We were told that the show was “invested” in the relationship. We were baited in trailers and previews. I’m a very confident person but I felt like I was back in high school, knowing I’m gay, and having the straight girls pretending to like me but whispering and laughing at me behind my back. Holby, you were cruel and insensitive in how you played this.
    And Catherine Russell told us to “wait…” Catherine, you are a charming and an extraordinary artist, but know this, I’ve been waiting a lifetime. I refuse to wait any longer.
    Holby could have ended (or continued) this relationship with the grace and dignity that Serena and Bernie deserved. What we deserved. The ending was clichéd. What Holby has done is force me, and I suspect others, to not watch shows with lesbian relationships because the investment doesn’t matter. Rather, I will return to my youth and simply watch hetero relationships wishing I could see who I am reflected in them.
    Please do not read this as an indictment of the actors. They simply are doing their jobs-with profound artistry and beauty. Jemma Redgrave is simply stunning. Holby was graced to have an actress of her caliber be a cast member. And, the powers that be should have done everything they could have to continue her appearances, even if they were intermittent. And Catherine Russell is adorably funny and sexy. Perhaps, one of the reasons that I am so disappointed is that I will no longer have their individual and collective beauty gracing my Twitter and YouTube feeds. The images are seared into my brain, though. Their bond was incredible. They convinced all of us that Serena and Bernie were in love.
    Yes, Holby, representation does matter. And, you may not have intended it, but your representation failed miserably. So when DIVA write about the “beautiful journey” make sure that you also tell Holby City that some of us didn’t survive the crash.

    • Wendy

      Thanks for those comments. You put it so well.

      Understand that it’s believed characters are boring if relationships succeed but surely it’s boring if they all fail.
      Successful relationships could be shown with their ups and downs.For an example of long term love which absolutely sticks in my mind is Hilda in Corrie’s brilliant acting following Stan’s death.

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