Catherine Russell Loves Her Berena Fans

Catherine Russell Loves Her Berena Fans

I hear most of you saying “Who the hell is that?”

If you’re not from the UK, the odds are you’ve never heard of Holby City. That means you’ve probably never heard of Berena: Bernie and Serena. They’re a pair of ladies of a certain age, both doctors, both divorced with kids, who meet, fall in love, and (since they’re on a night time soap), shit happens.

Adults in Love

For people who watch Supergirl, if you can make it through the toxic heterosexual bullshit of season two (seriously, why did they have Kara dump James for Mon-El?), then you’ve seen an adult in her twenties realize that, holy shit, she’s gay. It’s incredibly rare to see those things happen without some horrible external drama. I could probably count them on my hands, and two of ’em happened on Grey’s Anatomy.

The point is that we really don’t get to see grown ups falling in love. One of my favorite parts of Battlestar Galactica was the love story between President Roslin and Admiral Adama. Old people in love. There’s a melancholy sweetness that happens when people who are ‘past their prime’ fall in love. They lack the panicked rush we see with teenagers, that if they don’t do it now it’ll never happen. And yet this is so much more the case as we age. We know we’ll have fewer and fewer chances to do what we dream.

The Berena story also includes a hilarious seen where their coworkers held up signs, imploring Serena to tell Bernie what she feels and to kiss her.

Catherine Loves Her Fans

Much like Chyler Leigh, Catherine Russell actually gets it. She understands the importance of her role beyond just being on a TV show. She understands that she is representing a people who generally speaking don’t get much. And when we do? Well. It’s not all great.

But then if you don’t have representation – which as a lesbian, you don’t – then to be on primetime television and to see yourself is an occasion to hang out the bunting, light a sparkler, and shout “Hurrah, at last!

When she talked to What’s on TV last year, Catherine was hopeful that the representation would be done right:

… from the perspective of a lesbian viewer, there’s so little out there on regular TV that they can look at and go: ‘That represents me, there I am’, that I feel a great responsibility to get this right and I hope we are getting it right.

And I think for those people it will be really quite significant.

Over the years, gay men have had role models on TV shows, including Holby, but there are very, very few gay women. So I think and hope there will be a good deal of support.

At the end of the day, love is love.

It is. And at Holby, we get to see it.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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