Wow. Never before have I been so disappointed.
Amazon recently dropped its four-part docuseries Lorena, which tells the true story of Lorena Bobbitt. Lorena suffered sexual abuse at the hand of her husband for years before eventually cutting off her husband’s penis.
The story couldn’t be more relevant in today’s climate and with Jordan Peele producing, it was set to be a home run. But the end result couldn’t have been more off base.
At the time of Lorena’s trial, the story had been national news. But instead of being heard, Lorena was mocked relentlessly and the whole ordeal became a joke.
Enter Amazon’s Lorena. According to all indications, the purpose of the series was to finally give Lorena some justice and allow her to tell her story. But unfortunately, they failed to do so.
There are so many issues with this docuseries, it’s hard to know where to even begin.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the documentary is the way they chose to tell the story. In addition to getting Lorena’s perspective, the series also interviews John Wayne Bobbitt (her husband) as well as numerous people from his legal team.
While I understand the instinct to “tell both sides of the story,” in this scenario, that’s just not ok.
But it shouldn’t be about that. If a woman says she was assaulted, then she was assaulted. Period. End of story.
By giving equal air time to both Lorena and John, Lorena is only furthering the “he said she said” narrative. They’re forcing viewers to choose a side. And as we know, it’s frequently the man who is believed.
If Lorena truly wanted to give Lorena the chance to tell her story, then make the documentary about that. There’s a way for you to give her assaulter a chance to respond without giving his perspective equal credence.
Another huge problem with the series was the editing. Amazon easily could have told Lorena’s story in one installment, possibly two. Instead, they chose to stretch it out into four hour-long episodes.
The result is a slow, redundant series that somehow turns a relevant story into a boring one.
Lorena’s tale is actually pretty straight forward. Lorena and John had an extremely volatile relationship and after years of abuse, she decided she could no longer take it. If they had told that story succinctly, they would have truly packed a punch.
It would have been a different story if the series had revealed previously unknown information. But nearly everything they covered was already known to the public.
Amazon and Jordan Peele had a real opportunity to compete in the true crime genre, but instead, they completely dropped the ball. And in doing so, they sold Lorena Bobbitt, and every other sexual abuse survivor, short.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.