I’ll admit it; I’ve been watching Ringer on the CW.
I know, I know, there’s no real excuse. It’s on the CW! I am not their target demographic. In fact, I could be the grandmother of their target demographic. They tend to be low-budget and things like plot and character development are less important than good hair and—when they can afford it—skin-showing wardrobes.
The lead in Ringer, though, played an iconic character in the 1990s, one I will always have a soft spot for—Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. My affection for Buffy has transferred to Sarah Michelle Geller, who played her, and now plays the twins Bridget and Siobhan in Ringer.
Yes, yes, the premise is silly. Twins impersonating one another is so cliché it’s almost a classic. There’s a boatload of fantasy-wish-fulfillment here along with thriller-ish suspense. But the suspension of disbelief doesn’t stop with the twin thing. They want us to believe a lot of impossible things before breakfast.
Bridget is the poor twin; an “exotic dancer” (nudge, wink) who witnessed a murder in someplace like Wyoming or Montana. Siobhan is the rich twin, married to an uber-wealthy investments guy in New York with a Fifth Avenue apartment, a weekend place in the Hamptons and a loft that’s being renovated. Before the story took place, Siobhan and Bridget had a falling-out. The show cleverly set us up to believe that Bridget was the “bad” twin, and did something wrong. Now there have been tantalizing clues that aside from her addiction problems and her career choices, Bridget may not be so bad. Siobhan is another story.
Bridget flees witness protection and runs to Siobhan for help. Siobhan takes this opportunity (well set up by her) to fake her own death. I don’t know what she thought Bridget would do, but Bridget does what any fictional identical twin would do in this situation; she assumes her sister’s identity.
Back in Wyoming, Bridget’s Narcotics Anonymous sponsor (who she calls about once an hour on her cell phone, being all undercover and stealth and all) is being tortured by the evil guy who is the murderer. They may have even just killed him! I don’t think so though, for plot reasons, but they did have a plastic bag over his head last I saw.
In New York, Bridget discovers that her sister was having an affair with her best friend’s husband. Gemma, the best friend, is a glorious train wreck of a character. Bridget ends the affair and tries to mend fences with her hawt English husband played by Ioan Gryfudd, and reach out to her step-daughter, who is supposed to be a teen-ager but looks about 24, and who has a drug problem. Bridget, in her Siobahn guise, is also being harried by the FBI agent who was supposedly watching over her (Bridget) in Wyoming. Got all that? The agent thinks that Siobhan is merely hiding Bridget, not that she is Bridget.
Meanwhile, Siobhan, not dead, is in Paris setting up some elaborate scheme to steal her husband’s money. There was also a hit-man who came after Bridget/Siobhan. Bridget thinks Andrew (hawt husband) set it up—it’s more likely Siobhan did since apparently her plan revolves around everyone thinking she’s dead, which no one does right now because Bridget . . . well, you get it.
The first two episodes were suspenseful if implausible. Then the story veered into relationship-land; Gemma’s handsome but annoying novelist/philanderer husband keeps trying to get Siobhan (They call her “Shiv,” probably in response to scores of e-mails asking how you pronounce Siobhan. Shiv, worst nickname ever–) back; Bridget saves an investment party her husband is throwing when the venue cancels at the last minute. This was actually pretty funny because there’s this dead body—the hit man—in one of the designer steamer trunks and his cell phone keeps ringing. . . anyway, it was fun. When Bridget is being kind of scrappy and street-smart, and shooting would-be murderers, the show is good. Then it right-turned into emotional suspense during a weekend in the Hamptons when Gemma finds out about the affair, confronts (she thinks) /Siobhan, and Bridget reveals herself. This doesn’t make things better.
(An aside; Gemma and her faithless husband Henry have twins too! And they are special twins; they’re invisible! In five episodes, we haven’t seen them once.)
So, pretty much, I was done. Except, then, it looks like they might have killed off Gemma! I hate that in one way, because the actress, Tara Summers, did an awesome job and the flailing, over-drinking, out-of-control character radiated off the screen; but in another way—wow! And what if Gemma isn’t dead? What if she faked her own death? And she’s sitting with Siobhan at a corner café in Paris right now, sipping a café crème and laughing at how gullible Bridget is?
But the questions! How is Bridget going to get out of the fake pregnancy (possibly Siobahn’s real pregnancy?) Who is Siobahn’s secret partner in her money-bilking scheme? I vote for it being Andrew’s sketchy female partner just because that’s so unlikely. What happened to Gemma?
Anyway, they have sucked me back. I’ll give them another two weeks before I make a final decision; commit, or pack it in. Stay tuned. Is the suspense getting to you? It’s killing me.