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Ringer: The Poor Kids Do It Everyday

"I don't know you... and I never did."

So I guess Bridget is abandoning the concept of making this a 'short-term' deal. And I guess Siobhan is straight-up evil. I like both girls a lot (well, more than I did at the beginning of the series), but it would be foolish to claim that they were being written well. A problem with a show like this, one that depends on twists and cliffhangers, is that in the relentless pursuit of curve-balls to throw at us, the writers become susceptible to losing track of the protagonists involved. The Poor Kids Do It Everyday did a good job of adding new levels to both sisters, but I'm not sure they totally worked from a logic stand-point.

In this episode's big reveal, Bridget plants her finger-prints on the Gemma crime-scene baggage and kisses goodbye to the life she once had. It's interesting to see her decide to stick with this charade for the long haul, possibly out of pure disdain for her old life, or unexpressed rage in what Siobhan inadvertently landed her in. Or maybe she's just irrational and always doing the stupid thing. But I kind of wish we understood more about why she's making these decisions. Considering the poop she's waded through over the last two weeks, you wonder why she wouldn't be more hesitant to being Siobhan forever.

Speaking of Siobhan, she also surprised, at one point suggesting to Henry that they bump off both Andrew and Gemma in order to be together. It's a major character point, something that pushes her into a much darker direction than had initially been implied. But, again, the motivation needs a better explanation.

None of the Gemma follow-through was particularly surprising (I'm assuming she's faked her death to get away from the identity-swapping/infidelity fun), but it continued the interesting work they're giving Kristoffer Polaha. It's a testament to the actors on this show that they somehow manage to sell their scenes despite having pretty shallow characters to work with. I still don't feel like I know most of these people, yet Gellar and Polaha had me pretty engaged during their various throw-downs here. But I sure would like a better understanding of these characters. Is Henry naive and in love? Or is he sociopathic and disturbing for covering up his wives' apparent murder? It's ambiguous, sure, but crazily frustrating at the same time.

It's pure coincidence, but I found it amusing that both new shows I'm reviewing have just featured teenage girls being targeted by high school bitches on their first day at school. Only it's not just catty sniping, but aggressive threats of physical violence. Eek. Is that what teenage girls are like nowadays? Or has it become the defacto story for unambitious TV writers? Juliet's drama didn't blow my mind in the slightest, since it feels completely unrelated to literally every other character on the show, all of whom are wrapped up in the same saga. I like Jason Dohring a whole lot, but the show will need to do a lot more to get me to care about this particular subplot. And please don't go down the 'teacher-student affair' route, show. Seriously.

I'm enjoying this show, but I'm at that point where I want to know more about these characters, rather than simply watching them do things that are soapy and melodramatic. I think we can all agree the show would generate more power if we had a handle on them before we discovered they were, for example, huge potential murderers.

Notables

- I really thought they were going to reveal the identity of Siobhan's mystery caller at the end. I even thought it could be Agent Machado, for some contrived reason. But for now I'm settling on Charlie, Bridget's shifty AA sponsor.

- I get thrown out of the show every time either Gemma or Henry mention their kids. I keep forgetting they (supposedly) exist.

- It was amusing last week, but the show needs to stop repeating Gemma's answer machine message already.

- Andrew: Would you tell her that's not appropriate attire for a first day at school?
Bridget: It's a little... fabric-challenged.

- Juliet: It's public school, which means I can wear whatever I want. The poor kids do it everyday.

Previously posted at Unwelcome Commentary.

4 comments:

  1. Great review, Max. It's really hard to tell where they're going, or if I'm going to like it when they get there. Henry is getting more interesting; as you said, it was pretty much impossible to tell what was going on with him. It was nice to see Jason Dohring (and refreshing that he's a teacher now instead of a student) but I don't know how they can get him more deeply into the story. I guess we'll see.

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  2. Has anyone checked to see if Ringer and American Horror Story share a writer or something? :) Aside from the mean girl subplots, I think they're having the same gee-whiz-flashy-plot-twists vs. solid character building problem.

    Excellent review!

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  3. Great review, thanks!

    Ha! Glad I'm not the only one having a sudden suspicion of Agent Machado, though for a different thing. When they were at the night club, after the search, the look he exchanged with Bodaway felt very off.... probably nothing :)

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  4. Great review! :)

    "Speaking of Siobhan, she also surprised, at one point suggesting to Henry that they bump off both Andrew and Gemma in order to be together. It's a major character point, something that pushes her into a much darker direction than had initially been implied."

    > Is it really? Didn't they in the pilot/second ep imply that she had tried to get Bridget killed? Not sure if having "friend" killed is much darker than "sis" :P


    "But, again, the motivation needs a better explanation."

    > I am willing to be lenient towards this, as to me the motivation is part of the mystery Bridget (we) is supposed to find out? just my 2 cents

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