Ringer: A Whole New Kind of Bitch

"That's your excuse for sleeping with my husband? You're her twin?"

This was the strongest episode so far, if only because the writers are in the process of fixing some of Ringer's inherent problems. The biggest being that the entire premise of this show is more than a little, I don't know, silly: "Solution to my twin sister supposedly killing herself? I got it! I'll steal her entire identity!" The best moment here was Gemma's on-point put-down of Bridget's elaborate lie. As much as Bridget likes to claim that she's only keeping this charade up in order to 'fix things' in Siobhan's life, her actions are pretty self-serving.

I'm enjoying the shades the writers are giving Bridget. It felt like she was being written a little too 'safe' in the last couple of episodes, in that the insanity of her entire scheme was being conveniently ignored. But here we see the natural fall-out to something like this. Bridget is lying to everybody around her, and it's not fair to allow somebody like Andrew to essentially fall in love again with someone who isn't who she says she is. The writers are making the Ringer universe far more complicated and ambiguous, which is exactly what I hoped they would do.

The problem fixing was also evident elsewhere. Henry has been an unusually bland character so far and while I'm not a fan of Kristoffer Polaha, I can't deny that most actors would struggle with playing somebody so ill-defined. But that cliffhanger ending was exciting. Has he killed Gemma? The show is at least implying a violent streak within him. Once again, it's adding shades to a character that seriously needs them.

Juliet's drama ties in with the CW demographic, but it's being played a little on-the-nose so far. I think she's a character that needs some development, since her confrontational demeanor and shallow reactions to things (public school - the horror!) are making her nothing but a one-note hag. What's saving this story is Bridget's treatment of her, with Bridget identifying with Juliet's problems. I kind of wish Andrew wasn't such a pushover, though. He needs to take charge with his kid.

A Whole New Kind of Bitch saw the show carefully walking that tightrope between soapy melodrama and dark drama, and seeing Bridget's lies slowly falling apart is creating some really wonderful tension so far.

Notables

- I'm still struggling to get emotionally invested in the Malcolm subplot, but I did like the parallels between him and Bridget as they both caved into their addictions (or in Bridget's case, almost did).

- Can I see a love triangle on the horizon between Bridget's new AA guy and her sort-of husband?

- The burn scar was just a little too convenient, amiright?

- No Siobhan tonight. To be honest, I didn't really miss her Paris sexcapades.

- Gemma: You've reached Gemma. Don't be boring.

- Juliet: She's not helping. She's rummaging through my stuff, going to druggie meetings and narc-ing me out. It's like she's a whole new kind of bitch.

Previously posted at Unwelcome Commentary.

8 comments:

Paul Kelly said...

Nice review. I think you pretty much summed it up. Ringer is a mess of poorly developed characters. Four episodes in and I really don't care about any of them. Michael we barely know, so his torture (although unpleasant) struck no real emotional chord. Andrew is just hopelessly bland. (Blandrew?) Gemma I was just starting to like, but even she's turned out to be a pain in the arse/possibly dead. Which leaves the pissy daughter (who's pissy), Victor (who didn't appear), and Henry (who's okay).

That said, the plot was a little more interesting tonight... though, employing one of Josie's Rule of Television, "if you don't see the body, don't believe anyone is dead". So, I'm guessing Gemma won't be. Otherwise the characters I actually like will be narrowed down to just one -- Bridget -- and I strongly suspect I like her because of Geller, rather than because she's a great character.

Josie Kafka said...

I suspect that the AA guy is an FBI plant.

But I may be overthinking it.

TJ said...

And news just in...Ringer gets a full season. Yay!

The Gemma cliffhanger was never a surprise though, the whole storyline was just waiting to happen, and Tara Summers was never a series regular (=she disappears/gets killed).

I'm glad the show wasn't cancelled. But my worries is that they might run of (good) twists to keep the show interesting...

TJ said...

Sorry

Run 'out' of (good) twists...

Billie Doux said...

Definitely agree. The last two episodes have been an improvement. It's about time that someone called Bridget out. I just wish I liked the characters more. Or at all. Maybe Gemma *is* dead and they'll start replacing them one by one with better characters. :)

TVNerd said...

I want to like all the characters more, but I keep finding nothing to grab onto emotionally. I can see the actors trying, but until the writing matches them I can't see finding attachment.

That being said, I did find a lot of the plots in this episode to be more fun. Although I'm not thrilled with the idea what I might loose the one character (besides Sarah... I mean Bridget) that I like.

Did anyone else get shades of Logan Echolls from Gemma voice mail message? Could they be sending us a little geek signal that Jason Dohring is on his way?

TVNerd

Anonymous said...

The show is improving.If Gemma is gone I'll miss her, she provided some good moments with Bridget. The thing with the teenage stepdaughter is so cliche I hope that improves quickly. We shall see. Nice review.
Anna

maxpower03 said...

I sort of agree about the characters, and I think my liking of them depends on the story they're involved with. For example I like Andrew when he's with Bridget, but thought he was majorly "blah"-worthy in the Juliet subplot here.

I like Gemma, too. She's funny. And I'm not sure killing her off is such a great idea, in the long run.

Happy to see the show has a full season, though.

Thanks for the comments everybody.