Ringer: If You're Just an Evil Bitch Then Get Over It

"Don't panic... it happened again. Someone shot at me."

This close to the end, Ringer seems to have lost track of its original premise. We started this long, long slog through the mist way back in September, with Bridget a troubled young woman doing a stupid thing, and Siobhan the evil twin sister masterminding an elaborate scheme of faked suicide and hitman hoodoo. Could anybody have predicted all those months ago that we'd wind up in April with a show about two morons stumbling around Manhattan proving to be completely ineffectual when it comes to either pro-active investigating, or arch scheming. Bridget has turned out to be dangerously clueless, and Siobhan appears to be just as lost within her own criminal plot as we are at home. Ringer was at one point set in a world that we were led to believe was orchestrated by Siobhan, but plot contrivance has made her an annoying flip-flopper with no long-term game-plan and a penchant for stupid ideas.

Then again, isn't that a good description for everybody on this show? With Siobhan nothing but an ever-expanding tension vacuum, villain duties have fallen to the perpetually glowering Catherine Martin, exposed as a drunken junkie con artist but still invited over to stay by the family who hated her just last week. The episode ends with Catherine drugging Bridget and tossing a bottle of pills all over her face, presumably to imply suicide. But, again, what exactly is the long-term game-plan here? Catherine wants to kill Siobhan, but is actually killing Bridget, but 'Siobhan' has never shown any signs of drug dependency or suicidal tendencies, so wouldn't suspicion immediately fall to the horrible house-guest with a history of insanity? Ugh.

I commend the show for continuing to pull together the many, many loose ends that have cropped up all year, but it's still enough to inspire self-harm. Obviously there's a complicated idea at the heart of this show, what with people trying to kill two twin sisters, most of the time actually pursuing the wrong one, but surely there were better ways of writing all of this other than through a bunch of crude exposition and flashbacks from episodes that everybody's forgotten about. It's also confusing to see so many characters vanish without a trace, most of them at one point or another implicated as important elements of the show's elaborate mysteries. Bodaway Macawi is presumably buried under a pile of strippers somewhere, while everybody else (Olivia, Mr. Carpenter, Malcolm) has simply been removed from the show with an intentional lack of explanation.

Sometimes Ringer is casually successful -- it would be wrong to say that this week's final scene wasn't an impressive use of imagery, for example. But the show is so detached and vacuous that you struggle to find any resonance at all. It just lingers.

Notables

- Juliet sure has an interesting way of carrying potentially deadly implements -- creep up behind somebody, letter opener aimed directly at their head...

- For some reason, I loved the bit where Siobhan exploded out from the shadows in her bitch-shades proclaiming 'Oksana Schgolavitch", or whatever her name was.

- Roger Kumble, who directed Sarah to her finest movie performance in the trash classic Cruel Intentions, took the reigns here.

Quotage

Juliet: I just want a normal mom. And if you are sick, I want you to get better. But if you're just an evil bitch, then get over it.

Previously posted at Unwelcome Commentary.

7 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

"Bodaway Macawi is presumably buried under a pile of strippers somewhere."

That's for the animated websiodes.

Suzanne said...

As usual you have nailed the review, making me laugh in the process. However I enjoyed seeing Bridget working with Machado, which makes me think they made a mistake by not giving those two more scenes together to begin with. Too late now, luckily.

maxpower03 said...

Josie Hah! Could you imagine?

Suzanne To give the show some credit, I agree with you there. It's amazing what a turnaround he's had since he gotten out of the office. It's absurd that they didn't pursue that far earlier.

Suzanne said...

I believe that one of the biggest crimes of this show is the way they didn't use their acting talent wisely. Look at how poorly they used Jason Dorhing's talent and only now are they using Machado wisely (I can't believe the actor's name is escaping me at the moment considering what a huge lost fan I am). SMG is great, but she shouldn't be forced to carry the whole show. If it hadn't been for her supporting actors in Buffy, the show would have never been what it was. They should have focused the cast more on this show and should have relied on a smaller group of talented actors instead of wasting so much time with so many side plots and actors.

maxpower03 said...

Absolutely. Ioan Gruffudd, Jaime Murray are also really capable actors that have sort of floundered on this. Like you said, SMG is wonderful, but she can't be expected to single-handedly anchor the entire show. Buffy wasn't "The SMG Show", and I imagine it wouldn't have been all that great if Buffy wasn't surrounded by such a dynamic ensemble.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious review as ever. Also Bodaway? That's his first name..how odd. SMG is noticably pregnant..she has classic TV pregnancy wardrobe. and is shot from typically obscuring angles as Bridget.
Anna

Anonymous said...

What a mess of a show! Does anyone think this is gonna be renewed? I mean, it´s messy, messy, messy.