The new TV season is ripe with new series premiers, and we TVaholics sit in cynical anticipation of shows that piqued our curiosity, wondering which ones will we set up a series recording on our DVRs. Ringer was the first new show I decided to watch, and the premiere reeled me in.
Sarah Michelle Gellar stars in a dual role of twins Bridget and Siobhan, sisters who are as far apart as the east is from the west. Bridget is a trailer park-esque, down-on-her-luck woman battling alcoholism and running from the cops. Siobhan is Miss Park Avenue with the season opera tickets and beachfront property.
The sisters reunite, not having seen each other in years. Siobhan tells Bridget she can stay as long as she likes, and they decide to go out on a relaxing boat ride. Bridget falls asleep, and awakens to find herself alone on the boat with her sister nowhere to be found.
Let the silliness begin!
Does Bridget call the cops? Nooo! She decided to assume her sister’s identity. How simple, right? No one knows she was even in town. So she slides into the role of Siobhan with the indifferent husband, the evil stepdaughter, the goofy best friend, and the secret lover (likeable Kristoffer Polaha of Life Unexpected). And oh yes, she finds out she’s pregnant. So the stage has been set.
Bridget may have been able to blow off the pregnancy, but of course the husband overhears the conversation, and an announcement is made in front of the best friend and secret lover. The secret lover believes the baby is his, and of course, he’s married to the best friend.
And here’s the clincher—Siobhan is alive and well and living in Paris. So she set Bridget up. Siobhan also has her own tangled little cobwebs woven into this tale; apparently someone is trying to kill her. Why, we don’t know. We got to see Bridget get into a Buffy-type fight with the perp, and she prevails. So now a dead body has been added into the mix.
There are several questions that arise in the thinking person’s mind. How does one just seamlessly slip into another person’s life not knowing a darn thing about that person? Why does Siobhan set her own sister up, and what is she fleeing from? How does she know Bridget was going to take the bait? Why does Bridget wear a white silk top to dispose of a body and clean up after a murder? How did she get the body into that little trunk? Did she use the circular saw? Of course, the husband decides to throw a party in the same room where the murder was committed, leaving Bridget to do some fast thinking and track-covering. Hitchcock would have been proud to see unsuspecting people drinking champagne and eating hordoevres while trying not to trip over the trunk and its macabre contents. (Rope, 1948) And to delight us further, the body has disappeared! Clean. Not a drop of blood anywhere. CSI would be totally baffled.
The point of this is giving yourself permission to have a guilty pleasure! Everything doesn’t have to add up and make sense. Sometimes a TV show is JUST A TV SHOW! Ringer is strangely entertaining, and in its odd way it draws you into the mystery and makes you want to know what’s going to happen next. I don’t think Ringer will go down in the annals of TV history, and it probably will not make it to the end of the 2011/2012 season. But grab a pint of premium ice cream and indulge in a bit of mindless entertainment. I think we're in for a wild ride. If you want realism, watch the Military Channel.