02 March, 2012

Bonus Entry: Ringer on The CW

The most popular and enduring form of television is the soap opera. I love them without shame.

Because of her stint as Kendall on All My Children I will follow Sarah Michelle Gellar Prinze anywhere. When CW picked up Ringer, they wisely advertised to their strengths. "Hey, we hired Sarah." Good enough. I'm in. Everything about Ringer was made for me to love it.

You may have heard the production values are incredibly bad. This is absolutely true. Their green screen work is hilariously low budget and I think they might have only three permanent sets. Maybe two. I don't care. I'm tired of investing in well funded shows that drag you along then get canceled mid season. (Flash Forward) I don't care for sitcoms. When I watch police procedurals I tend to call out who did it with their first screen appearance. (This week's Castle? Sleeping Beauty. Sorry if I spoiled it.) I love soaps because they offer continual payment with minimal investment. They don't need me to get their freak on. Soaps say "Look, there's no way you could have seen this coming, because it's all batshit crazy!" Playing hard to get like that makes me need them even more.

This is what my TiVo looks like.

1) General Hospital
2) Ringer
3) Whatever Steven Moffat is doing.
4) Programs for the kids.
5) Top Chef 
6) Project Runway

I hope that wasn't too personal. 86% of my TiVo is Things My Kids Want To Watch with the top two spots marked Delete And I Will Kill You. If Ringer was on every day I would watch it every day. If it conflicted with school pick up times or a paying job something would have to give and it wouldn't be Ringer. I love every glorious second of this absolutely trashtastic show. The basic premise is simple. Sarah plays twin sisters. The bad sister, Bridget, is actually the good sister but has assumed the life of the good sister, Siobhan, who is actually the bad sister that Bridget thinks is dead. (I know, right??) Everything else is up for grabs. Ringer is the sort of whiplash television where retconning isn't a sin but a raison d'être. The only character with continuity is Bridget, and that is because the show is unfolding before her eyes. Her assumptions are our assumptions (although we're a bit ahead of her since we get to watch Siobhan as well). Bridget may also be the only character in possession of a soul. 

Ringer is not interested in your respect, your awards or your critical acclaim. Ringer wants you to say WTFOMGNOWAY at least once a week, possibly even texting your friends to see if they just saw that too. You should have a big bowl of popcorn and be prepared for it to spray across the room if you aren't ready for the hairpin plot turns. Initially I was less in love with Ringer. Any soap needs time to sink you into their world and Ringer took a few episodes to establish that yes, they are going to kill off main characters and yes, the focus of the show will be changing on a dime. Once you accept you're on a carnival ride it's all good times. I was also concerned with how very white the world of Ringer is. The sole black character (Bridget's sponsor, best friend and former lover Malcolm) seemed to be on the show only as a target for violence. As Ringer progressed it became clear that Malcolm is about a thousand times smarter than Bridget. He and Solomon (a newly introduced black character, bringing our total to two) are the only people Bridget can trust. Both are currently written as solid men trying to help out the crazy rich white chick someone (or several someones) is trying to kill. Everyone else in Bridget's life is just evil. 

(It could be that Prinze is working out her Hamptons Issues.)


  1. I will have to keep a eye out for Ringer if it comes here (not everything comes here [and I'm not going to get on my soapbox about that]). ATM my favourite show on TV here is Revenge. There is so much plotting and scheming. Did I mention the plotting and scheming? Everyone is doing it! I love it!

    And can I just say apologies for being AWOL for so long and...it's nice to be back :) Oh, and the Kindle Touch is now available here. I am tempted to try it...

  2. I've heard a lot of praise for Revenge, it's been described as Ringer For Thinkers, but I heard about it too late to start. I'm planning on catching it when it goes to DVD.

    You haven't been totally AWOL! Goodreads & all that!

  3. A Ringer for thinkers - LOL! It is very good. If you do catch up I look forward to hearing what you think. And I'll definitely keep an eye out for Ringer. It's up to the TV networks here...sometimes we get things early and sometimes we wait ages. Or it ends up on cable (like Game of Thrones).

    Yes...GoodReads, but...I've been AWOL here :(