If I could describe Ringer in one word, it would be: delicious.
It’s a twisty, soapy, sometimes cheesy pleasure (it is on the CW, after all), but it keeps me delightfully intrigued. In fact, it has become far better than I expected after the first couple of episodes, which makes me root for its success.
What started off as a twin-swapping, mistaken-identity story – kind of like the dark side of The Parent Trap – has added depth to supporting characters’ stories and elements of a sneaky whodunit.
Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the twins – one a cold, calculating socialite (Siobhan), and the other a rehabbed drug addict/stripper (Bridget). After the stripper witnesses a murder, she is set to testify against the big-time criminal behind it – but she runs. Runs to New York to seek help from her high-falutin’ sister, and soon ends up taking on the socialite’s identity. (This isn’t a spoiler; it becomes part of the show’s opening credits after the pilot sets it up.)
The concept requires high levels of suspension of disbelief – especially that socialite Siobhan’s husband, Andrew, wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between his wife and a stripper he’s never met. But that actually provides a lot of the show’s suspense – you feel that Bridget, who’s already on the run and fearing for her life, could be found out at any moment.
I never watched Buffy, so this is my first SMG show. I think she does all right, especially for playing two different characters. But I enjoy watching Ioan Gruffudd more as her husband Andrew. (According to IMDB, his name is pronounced “Yo-wahn Griffith.”) He’s leagues away from his upstanding character William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace. We aren’t sure whether he’s good, evil, or just terrifically complex – which makes for fun TV.
The other fun-to-watch character is Juliet, Andrew’s daughter from a previous marriage, played by Zoey Deutch. She manages to elicit hatred, sympathy, laughs, pity, and utter frustration from me as a viewer. I give her major props.
(As an aside, I can do without Nestor Carbonell, the agent looking for his lost murder witness, who inexplicably must wear eyeliner in his every role.)
I keep thinking the show is already in its second season, thanks to all the twists and turns, but it’s just finishing its first season (The finale – which you should NOT watch if you haven’t watched it so far – is April 17). You can save Season 1 on Netflix right now so it hops into your queue as soon as it’s available.
Persevere through the first few episodes, and the payoff will be worth it. When you watch the pilot, you’re going to be thinking, “Wow, this is schlocky.” My husband wanted to quit right away, but I said, “No, let’s give it a chance.” We both got sucked in.
Relationships and plot foundations had to be established before it could really hit its stride. I thought I knew where things were going – which could still have been okay for some light, escapist entertainment – but then the twists started.
And that’s where the fun begins.