May 24, 2012

Of course Ringer gets cancelled as soon as I watch the pilot!

Some things the Ringer pilot had going for it: good cinematography/direction/filming and all that jazz. Bad exposition. Good suspense. Bad pacing. Good acting from Sarah Michelle Gellar. Bad... stupidity from her character Bridget Kelly. Ok, I guess I should back up my accusations.

You've heard the premise by now. An estranged twin in trouble is given the opportunity to take her disappeared sister's place and go into hiding. Bridget is a recovering drug addict, ex-stripper, possibly ex-prostitute, but those aren't the problems she's running from. She's doing okay at AA. The problem is she witnessed a crime and she's an idiot. Instead of taking the stand and putting the guy away, she runs and is surprised when he gets off and comes after her.

Okay I know that happens a lot but in this case Bridget knew she was doomed if she did, doomed if she didn't, so she shoulda. But that's not even the stupidity I'll be getting too momentarily.
Anyways when her sister Siobhan disappears, Bridget decides to just take her life. Money, husband, sweet penthouse, step-daughter, friends, lovers... the whole package deal.

There's some interesting filming in this episode that I really liked. I tried to capture some images that show it off but I'm not sure if I did it justice. Count the number of mirrors in this episode, it's crazy. There are a lot of mind-blowing shots that play with the twins-aspect of the show. Kept reminding me of and just making me miss Season 1 of Heroes! There's no way Ringer will ever beat the Jesicca/Nicky drama.
Man, if there were that many Slayers... oh wait...
Ringer's exposition was pretty bad, but thankfully over with early in. Kinda painful, really. Sappy monologues from the ex-addict and the whole "Your life is perfect" moment when the sisters are reunited. The most cringe-worthy part was when Bridget takes Siobhan's place after she disappears and the audience is totally keeping up, and then they go and insult our intelligence by contriving a phone-call where Bridget actually says out loud that she's pretending to be Siobhan and basically says, "I don't know why I'm calling you. It was a bad idea. I just had to make sure the duds in the audience know that I'm Bridget, not Siobhan." It's an entirely bad idea for her to tell anyone she's taken Siobhan's place, so the call is clearly just a bad excuse to spoon-feed the audience. Just insulting!

Bridget reflected in Siobhan's shades
I wasn't really into this pilot until the suspense started to build. I mean, you did just insult me. Siobhan's life seemed perfect but as Bridget slides into it, she faces some serious obstacles. Siobhan's husband is not very communicative so she can't learn much from him about how she should act or what she should be doing. She gets the most insight from Siobhan's best friend Gemma, but then finds out that Gemma doesn't know Siobhan as well as she thought. It seems like no one does, which makes it difficult for Bridget to fit into her shoes.

It was hilarious watching Bridget trying to figure out Siobhan's life and finding that her sister has secrets. Not hilarious in a Freaky Friday kinda way but a good way. Sarah Michelle Gellar is really good at the playing-along-even-though-I-don't-know-what's-going-on roles. She can simultaneously be believable to the other characters in the show while betraying her confusion and the fact that she's improvising to the audience. Love it. She does it in a funny way sometimes on Buffy, and here it's more dramatic, but just as clever.

Bridget, however, is the last one to know that Siobhan is in some trouble as well. A hit man is sent to -Siobhan's- loft, after Gemma calls -Siobhan- and lures her to the loft, and Bridget is surprised that he was trying to kill -Siobhan- and not her. Most predictable episode reveal ever, and she doesn't figure it out until the last. It's hard to make a show work with a protagonist whose not very intelligent, but we'll see how they do. Maybe she'll smarten up. Can't be as stupid as Bella from Twilight.

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