Ringer - Midway Review

Ringer is on hiatus in the US thanks to their unique way of scheduling a 22-24 episode series between September and May according to the vagaries of the network’s whims and the hope that during sweeps the biggest, best and most viewed episodes will air. This also means we’re on an enforced break over here in the UK as Sky Living is unable to show something which hasn’t yet been provided. It always makes for an awkward instance in the UK given viewers will most often forget about the show and not come back regardless of what they thought of the show. But if the UK channels waited until all episodes were available, or at least so they would need no break, then any PR drummed up via the US release will have dissipated and the show may have little right to succeed despite its quality. Interestingly Sky Living plays it both ways given Nikita will be shown in one lump (although that is season two suggesting the same will happen if Ringer makes it that far...).

Anyway, we digress. Ringer was last looked at by The Digital Fix directly after its pilot episode had played, and our thoughts on that can be seen here. The recommendation was to continue watching - the second episode at least - and see how it goes. The pace of the plot suggested the show would run out of steam quickly given how it had set itself up, and that also viewers would grow cold at the way they were treated - i.e. dumb - by the writers and producers of the show. It seems that only the very first part of the recommendation was right - carry on watching.

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Ringer has proven itself to be a completely crazy show. That much was clear from the start given the whole drug-addled sister taking over life of dead twin sister because she could and hoped nobody would notice despite the fact she was wanted for murder and her dead twin sister was pregnant and having an affair. But every step of the way has actually made some curious sense within the confines of the show in what has turned out to be one of the most consistently fast-moving plots in US TV.

Every episode moves things on to the next level, the next twist. Each move that Bridget makes you expect to be the end of her but she somehow survives it. Whether she’s pointing the finger at her (real) self for the disappearance / suspected murder of her (assumed identity’s, i.e. sister Siobhan’s) best friend or rationalising the miscarriage which didn’t happen given she was never pregnant in the first place, it all - somehow - works.

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Let’s also point out that it’s not just Bridget / SIobhan’s - Shivette’s - life around which the craziness pivots. Her sister, supposedly dead, and the one who she took over the life of, is actually alive and trying to have Bridget killed. Well, trying to have Bridget as herself killed. This didn’t go so well but Shiv is still up to something given it was her employee who portrayed an AA sponsor for Bridget whilst actually kidnapping Siobhan’s best friend and ultimately getting himself killed by Siobhan after killing Siobhan’s best friend and having it made to look like a suicide. Wowsers.

Let’s not forget the other characters around whom sub-plots have presented themselves - the cry of rape by Julie, Siobhan’s step-daughter; the financial connivance of Andrew’s (Siobhan’s husband) business partner. The FBI, Bridget’s original sponsor Malcolm and his love for Bridget - seemingly unrequited but only due to circumstance. There’s a lot going on in this show. It is really rather amazing fun to watch.

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So do watch it. It returns late January / early February to our screens, around the time it reappears in the US. We don’t know how long it can keep going for but given it looked after one episode it would hit a brick wall very quickly, but hasn’t, the hope is that it will be for a long time. With its cast of stars (centered around Sarah Michelle Gellar of course as Shivette) and sufficiently high ratings (after the early drop from pilot to series) - the highest ratings its network The CW has had), the likelihood is the misadventures of Shivette will be around for quite a while longer. So say we all.

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