26 November 2011

Review: Ringer - First season, (first 6 episodes): I've had it with this shit.

Well, it would seem in my earlier post I rather over-estimated the potential of this.  I don't want to go into every detail, since honestly there aren't many interesting things you can say about how bad it is.

Basically, the show started out "okay, could get interesting if they don't mess it up". They did mess it up. Every episode became progressively worse. After 6, I threw the towel. Whatever. I don't care. I felt that I should produce some closure, though, since I essentially gave a thumbs up to the pilot.

So let's recap: What made this interesting?
  1. Sarah Michelle Gellar being sad and battered.
  2. Sarah Michelle Gellar playing herself and her twin sister.
  3. Classic twin impersonator plot, plus there's a bonus: She's on the run, so she has to keep things secret from everyone, making her struggle a very personal and private one.
How did they fuck it up?
  1. Sarah Michelle Gellar is not often sad and battered. She's not often anything! She just goes through the motions of living her life, and it's a boring life even by the standards of real-world lives. She has boring conversations with her boring friends, she gets in boring petty arguments with her boring step-daughter... At least 95% of what she does is tiresome and unnecessary.
  2. The pilot starts off the two twins with distinct personalities. Bridget is resigned, obliging and good-hearted while Siobhan is aggressive, driven and malicious. The difference rapidly evaporates, as Bridget's selfless kindness becomes muted and Siobhan becomes incompetent and uninspired. With Siobhan on the other side of the world, the characters interact very little, so there goes one of the two major opportunities this kind of twin plot gives you.
  3. Siobhan is in Europe, doing... something. It hasn't really affected Bridget much, as of Ep.6 So we get two concurrent storylines, both boring and pointless, with no relation to each other. It's like constantly flipping between two shows, when neither one is interesting. Bridget makes no effort to deal with her life, she just lies there and takes it, letting herself be swept along by the current. Other big twin plot opportunity, also wasted.
  4. Nothing happens, and nothing is going to happen. It's clear the writers have no clue where the plot will go, and are making it up as they go along. They are not doing it well. Any hint of actual plot development is fastidiously avoided; it's just filler and stalling the main plot line. And I don't think they're ever gonna stop stalling.
Basically, they had a great idea for a show, and then they went and didn't develop that idea in any way whatsoever. And because in terms of characters, style, writing or whatever else you could imagine the series is so bankrupt of notability, I am left with no reason to watch it. I don't care about Siobhan's idiot husband, or his slut co-worker1, or the imbecilic friend2, or the douche bag husband of the friend, or what must be the least intimidating crime boss in history3, or the idiot FBI agent4. All I want is to see Bridget gradually learn how to think on her feet and learn to impersonate a sister she discover she barely knows- and we get none of that! Just petty drama.

It didn't have enormous potential, but it had enough, and all of it went to waste. Even if it did get many orders of magnitude better, I can't fathom how the damage that has been done can ever be contained.

Score: 1/5

1: What a pointless character. The only thing she adds to the thing is that nostalgia moment about the second season of Dexter!
2: In their defense, they did kill off Gemma in Ep6. But who cares, at that stage?
3: He's not big. He's not scary. He's not smart. He's not powerful. He looks like a hobo and talks like a fool. We only ever see him command maybe 5 henchmen, and manage one shabby strip club. At one point, he decides to torture a guy to find Bridget: The best he can come up with is to give him really good Heroin over and over. Not like, overdose or anything. They just let the guy have a couple of awesome trips. You see, he's a recovered addict, so somehow this is supposed to make him lose all semblance of common sense and do anything for more drugs. Guys, drug addiction does not work that way!
4: The above "torture" thing happens in a basement which is literally a bare concrete room with one simple table and two simple chairs in it. When police come to search the basement, the idiot criminals leave drug paraphernalia just lying on the floor, in clear sight. The enormous police/FBI search team fail to notice. Idiots.

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