Friday, September 30, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x01: "Pilot"

Written by Eric Charmelo And Nicole Snyder
Directed by Richard Shepard

Bridget (to an attacker): “You have the wrong girl.”

I debated about taking this show on permanently and after watching the first two episodes, the decision became clearer. I’m taking this series on for the foreseeable future because while it’s neither perfect nor groundbreaking as a series, there’s a lot of potential here and if the show survives on the air long enough, perhaps it will get the chance to realise it.

It’s been eight years since Sarah Michelle Gellar was last on TV (apparently she was in some series about vampires, never heard of it myself) and watching this opening episode again made me realise that a) I really missed her and b) she’s one of those actresses who works better on television than in movies, so that’s another reason as to why I’d like to see this show thrive.

The general premise is interesting – Bridget Kelly, a former stripper on the run from some nasty fella because she witnessed the murder of another stripper who also happens to be a recovering alcoholic who decides to skip FBI custody the night before the trial that could’ve freed her of the same man she’s terrified will kill her.

In less than five minutes we learnt a lot about Bridget and the most important thing was that she happened to have a twin sister named Siobhan Martin, her polar opposite in many ways. Siobhan seemed the more together twin – rich husband, a secret lover, annoying stepdaughter, nice weekend place but of course, the relationship between both sisters is an interesting driving point.

Apart from the clothing and some slight mannerisms, Gellar and the series will have to do a bit more to really highlight the differences between Bridget and Siobhan but we’re off to a decent start. I liked the initial meeting between both sisters, and more so what seemed to be set up in it’s wake.

Bridget wanted forgiveness from Siobhan about Sean but Siobhan cut her down by saying she was already forgiven and then the two of them went on a nice boat ride together. I know that scene has been heavily criticised but I didn’t really mind it all that much. Sure, it was cheesy but I’ve seen worse and it did result in setting up a nice chain of events.

Even if the trailers hadn’t spoiled the fact that Siobhan was actually still alive (way to spoil the ending for this episode, CW), I doubt there would’ve been many people who would’ve believed that Siobhan was actually dead anyways.

So, what exactly is Siobhan up to herself? Is this some attempt of getting even with Bridget or is she in a similar position to her sister and needs to be in hiding too? Hopefully this show will be wise enough not to over stretch that mystery. It would be nice to know at least in the first half of the series why Siobhan is suddenly hiding from everyone in Paris.

As for Bridget – boy, she was quick. While it made sense that she didn’t actually report her sister’s disappearance and made some attempt of looking for her, it did seem like she was a little too eager to assume her sister’s identity at the time. Thankfully though, if Bridget thought Siobhan’s life was totally idyllic, then the rest of the episode gave her a little wake up call on that one.

So, where to begin with Siobhan’s life? The family stuff seems to be the obvious choice. Andrew immediately found Bridget suspicious when she was behaving too nicely and in a terribly predictable move, Juliet seemed to hate her stepmother’s guts as well. Still, Andrew at least softened when he found out that ‘Siobhan’ was four weeks pregnant which means Bridget really is in a trick situation, besides having to deal with hitmen coming after her.

As for Siobhan sleeping with her best mate Gemma’s husband – Henry, ooh bad move. Sure, he’s cute but he was also incredibly annoying in this episode that instead of Gemma investigating who her hubby’s screwing around, I actually hope she sleeps with a contractor instead. Well, she did get a good one liner out of it and despite being a little overly perky, I actually found myself liking Gemma more than I thought I would.

Of course, another thing to tie Bridget and Siobhan together would be FBI man Victor Machado. I like Nestor Carbonell as an actor and hopefully, Victor will become more and more fleshed out as the series runs. He’s definitely the strongest of the leading men and it was nice that even before getting evidence about Bridget being in East Hamptons, he was suspicious enough of Siobhan.

The last important character then was Malcolm – Bridget’s sponsor. I really hope that Bridget genuinely likes him because it does seem like he’s very sweet on her, doesn’t it? That being said, it was rather stupid for Bridget to phone him up and tell him about Siobhan. She only went and put the poor fella in danger by doing that.

Also in “Ringer”

Originally this show was meant for CBS but they passed on it and the CW stepped in at the last minute.

Bridget (at the AA meeting): “I keep reminding myself mistakes aren’t tragedies but please higher power, help me learn from them.”

Both Bridget and Siobhan were born on September 30th 1979 and Sean died back in 2005 if I’m not mistaken.

Siobhan: “I was wondering how you’d look after six years.”
Bridget: “Not nearly as good as you.”

Bridget: “I want you to know how sorry I am for everything.”
Siobhan: “You already apologised in your letter.”

Bridget was staying in the Double Nickel Motel before she knocked out Jimmy and legged it. The stripper who was murdered by Macawi was called Shaylene Briggs.

Bridget: “Siobhan, I don’t want to have to be the sister you pretend doesn’t exist.”
Siobhan: “Just so you know, I missed you too.”

Gemma (to Bridget, re Henry): “I’ll hook up with one of the workmen. I’m sure contractors make more money than out of work novelists.”

What exactly is Andrew trying to get out of? He was awfully quick to change the subject when Bridget walked in on his phone conversation.

Andrew: “That was an act. This is your game, Siobhan.”
Siobhan: “What if I don’t want to play games anymore?”

Bridget (at another AA meeting, re Siobhan): “In all this, I lost someone who meant everything to me. I just got her back. Now she’s gone.”

Juliet got booted out of boarding school in London because she’s on drugs and Gemma went through a list of suspects of people she thought Henry was sleeping with.

Bridget: “Siobhan, what did you do?”

Voiceover: “Siobhan, we have a problem.”

Chronology: Because of the photo of Sean, I’m going to assume it’s 2011 but when I’m unsure of.

As pilot episodes go, “Ringer” is far from perfect but it’s more than interesting enough to make me want to watch and review the series. I’m interested in learning more about Bridget and Siobhan’s rocky relationship, what Andrew is up to, seeing if Macawi catches up with Bridget and also if Victor realises what’s going on with the current set up as well. In that respect, this opening episode did everything it needed to for me.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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