The Simple Delights of 'Ringer'

Ringer has found its sense of humor, its inner silliness, and has thus become an enjoyable Tuesday treat.

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Every morning we address the important topic of something big, significant, funny, weird, etc. that happened while we were lying on the couch in front of the TV last night. Today we talk about a surprising, easy entertainment. 

While celebrations of the guilty pleasure are perhaps a little too common these days, sometimes they are just necessary. So here we tip our hat to Ringer, the CW's swiftly moving "noir" (it's really more brown colored) soap that has only gotten better as the season's progressed -- a surprising turn of events for a show that started off only so-so. The show has eventually found its sense of humor, its inner silliness, and has thus become an enjoyable Tuesday treat.

For those unaware of the soft mechanics of the show, it's about two twins played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. One is a country mouse named Bridget with a troubled crime 'n' drugs past, the other is a city mouse named Siobhan with a big fancy apartment and a big fancy British husband. Siobhan then pretends to off herself and then tries to have Bridget killed so everyone will think Siobhan is dead (it's complicated -- well, no, it's not, but y'know) and she can live a life of anonymous luxury in Paris. Obivously the plan goes to hell and now Bridget is a pretender in Siobhan's life and actually doing rather well at it and we occassionally see Siobhan in Paris planning wicked things. It's all very ridiculous and requires quite a bit of disbelief suspension, but who cares! Tuesday seems like as good a night to turn off your brain as any other. (And hey, this show is on at 9, meaning you might have just watched Glee, so your insides are likely already in a puddly goo state anyway.)

Last night's episode [spoiler alertttt] involved Bridget's cute new NA sponsor turning out to be a nasty baddie who's working for evil Siobhan, he even has Siobhan's best friend duct taped to his basement per Siobhan's orders. Bridget doesn't know that yet, but her old NA sponsor, in town after fleeing the Wyoming mob just as Bridget did earlier (you all know about the burgeoning Wyoming mob scene, right?), smells a rat and so he and Bridget go investigatin' and sure enough, they find out that he's not who he says he is. They don't know that he's in cahoots with Siobhan, of course, that'd be too big a reveal this early in the season (Bridget thinks Siobhan is dead, 'member), but they know something's definitely rotten in River City.

MEANWHILE (there are so many meanwhiles on this dumb show), Bridget was doing a sneaky therapy session with Siobhan's old therapist, trying to figure out what Siobhan has a prescription for or something but of course she ended up talking a lot to the therapist about Siobhan's husband and how she's falling in love with him, all while playing Siobhan of course, and it was fun because scenes like this let us see a little of that old Buffy Summers humor and spark in Sarah Michelle Gellar, who spent the earlier episodes of the season walking around a bit dead-eyed and muted. One could imagine that the cast and crew is starting to have more fun as they get to know each other, maybe they go out for drinks after work now and have inside jokes and a few are probably hooking up with each other (sshhh), and it's showing in their work, which is becoming a lot looser and easier. At the beginning of the season, Gellar doing a small comedy bit about a stolen policeman's gun that's been given to a shady new NA sponsor would have seemed odd and out of place. Now it's just par for the giddy course.

And there's other stuff with a slinky British lady who's after Bridget/Siobhan's Britsh husband and who knows where that's going, plus there's the bratty teenage daughter who's just lost her trust fund, which will likely lead somewhere bad. (Meaning good.) There are a lot of balls up in the air right now and that's just fine. The show is fizzy and thin but surprisingly nimble, so it can handle it. There will be no awards for this show, nor should there be, but after all the lurch and churn of Serious Sunday Shows (which are great and everything) and before the increasingly mannered and creaky antics of prestige Thursday night comedy, it's good to watch something that's without any real weight or consequence or really any cultural significance. This thing isn't aiming at being anything but entertaining. It does not think too highly of itself, and that's incredibly refreshing.

After Ringer we recommend a light snack of House Hunters, international if possible, and then straight to bed. It is only Tuesday, after all. Though for an hour there, it felt like a Friday.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.