Ringer (2011, The CW)
Binge-watching TV shows has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me because I hate cliffhangers. I am a true millennial in the sense that I’m incredibly impatient and need everything provided to me instantly – especially answers to plot points in television series. That said, I finally rewatched a show I had watched when it was on air a few years back, Ringer, and I was so glad I didn’t have to wait through commercials or days until the next episode aired.
Ringer is a concluded TV drama that lasted only one season, which I attribute to it being aired on a younger-viewer network. At the time of Ringer’s premiere, the CW was already talking about ending its front-running series Gossip Girl and was looking for a replacement. However, Ringer’s complex plot about murder and deception was not the right fit to replace Gossip Girl’s quick-witted sass and the Upper East Side drama of love affairs. Had Ringer been picked up by a more mature-audience based network, like ABC, it definitely would’ve hit its target audience and lasted much longer.
This show, though short lived, was thankfully aired in a full order of 22 episodes and also marked the return of the incomparable Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to television.
The story revolves around twin sisters Siobhan and Bridget, both played by Gellar. Siobhan is a New York socialite who is well-off, married, and apparently leading a perfect life. Bridget is just reaching her six months of sobriety and is trying to regain her life and mend relationships, including with her sister.
While trying to get out of the bad area she is in, Bridget becomes a witness to a murder perpetrated by a major crime lord. With the gang trying to silence her, she seeks refuge with the police. She and Siobhan plan a sister day in which they take a boat out into the ocean to escape the bustle of the city. However, Bridget passes out at sea and wakes up to find an empty boat and Siobhan’s wedding ring in a pill bottle. Thinking her sister committed suicide, Bridget decides it’s best to assume her sister’s identity to keep herself safe from the criminals who are after her. She later finds out that her sister, too, had secrets and discovers she may not be any safer as Siobhan than she was as Bridget.
The show deals with a lot of issues, from drug use to self-isolation and depression. The characters, setting, and elements along with the well-executed shots in the series make it enchanting to the eye. What I believe really makes this show incredibly captivating, aside from the majestic Sarah Michelle Gellar and the complexity of her characters, is the beautiful cinematography. The show uses a lot of mirror shots, which works beautifully with the concepts used in the series, like the idea of appearance versus reality, multiplicity, and refraction. I find the first episode to be exceptionally stunning.
So, if you’re looking for something to add to your Netflix queue – Ringer Season 1 is available for instant streaming. Trust me, this is one show you won’t want to miss.
— Michael Cotter, Assistant Poetry Editor/ Blogger