THE RINGER Review: Fall TV 2011 [Worth Watching?]

I was so disappointed with Fall TV 2010 that I complained about it clear into 2011. But maybe that was unfair, considering that I hadn’t given most of the new Fall TV season a chance. For all I knew a few of the cancelled shows that I never watched might have been the bee’s knees. For example, so many people love then-freshman, now-sophomore, RAISING HOPE — might it had alleviated some of my “no good TV out there” bitterness? Well, this year, I decided to approach the Fall 2011 crop of freshmen scripted TV shows a little differently — by watching every single one of them and reporting back to you.

There are a few rules: 1) While I’ll review everything on broadcast, it’s just too hard to keep track of everything coming out on cable. Believe me, I’ll do my best, but some of the cable shows might slip through the cracks. 2) No reality. There’s too much of it, and I’m just not that big on it — the last new reality show I adopted was RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE — and that was back in 2009. 3) I’ll also be giving each show a diversity grade, because you know how I do.

I’m just really excited about the prospect of being able to complain about new TV based on experience as opposed to perception. So let’s open this new series up with a report on THE RINGER (CW):


Former stripper-addict, Bridget, who witnessed a murder, sends a letter of atonement to her identical twin society-blond sister, Siobhan. (BTW, are addicts really still writing letters? Or is step 9 all about the apologetic email these days?) Anywho, Siobhan, sends her a letter back, saying all is forgiven and inviting her to the Hamptons. So Bridget escapes from witness protection and meets up with sis. A few hours later she wakes up on a boat alone. It seems that Siobhan has committed suicide, but has conveniently left behind everything her runaway identical sister would need to play the role of Siobhan in a night time soap, which this then becomes.

What I Liked

This was a lot of highly watchable fun with tons of twists and turns. Made for the low attention span generation, it’s heavy on plot and doesn’t stop moving. Also, Sarah Michelle Gellar is somehow extremely likeable in the role(s). You’re rooting for her all the way.

What I Didn’t Like

Still, I’m resistent to going down a rabbit hole with this series as I did with LOST. Though I’m slightly curious about what’s going on, and how this will all play out, I’m not six years worth of curious. I found myself wishing that this could be a miniseries, or that the creators would at least guarantee us a satisfying season finale. In any case, it’s a story that needs an end date.

Diversity Report Card:

How many PoC in the main cast? 2

Bridget has a black AA sponsor/possible love interest (if he’s not killed off) that she still checks in with, even after assuming Siobhan’s life. Also, Cubano-Spaniard-American, Nestor Carbonell, has escaped the island to play a detective/possible love interest (if he’s not killed off) searching for Bridget.

Final Grade: Well, I’m happy to see that two of Bridget’s four possible love interests are men of color, and only one of them is a cop (the go-to profession for PoC in mostly white dramas). So factoring in the worry that none of the PoC will survive the season, and the lack of women of color, I’d give the show a C+.

Worth Watching Again?

I’ve been burned too many times before, so I’ll pass. But if you’ve been longing for a night time soap for adults, this is totally worth watching.