Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Open Letter To 'Ringer'...


I don't like being toyed with, and I don't like dancing around the big questions and big issues because you're too afraid to commit finitely one way or the other. But I really don't like being lied to. Especially when those lies mean benching some of your most interesting characters. If you have too many people than you know what to do with, you need to actually start offing some of them. Not just leading us to believe you did.

Henry was given such an interesting and complex story when we were led to believe he harmed his wife, only for it to turn out to be a red herring, and now he's back to having no place in the story. His affair is over; his wife is missing; his probably unborn child is presumed miscarried. Where does that leave him? Apparently to sit at home with kids we finally get to see. But the old saying was that when the kids showed up, the show was in trouble. In this case, it appears just this character was in trouble. As much as Pam Veasey says she loves the character, and Kris Polaha, and wants to keep them both around, the hows may be a bit forced. Bonding with Jaime Murray? Could be an interesting coupling, and I wouldn't turn down some sexy time on this show, but it just puts them on the outskirts of the story even more. Bridget/Siobhan is the center, and when she is removed from the equation (as she has with the aforementioned things), he could, unfortunately, lift right out.

And what's the deal with Andrew? Or Machado? Neither still have anything to do. Occasionally Andrew will remind Bridget of things Siobhan did that she should probably already know. You know, if she was Siobhan and all. Maybe Bridget is falling in love with him, and that's where we'll find our sexy time. But her attention is split, and though she was once a stripper, that is not the same thing as a hooker, and she isn't going to be leaping into bed with her sister's husband any time soon. So they have scenes where they talk about nothing important to push the plot along but also don't really seem to be pushing their relationship along, either. Maybe it's just a chemistry thing, I don't know. It bores me. Andrew should lift right out at this juncture. At least that would spice things up.

Then there's Machado, who just pops in every once in awhile to loom and pose a threat to a new life that Bridget isn't even sure she wants to stay in. But more often than not isn't even around so we end up forgetting about him or the pieces he should be putting together, even if no one else is, giving the audience answers when no one else can.

Please remember these are characters you started with, and that alone seems to promise they would have juicy, intricate, interesting story arcs. Instead, though, it seems "John" is your new shining star. But "John" was an afterthought, not popping up until a few episodes in. It feels a little like some of the others are being cheated.

Juliet has potential, too, but the cliche "crush on a teacher?" Been there, done that, The CW cancelled a show with a similar story line just last season.

I get it, all of these characters are hard to juggle and not only keep interesting but offer equal screen time. I struggle with ensembles in my own writing, even without the added genre elements of mystery, suspense, and deceit. Maybe it's just me, but I felt like putting all of these very specific players in this noir-like chess game was going to mean they'd each be a key to unlocking something. Who knows who would reveal what or first, but once one did, they rest would, too, like the way dominoes fall. Yet, here we are, almost at the mid-season finale, we know less than when we started, mostly because like any addict, Ringer, as a series, you have spun so many false yarns, we can't believe a word you breathe. Maybe ever.

It's one thing when the characters deceive each other and another entirely when the show deceives its audience. It will behoove you to remember that. And if you need some tips, just take a look at Homeland on Showtime for how it can be done successfully and respectfully.


Trying Really Hard To Be Compassionate But Finding It Increasingly Hard To Be So When The Show Warrants The Same Criticism Week After Week

PS: Whoever captions your photos on the CW website really needs to be fact-checked. It's Kris Polaha, not Chris. That's the level of attention to detail being provided by a show that seems to be making things up as it goes along, though, so I can't say I'm too surprised.

1 comment:

TVsBucketofBolt said...

You tell him!!! Gooo KPO!