Tag Archives: ringer

similar show showdown: the lying game vs ringer

[Editor’s Note: Article first published as Similar Show Showdown: The Lying Game vs Ringer on Technorati. -Nicole ]

Two shows. Two sets of twins. Two actresses (both playing their own twin). Two mysteries. Two love affiars. Ok…you get the point.

The Lying Game is the Sarah Michelle Gellar-less, teen version of Ringer. Both shows center on one twin who takes over her twin’s life when she goes missing. If that sounds confusing, it’s only because I’m talking about two shows with similar plots and is no way indicative of the depth of either show’s respective plot.

I tuned into Lying Game by accident (I watch most of those ABC Family shows and they have mastered the art of showing awesome promos. The show looked cool…I was defenseless). I waited obsessively patiently for Ringer to premiere as soon as I heard Buffy was back. I’ve been doing an unintentional compare/contrast on these shows for weeks, so here goes:

The Lying Game Overview:

Who: Emma Becker (the “good twin”) and Sutton Mercer (the “bad twin”) played by Alexandra Chando.

What: Emma is a foster child and her twin sister Sutton is a rich bitch who finds her. Sutton convinces Emma to visit and take over her life while she goes off in search of their biological mother. Emma doesn’t realize Sutton has tons of secrets, but she eventually fits into Sutton’s world…a little smoother than her twin planned for.

Why (I love it): The show had a very awkward first episode, but by the time the second week concluded, I was genuinely interested in the characters and the big mystery. Lying Game does a great job of balancing plot twists with relevant story lines. Emma becomes Sutton, but with heart. You can watch this show and not feel like you’ll see every little thing coming. Also…Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli on Heroes) and Blair Redford (Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on Passions) are fun to look at and remind me of shows I used to love.

Why (I hate it): Overall, there’s not a lot to hate. Some of the steamier parts of the show are stifled because it comes on ABC Family, but that’s hardly a gripe about the show itself.

Ringer Overview:

Who: Bridget Kelly (the “good/troubled twin”) and Siobhan Martin (the “bad twin”) played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

What: Bridget and Siobhan have been estranged for six years, but after witnessing a murder, Bridget runs to her sister’s home. The two are rekindling their relationship when Siobhan disappears. Bridget is on the run from her past, so she takes over Siobhan’s life, secrets and all.

Why (I love it):Buffy is back. I get to see Sarah Michelle Gellar again, which is always great. The show promises a lot of character development and has a film noir thing going on. Siobhan’s husband Andrew and stepdaughter Juliet could be interesting, but I’ll need to see them more outside of Siobhan’s world to confirm that. There are a lot of mysteries that have potential to interconnect and as we learned with the pilot, nothing is exactly what it seems with this show. Also… Kristoffer Polaha (Baze on Life Unexpected) is a really underrated actor and the newly introduced Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars) never disappoints (officially tied with Lying Game on the nostalgia and ‘guys that are fun to look at’ fronts).

Why (I hate it): Buffy is NOT back. Neither Siobhan nor Bridget has even a tenth of the personality of Buffy Summers. The plot moves v e r y s l o w l y and I’m nervous that there will be little pay off. We don’t know why [SPOILER ALERT] Siobhan faked her death or why the mob is so insistent on finding Bridget. I want the show to find a rhythm, but I think the recurring theme is less film noir and more tricky promos followed by ‘bleh’ episodes.

Overall Verdict:

The Lying Game just wrapped up the first half of the season with ten episodes and has an unfair advantage over Ringer, which just aired its sixth episode last night. Both shows center on twins that have a lot to lose if they’re caught. The stakes are higher on Ringer, but the suspense level on Lying Game far surpasses the former’s promised excitement.

Taking that into account, I’d still have to say I prefer the less-adult twin mystery, Lying Game. Both shows underutilize their supporting cast, but Ringer makes EVERYTHING center around the twins (mainly Siobhan). Lying Game isn’t completely innocent of doing the same thing, they just do it better, putting mysteries inside of mysteries and heightening the “What the heck is going on?!” factor.

Lying Game also has better “twins”. I can’t decide if that’s because of the acting or the way each set of twins is written, but regardless Ringer’s Bridget doesn’t have the type of personality that viewers invest in for season after season. It hurts me to prefer a show on a network that birthed State of Georgia over one that brought SMG back into my life. I may revisit this when both shows have wrapped their first season…but for now Lying Game is the winner.

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ringer recapping: pilot episode

Heading into last night’s series premiere all I could think was “BUFFY’S BACK!!!!!!” But if I don’t reign in that kind of thinking and cease with the continuous compare/contrast, it’s going to be a long next few years (notice my use of positive thinking towards the longevity of this show).

The first half hour of Ringer didn’t really impress me, but it wasn’t until the last 15 minutes that I realized nothing we’d seen was really as it seemed (this gives me hope for the suspense level of the show). And as the mini-interviews that ran throughout the episode kept emphasizing, this show will require some patience as the layers of each character are slowly revealed.

The Lying Game, which is a comparable new show for a younger crowd, also took two episodes to really hook me so I kept that in mind just in case the whole Buffy appeal wore off. Fortunately, it did not and by the time the episode wrapped up for the night I realized that this show could provide a certain level of suspense as long as we’re willing to offer up patience.

Key Points

  • The fake twinnery we were forced to watch was really poorly done. This is probably because we won’t have to see Bridget and Siobhan side-by-side very much, so they didn’t feel it was important to make it look good.
  • Siobhan committed suicide…but not really. When Bridget got the call from Siobhan’s doctor, I assumed that Bridget had some sort of disease and she wanted to end things before it got bad. False. Siobhan faked her suicide. We don’t know why and this may be just one of several mysteries the premiere set up.
  • Andrew, Sibohan’s husband, originally came off as distant and rude. He’s still seems decidedly uninterested in his marriage, but we learn that this is really just a reaction to Siobhan’s affair and detached attitude. His relationship with his daughter Juliet is a tad rocky, which may or may not be due to Siobhan’s role as the evil step-mother. 

  • Bridget learns that Siobhan was sleeping with Henry, her best friend Gemma’s husband. Although Bridget ending things with Henry when he gave her an ultimatum, this probably isn’t over. Still not sure if Siobhan was really in love with Henry or if he was just something to do while she passed the time as a rich bitch.
  • Bridget is an alcoholic and former prostitute. However, since she didn’t fake her death and try to have her twin killed, she’s winning the morality race between the two. Her best friend and the men in Siobhan’s life immediately realized the difference between the two women, but not enough to make a bid deal about it or even think that she wasn’t herself.
  • Who is Sean? He’s first mentioned when Bridget attempts to apologize to Siobhan and later when we see a picture of him and Siobhan in her jewelry box. I’m thinking he’s either a son or a little brother, but I’ll hold any further speculation until they give me more to work with.
  • Siobhan is/was pregnant and Bridget, who couldn’t take two seconds to make sure she was alone, said this in front of Andrew. Unless Bridget is preggo herself, there will probably be a “miscarriage” or she’ll pretend she was never pregnant to begin with.
  • Bridget will no doubt have to balance Siobhan’s life with her own. Victor (the FBI agent) and Malcom (Bridget’s sponsor) are part of the main cast, so that part of Bridget’s life will probably overlap. A decent recipe for multiple romances as well.

Quotes

  • You’re already forgiven, you just need to forgive yourself.” (Siobhan to Bridget….since it seems she tried to have Bridget killed, this is highly unlikely)
  • I’ll just hook up with one of the workmen. I’m sure contractors make more than out of work novelists.” (Gemma to Bridget-as-Siobhan who she doesn’t realize is the one having an affair with her husband)
  • “Why can’t we just be nice to each other, for real?” (Bridget-as-Siobhan to Andrew…..this might be the start of her weakening Andrew’s coldness)
  • “I feel like every time I clean up a mess, I end up dirty.” (Bridget in a moment of introspection that could be relevant to her new life being Bridget-as-Siobhan)

Next week’s episode: Double Cross

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dexter and ringer bring old faces to the new fall season

There was a show that came on TBS. It was funny and kind of played out like Sex and the City if Carrie’s crew were all men. The show was called My Boys and aside from focusing way too much on the Cubs to be a Chicago-based show (the White Sox do exist, contrary to what the rest of the country believes), it was really good. If you’re saying to yourself, “What the heck is a My Boys?”, then you’re probably among the millions that didn’t tune in. I was sad this show got so little attention and was cancelled with very little fight.

Fortunately, the TV gods have given me yet another reason to be excited about the upcoming fall season. Jordan Spiro (aka PJ from My Boys) will be joining the cast of  Dexter and with Lumen’s open-ended exit and the ‘back to basics’ nature of this season, I’m hoping she’s not a love interest.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to give me TV-gasms for days, Veronica Mars‘ Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls) will be joining the cast of Ringer. Dohring will be playing a teacher, which may not sound super exciting, but as we’ve seen with Moonlight and his episode of Party Down, he’s capable of adding personality to just about anything.

If you haven’t already, check out the other reasons we’re looking forward to TV this fall.

 

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