Ringer: Doppelgangland

RINGER: 1.11 “It Just Got Normal”

What’s new this 2012 with Ringer? Bangs. I’m not entirely sure why they decided to give Bridget bangs once we returned from the holidays, but my best guess is that viewers were feeling a little confused about which twin was which, and now that they’re currently in the same city, we need something other than Siobhan’s huge coats that hide an expanding belly.

That’s all well and good. If they want us to see them as two different people for clarity’s sake, then that’s fine. But the characters need to realize that, too. I mean, Henry’s not the brightest bulb, but couldn’t he tell that one woman that he was talking to was skinny with bangs, and the other had a mop of overgrown hair and a pregnant belly? This didn’t occur to him? Because it occurred to me and hopefully some other viewers. Sheesh. If they were going to do that, they could have at least pinned Bridget’s bangs back at the party, so maybe he wouldn’t see the difference. Uggh.

And what about Siobhan? She has this huge plot in the works, but she can’t seem to stay away from Henry? I realize there’s love and all that jazz, but you’d think that she would have learned to just stay away — she chose this path, no one else did.

In other news, Bridget has a new friend. Of course, in good, high society fashion, her name is Greer. In case you recognized that voice before recognizing the face, you might have seen her before as Sherry in Gilmore Girls. Personally, I think having Greer replace Gemma is quite a treat, and I think there’s a lot that we can do with her. Hopefully, though, she won’t be finding out as quickly about Bridget’s secret, or she might not make it past the first season.

Finally, there is Juliet. Now, last season, I certainly thought that Juliet made up the part about her teacher forcing himself upon her. Did Mr. Carpenter rape Juliet? Well, in this episode, it sure seemed true. Juliet was taking her hurt and pain in new arenas, and it sure seemed realistic. But there was one quick glance at the end of the episode where you start to question all over again. Was this just to cover her tracks from when he humiliated her and rejected her? Or is he really a bad guy?

Personally, I think it’d be interesting if he was such a bad guy. The entire world here is so duplicitous, I want that to carry over everywhere, and it’d be really neat to see that the one, crazy, “bad” character in the most need of controlling — Juliet — is the soft victim.

Is that wrong? Maybe I just love drama.

The 2011 Awards: Part 1

It’s that time of year. I asked for some nominees from you, the readers, and now it’s time to announcing the winners of the 2011 Awards here on Raked. We’ve got a good mix of shows presented (and I hope you’ll agree), and just like last year, if you see a suggestion marked with an asterisk (*), that means that one of our readers suggested it for the list.

So enjoy Part 1 below. I’ll be following up tomorrow with more award winners!

The 2011 Awards!

Best Cliffhanger: Peter’s Disappearance, Fringe. This is one storyline that kept me going all summer long. And then the teasers, where you didn’t see him, and his voice just kept cutting in and out — that gave me goosebumps of anticipation! Come on, it even had it’s own tagline. That reminds me…

Best TV-Related Tagline: Where is Peter Bishop?, Fringe. Hell yes. Seriously. I think I still want this printed on a T-shirt or sweatshirt that I can wear in public.

Most Inventive New Show: American Horror Story. Sure, it had its flaws (Dylan McDermott for one; the antichrist for another), but when you can’t name another show like it and it gets consistent ratings, it’s certainly one to check out. This one has to be one of the most inventive new shows of the year, making me wonder most: What will next season be like?

*Creepiest Family Relationship: James and Angela Darmody, Boardwalk Empire. We had two gross examples of incest this year, both on the same network! Jaime and Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones, and James and Angela Darmody of Boardwalk Empire. I think the award has to go to the Darmody’s though, because even if it only happens once, having sex with your mom is way more disgusting than having sex with your sibling.

#1 Character I Still Don’t Care About: Stefan, The Vampire Diaries. The idea of Stefan becoming a baddie seemed like an interesting idea. But the implementation was sloppy, and he’s certainly no Angelus. In the end, I never really cared about him anyway, so bad or good, I just don’t care.

Best Hair: Bridget, Ringer. Considering that she went from drug addict stripper forced to come clean after witnessing a murder and going into police detection, she sure knows how to make a neat chignon. Kudos.

Worst Hair: Bridget, Ringer. That ponytail with hair extensions in one of the early episodes was an awful mistake.

Most Annoying Teenage Character: Josh, Terra Nova, and Haddie, Parenthood. It’s a tie! I couldn’t just pick one. Falling in the footsteps of Tyler from V, we have two fantastic characters that bring down a show with something as small as a roll of their eyes. Whining, pitching fits, running away — you name it. These kids make us wince when they come on the screen — and make us change the channel when an episode is dependent on their plotline.

Best Standout Episodes: How I Met Your Mother. From Marshall’s dad’s death to Barney’s discovering his father to Robin’s discovery that she can’t have kids, How I Met Your Mother has brought us some fantastic standout episodes in 2011. Sure, there may have been weak ones in between, but these are the ones that make us keep watching.

*Best Newcomer Actress: Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones. She was given the most difficult role of any of the kids. Sansa could play the lady at court, which isn’t easy, but it’s not particularly hard; Bran could play the broken kid; but she had to play the line of the willful tomboy girl without making it seem out of context given the setting. Also, the work she did in Ned’s final episode was just awesome. Plus, it’s a rather physical role, given the left-handed fencing (and I don’t think she’s left-handed either).

*Best Newcomer Actor: Joel Kinnaman, The Killing. He did a great job showing the audience a conflicted, unexpectedly deep character. Despite how they screwed him up at the end that somehow he was a traitor, his acting performance was still well-done.

Best Musical Episode: “Regional Holiday Music,” Community. Oh, sure, many of you are probably upset that Community won over Glee. I agree. I do have a big soft spot in my heart for Community, and to be fair, everyone expects Glee to have song and dance numbers. People never know what to expect with the gang at Community, which is why I give the award to the Greendale crew for their festive, musical Christmas episode.

Best Musical Performance: Michael’s Song, The Office. Again, Glee could have had a shot here, but it’s missing the sentimentality that The Office had as they gave Michael a final musical number before he moved to Colorado, which even became a Moment of the Week here at Raked.

Cutest Reaction to Pregnancy News: Booth, Bones. That smile that filled his entire face at the end of last season? I think it’s what any single girl telling the father of her accidental unborn child hopes for.

Best Episode of the Year: The Pilot, The Killing. The show flunked in its finale, but the first episode was probably one of the most well-done episodes I’ve ever seen. Michelle Forbes alone was incredible. This was the one show I recommended to anyone I saw after the first episode. (If only I knew how the season would end; perhaps I would have altered that recommendation.)

*****

And there’s Part 1!
Check back tomorrow for more 2011 Award Winners!

Ringer: Gemma and Charlie, Charlie and Gemma

RINGER: 1.10 “That’s What You Get for Trying to Kill Me”

Dear, Ringer. Thanks for getting “Rumor Has It” back in my head after I finally got it out of my head after Glee last week. Just sayin’.

Anyway, we knew this would be a rather explosive episode. After all, we’re heading into a mid-season hiatus. But was it? Well, yes and no.

When I first heard the news that Amber Benson would be guesting on Ringer, I was over the moon. I mean, come on. I’m a Whedon fan. And an Amber Benson fan. I mean, it’s like a reunion, right? Well, not so much. We find out that Benson is playing the detective’s informant…in possibly the most boring scene of the entire episode. It’s not that I only watched the episode to see her, but it just felt lacking. Now, that being said, it seemed like they kept it open for Benson to appear again. However, I was only half-watching this boring scene, so if I missed something significant, please let me know.

The real scoop of the episode was that of Gemma and Charlie. To cover Charlie’s tracks (and more so, cover the tracks of the real Siobhan), he agreed to hold Gemma for ransom. Oh, how that didn’t work.

Let’s pause here. Not to sound like a drama teacher, but I really didn’t understand Charlie’s motivation in this plot. I mean, why help Siobhan? If the cops found out that he had Gemma, he’d be the one in jail. If they found out that he killed Gemma, he’d be the one in jail. What are all these risks for?

Meanwhile, didn’t Charlie used to be a cop? Isn’t that why Bridget enlisted him to do some digging in the first place? So if that’s the case, could his aim really be so bad to miss his first kill shot on Gemma? Seriously? At that close range, I think anyone would be able to tell if the victim made it through alive.

Nonetheless, Gemma bit it in the end. Kill shot #2 did the dirty deed. But the real Siobhan wasn’t too happy. Charlie got his own ugly death.

So there’s your explosive action. Siobhan’s back in New York (at least for a while) and the bloodbath has begun. The real question is, what’s next? Bridget has fully accepted her life as her sister, and I don’t think Siobhan wants it back. Is her plan still on track with Charlie’s demise?

Now, a few other things:

  • Juliet and her crush on her teacher was absolutely awful, like pulling teeth. But she did change the game significantly by claiming he raped her. Now that is a development.
  • Siobhan told her new beau that the baby is his. Now, I understand that goes in the “deception” category, but won’t he realize the timing is off?
  • Malcolm, yet again, is doing rather well for having just gotten off the drugs last week. Just sayin’.
  • Finally, did the police just decide to ignore Bridget’s fingerprint on the evidence in Gemma’s case? In the end, it sure sounded like they figured Charlie killed himself after killing Gemma. That alone makes no sense, and now they’re ignoring this clean fingerprint? I’m confused.

It wasn’t the best mid-season closer, but hey, at least a couple things happened. What were your reactions?

Ringer: Charlie Gets Found Out

RINGER: 1.09 “Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna”

Before I get to the show review, can we just take a moment and discuss these awful episode titles for this show? For a thriller, why are we choosing the stupidest names? Even Terra Nova and Secret Circle have better names, and neither one claims to be a “thriller.” I mean, “Shut Up and Eat Your Bologna”? “Oh Gawd, There’s Two of Them?” These are ridiculous.

Anyway…

The big reveal of Charlie’s role in this entire “thriller” has been expanded. We’ve finally found out why Bridget ran in the first place — only to discover that Charlie paid a guy to get her to New York. Which was all requested by the real Siobhan. Charlie isn’t even his real name. It’s John. So we might now know the who’s and what’s, but we certainly don’t know yet the why’s. What is Siobhan doing?

It could be about her paranoia that we’ve just discovered Siobhan supposedly has. Now, I’m not saying this isn’t true, but the Siobhan we’re seeing in France certainly looks cool, calm, and collected. Either someone was after her and he’s taken care of so she’s fine, or she was never paranoid at all.

But Malcolm is — and he has a right to be. He was the one who put two and two together and figured out that Charlie isn’t who he says he is. First, that he’s not a recovering alcoholic. Next, that he’s not Charlie at all. Kudos to Malcolm. (You know, he’s doing pretty well considering that he hasn’t had heroin in six days. In fact, he seems to have fixed that wee addiction problem faster than the wounds on his head have healed. That’s not at all unrealistic.)

And then there was the big reveal. Gemma is alive, tucked away in Charlie/John’s basement. I saw this coming. I’ve watched enough soap operas and McGuyver to realize that if you can’t find a body, there’s a good chance someone’s not dead. Plus, Charlie/John was very careful however he worded that act with the real Siobhan. I’m a little disappointed, though. It’s not that I want Gemma dead, but it’d certainly be more of a “thriller” if she were. What’s the purpose of keeping her alive? She knows too much — both about Bridget and Charlie/John — and if you need to shut her up, why do it in a basement? The strategy makes no sense to me. It really just feels like a faulty plan that is only being used so the writers can later have her escape and tell Bridget everything. It’s a plot device that is kinda lame.

But I do want to know what Bridget will do next now that she knows Charlie/John can’t be trusted. And how Siobhan reacts. What do you think will happen?

Ringer: Malcolm in the Middle

RINGER: 1.08 “Maybe We Can Get a Dog Instead”

This episode was really about Malcolm, but let’s take a moment and think about Andrew instead. Andrew was a bit…oversensitive in this episode? Ok, so he just “lost” the baby that he thought Bridget/Siobhan was harboring in her baby. He deserves to be upset. But he seemed overly upset that his wife didn’t want to spend time with him and that she told her stepdaughter that they weren’t going to try again. Now, I’ve never gone through a miscarriage (and neither has Bridget), but one would normally think that there’s a period of grieving and that perhaps a woman in such a state wouldn’t be thinking straight. While I know why Bridget said no to Juliet, her answer could easily be construed as a woman who wouldn’t want to be hurt again in a similar situation. Why did Andrew have to be such a baby about it in the kitchen?

Anyway, that really wasn’t the point of the episode. Malcolm was very visible in this episode, and Bridget was very concerned. He’s the one person that could throw a wrench in her entire new life, and he’s back on drugs to boot. With the complicated nature of their friendship and former relationship — plus a detective — this isn’t exactly the reunion she was looking for. Neither was Malcolm. Fortunately, Bridget is quick on her feet and was able to keep her cover in place, even wearing a wire. In fact, I was really impressed with her anger at the detective, when she yelled at him because he knew Malcolm was using again and didn’t tell her. That was cool.

It felt a little too “happy ending,” though by the time we saw the credits roll. Malcolm reached out for help, and she reached out to Charlie. Ok, sure, we don’t know what Charlie’s up to and what he plans to do with Malcolm, but the fact that Malcolm was so eager to get help so fast seemed a little unrealistic. But hey, it pushes plot forward, I guess.

Meanwhile, Siobhan has her own problems. Whatever plan she’s concocted in France is now falling apart since Tyler has now met her twin. While it will be interesting seeing Siobhan try to get back on her feet, it will be more interesting to see what she was trying to do. She didn’t choose Tyler randomly. There was a reason she wanted him under her watchful eye. But clearly she didn’t expect his rise in her husband’s company. Either way, Bridget isn’t making Siobhan’s life any easier.

So what will happen next? Honestly, I have no clue. But I’m holding tight for that moment Siobhan appears, big belly in tow. Now that will be an episode to see.

Ringer: Finally, a Twist I Can Get Behind (and Not Predict)

RINGER: 1.07 “Oh Gawd, There’s Two of Them?”

When I think of TV characters named Charlie, I naturally think of “Not Penny’s Boat.” This, of  course, makes me suddenly distraught with emotion. (Dear god, I just watched that YouTube clip and I almost broke down into tears all over again. Anyway…) But we’re not talking about Lost here. I’m talking about Ringer, who’s just introduced their own significant character named Charlie. Will he stand the test of cult fanaticism? Probably not. But he did provide a brand-new twist to the show that it, quite frankly, desperately needed.

Perhaps I was blinded by Charlie’s slightly crooked teeth, and that’s why I didn’t see his collaboration with the real Siobhan coming. Perhaps it’s because he claimed he was a cop (perhaps he was?). But either way, I certainly didn’t think that we’d find out that he was the one who attacked Gemma or that he was the voice on the other end of Siobhan’s phone.

So what’s the game here? Siobhan clearly didn’t want her sister to live after the first episode, but now she’s really playing with her, since she’s the stand-in for her own life. Gemma, the one who knew the truth and was a liability, is now gone (whether dead or just taken, we still don’t know). But while she’s causing her own damage, Bridget seems to have her own plan.

Why did she plant that fingerprint? Why does she want the focus on Bridget?

She seemed almost startled at all the attention, but she seemed to know it was coming at the same time by warning both Andrew and Henry about her twin (she’s lucky they didn’t say, “Yeah, Siobhan told me yesterday,” to the cops). But then she turns to Charlie to turn up evidence that would get Bridget off the hook. What’s going on?

In other news, we have Malcolm in the city. Now this, I particularly don’t understand. He “escapes” his captors, though they’re following him. He then sees them and tells him that they can’t follow him and he won’t reveal where Bridget is. Then he goes directly to where Bridget is. I realize that he’s severely off the wagon, but that logic just doesn’t make sense. And since the cops just discovered his whereabouts, it looks like nothing but trouble is heading Bridget’s way.

And that includes her ultrasound, which as it stands right now will tell her that she has no baby inside her. That is, unless we find out that perhaps she has Malcolm’s baby, which would be a twist I wouldn’t find surprising. Please note: That’s not a spoiler, just an educated guess. I could very well be wrong.

Either way, I’m getting rather annoyed with Andrew. His idealistic perception of the world around him is just rather ridiculous. His frustration is barely even angry. Stop seeing the good in everything and realize that everyone around you is ugly and deceitful already!

At least he’s seen this with his daughter. Ok, sure, she did try to stop her sister from drinking and she only had two beers, but she’s still underage and lying! I think that she really does deserve to be cut off. That being said, I do find anything regarding Juliet to be a little off-topic and rather boring. I think we could remove this altogether.

What happens next? Well, I guess we’ll see. But for the thriller Ringer hopes to be, I’m glad we just found out who Siobhan’s confidante was…and I want to see what he does next.

Ringer: Missing Person

RINGER: 1.06 “The Poor Kids Do It Every Day”

Before I launch into the saga that is Gemma’s untimely demise, let’s take a moment to address Juliet. Does anyone care about her time in public school? I personally don’t. And while I know that every Veronica Mars fan is wetting themselves to see a certain someone back on TV (and the CW at that), but this whole thing looks like they’re setting up another “sleeping with my teacher” storyline that’s done, tired, and completely obnoxious. In fact, we should consider it the “show killer.” Think of Life Unexpected. You’d think Kristoffer Polaha could have warned them.

Anyway, on to Gemma. Henry surprised me in the beginning of this episode. I thought he was just lying to Bridget, trying to frame her for a murder that he himself did. But as the story progresses, we discover that he’s just an idiot. He really did come into the apartment to find blood on the walls and disarray, and he was cleaning up to save Bridget — or “Siobhan” — which he thought was the real murderer.

I really wasn’t convinced at first. It just felt ridiculous. But with that ending, it looks like he might actually be telling the truth. *Gasp!* I didn’t know for sure whether Siobhan would have a hand in Gemma’s demise, but it’s not that far of a leap. After all, if Bridget was almost the victim of a hitman in the first episode, certainly Siobhan could arrange to have Gemma killed. And there’s clearly some contact of Siobhan’s out there keeping an eye out; perhaps he informed her of the trouble Gemma was causing, which is why Siobhan had to take care of things.

Of course, there’s always intrigue. Part of me has soap opera hesitations. If you don’t see a body, how can you be sure Gemma’s really dead? Maybe it’s a setup. Or maybe Henry did do it, and he’s working with the real Siobhan. In which case, he knows a lot more than he’s putting on.

Finally, what about Bridget’s fingerprint? Why did she plant her own evidence in the evidence bag? What does incriminating Bridget do for her? Well, it does take the spotlight off Bridget-now-Siobhan. If the detective thinks she’s Siobhan and he’s still looking for Bridget, he might leave her alone. And Henry. So she’s saving two people with one act, keeping her new life safe and burning her old.

At least, that’s my guess.

Oh, in other news, apparently Malcolm is still alive. I swear we saw him killed last episode. So, that was, um, weird. Thoughts?