Thursday, May 17, 2012

SUCH SWEET SORROW


 Despite it being announced nearly a week ago, The CW's Upfront presentation today seals the deal: Ringer is dead. And now it's time to raise a toast, and say goodbye to network television's first soap noir-pra.





To call Ringer a gamble is quite an understatement. The network for which it was originally produced passed. Its star hadn't been on television regularly in years. The concept was...complicated. Sometimes, enormous gambles pay off. For proof of this, one need look no further than Sarah Michelle Gellar's landmark series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was a midseason replacement based on a critically reviled film. But that didn't keep it from becoming a pop culture phenomenon, and staying on the air for 7 years.



If Buffy was the equivalent of that one time you went to Vegas and hit it really big, then Ringer embodies all those other visits to Sin City. Networks have to take risks in order to survive, though. One of the things the show had going for it was a great cast, which I'm sure went a long way when it came time for The CW to make a decision about saving it from CBS' scrap heap. With the exception of Kristoffer Polaha's weekly impression of a Canadian block of wood, everyone on Ringer turned in great performances - even when the actors didn't really know from week to week what the hell was going on.



Over the course of 22 episodes, I was often asked whether or not I actually liked the show. Without a doubt, the answer was (and is) yes. I loved Ringer. It may not have been the best show on TV, but it was one that I looked forward to every single week. And each time the plot twists grew more absurd, that only made me love it more. This was a series that began life taking itself very seriously, and by the end of its run seemed to delight in assuring viewers that ANYTHING could happen - no matter how over the top. Somewhere in the middle (after the dreaded, momentum-killing Winter hiatus), characters and allegiances got shuffled around. Was Andrew's ex-wife Catherine originally intended to have stuck around as long as she did? My guess is definitely not, but who among us isn't glad that she did? Boozy, bitchy Catherine was literally the Crazy Glue that held things together in the back half of the season, and she sure as hell made it a lot more fun. 



And what of Sarah Michelle Gellar, herself? I know a lot of people had a difficult time divorcing her from  Buffy Summers, which I guess I can understand. I was/am a huge Buffy fan, but I knew right from the get-go that these were very different characters. I was particularly impressed with how SMG portrayed Bridget and Siobhan with such nuance; I could always tell which twin she was playing, sometimes even before she opened her mouth. The mannerisms, the looks...if I was forced to draw comparisons, Bridget is the Buffy. Siobhan? Well, that's pretty much how I imagine Ms. Gellar to be in real life (without all the death-faking and scandal). She's a very capable actress, and my boatloads of goodwill for her secured my fandom for as long as Ringer was on the air. I also saw what the series could have been, however. I saw the potential, I knew what I wanted it to do, and that kept me highly invested.



In addition to the cast, series co-creators Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder deserve a lot of credit. I feel like even when things seemed dire, I could see their vision. I could hear their voice. I may not have agreed with every decision (never getting the Bridget/Siobhan showdown will always be one of my biggest television regrets), but I have a lot of respect for the work Eric and Nicole did. Finding someone to blame for the show's cancellation is even harder than playing 'Where's Macawi?' in the tail end of the season. There's no one thing that damned the series, from this viewer's perspective. Not even THE FLASH DRIVE or the S.S. Green Screen. Ringer will live on in my heart, but that doesn't mean I won't miss it.



There's literally so much more I could say. I could continue to blog every week for months about this show, and I still wouldn't be able to get all my thoughts out. But this is it. On a more personal note: Thank you, fellow fans! Ringer was the first show I recapped on a weekly basis, for the entire season. It was a lot of work, but ultimately more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. It was an experience that - like Ringer, itself - no one can ever take away from me.

I'll be announcing which of next season's series I'll be photocapping soon, on the Zip and a Kick! Facebook page. I hope you'll join me! As for all of my Ringer photocaps, I'll be adding galleries to the blog's aforementioned home on Facebook. Some are suitable for everyday use, after all.


In the end, some things just weren't meant to be. Farewell Bridget, Siobhan, Andrew, Juliet, Machado and Henry! I would have followed you to Rock Springs and back. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love this post but you didn't mention malcolm in the last sentence. he was my favorite because he was the only one bridget could be honest with