‘Ringer’ Redux: About the Bangs…
Rejoice, fans of delightfully bad soapy noir! Ringer has returned! Back from hiatus, this week’s Ringer began with a requisite shot of Siobhan’s giant photo of herself in the foyer (of course), and ended with Buffy punching Logan Echolls in the face. SERIOUSLY. That was the greatest moment of television since the episode of Veronica Mars where Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter shared a scene together. (If you’re not a fan of Buffy or V-Mars, these moments were probably less momentous for you. Also, what’s wrong with you?) I was too busy freaking out about Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Dohring being onscreen together to really appreciate the intensity of the scene, but the bottom line is, SMG can still throw a punch, and Jason Dohring can still take one. (My friend whom I was watching with—a fellow Buffy/V-Mars fan—commented on how often Dohring gets cast as someone who punches people/gets punched.) Anyway, disappointing teen sexual assault storyline aside, I look forward to seeing more scenes between SMG and Jason Dohring, preferably involving more violence. Or some good puns. This show could really use more puns.
But there were other more important things happening in this week’s episode. Namely, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s bangs. I was kind of obsessing about them for the entire episode. When we first saw SMG as Bridget-posing-as-Siobhan with her new bangs, I thought, “Great, how are they going to justify the fact that both twins inexplicably decided to get bangs the same week?” That’s the thing about having two characters played by the same person—any physical alterations are going to be present when she plays both roles. So here I was, scoffing away, wondering if they would acknowledge the coincidence or write it into the story or what, and then we saw SMG as Siobhan, and she had what appeared to be very real non-bangs. She was sporting her usual long face-framing pseudo-bangs, but she was clearly missing Bridget’s short fringe. And there was no way they could have skilfully pinned the bangs back or anything, at least as far as I could tell. I was sure they’d have a scene where Siobhan cut her hair to match Bridget-posing-as-Siobhan so she could impersonate Bridget-impersonating-her, but the entire episode featured the two sisters with their distinct haircuts. I was mildly flabbergasted. The whole time I was watching, all I could think was, “So, did they shoot all of the Siobhan scenes, then cut her bangs, and then film the Bridget scenes? What about next week’s episode?” I mean, this is the show whose pilot episode featured a scene that looked like it was shot using a do-it-yourself green screen kit. No offense to Ringer, but I don’t exactly expect a high level of consistency and attention to detail when it comes to hair styles. They could have easily just used a wig for one of the sisters, or had Siobhan cut her bangs early on when she saw Bridget’s. Of all the areas of production in which to attempt some semblance of high quality…hair? Really? It’s like they said, “Sure, we’ll have a character utter the phrase, ‘That’s what you get for trying to kill me,’ but we will certainly maintain quality and believability when it comes to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s hair.” Props to them for taking a stand on something.
The best part was that Henry (who is my favorite character, despite the fact that he’s a whiny, mercurial, unfaithful douchebag) didn’t notice the fact that for half of his encounters with “Siobhan,” she had short bangs, and for the other half, she did not. He even commented on the fact that she’s been sending him mixed signals and running hot and cold on him all week, but he didn’t put two and two together to discover the correlation between her attitude towards him and the status of her bangs. Come on Henry, get your head out of the sand. I think it’s interesting that Siobhan still loves Henry (or that she’s capable of loving another human being at all), and that she thinks they can live happily ever after or something. Dream on, sister. That’s a lovely thought, except for the fact that (a) Bridget totally shut that party down and made him resent you, (b) now that his wife is missing (AKA dead), he’s all like, “she was the perfect woman and I took her for granted wahhh,” and (c) even if you did explain the whole situation to him, you’d still have to find a way around telling him that you were inadvertently (or advertently, depending on your definition) responsible for his wife’s death. So yeah. Good luck rebuilding that bridge, Shiv.
So to recap, this week’s episode included two shots of Siobhan’s creepy black and white portrait, four actors from former CW or WB series (SMG, Kris Polaha, Jason Dohring, and Mädchen Amick, who played Sherry on Gilmore Girls), one instance of fisticuffs in formal wear, one and a half shower scenes, and two different haircuts for Sarah Michelle Gellar. By the numbers, a below-average week for Ringer, for sure. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If there’s one thing you want to be wary of when you’re writing a show about identical twins switching places, it’s good pacing. Just ask the Olsen twins.