Saying Ringer is so bad it’s good is an understatement. It is bad. The premise is horrible. Great actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ioan Gruffudd slumming it among third tier television actors is a bit of a bummer. However, the longer you watch it, the better the show gets. If you are able to jump the initial hurdle of disbelief of the premise the rest of the series proves to be an edge-of-your-seat guilty pleasure.
Bridget Kelly (Gellar) is a stripper and ex-junkie on the run after witnessing a murder. Her FBI agent handler, Victor Machado (Nestor Carbonell), is unable to keep her safe. So she calls her twin sister Siobhan (Gellar). After a brief reunion, Bridget wakes up alone on a boat with her sister missing, presumed dead. She has the genius idea of taking her sister’s things to rejoin her life already in progress. Bridget soon learns Siobhan had her own problems and was kind of a real b***h. Now Bridget must try and stay alive and pretend to be her sister. Then nothing but big reveals, WTF moments, and twin-swapping hi-jinks ensue.
Ringer has all the sultry sex appeal of nighttime soaps like Gossip Girl and Melrose Place; it just never found the viewership. Despite some shortcomings of the premise and bad The Parent Trap moments in the pilot, the series is fairly well written. The story slowly unfolds with more intrigue, revelations, and sexy moments. The series is more about the stressful life of Bridget Kelly than it is about twin-swapping. Gellar hadn’t done much since Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrapped. However, she did create a likable character in Bridget. She is slightly damaged, rough around the edges, but you still root for her to succeed.
What makes Ringer "bad" is also what makes it so amazing. The bad moments and outlandish premise just give it that campy edge to make it a cult classic. The show doesn’t claim to be a procedural crime drama or a super hero epic where things need to make sense and people make smart choices. Instead, everyone’s a little duplicitous and also kind of stupid. If you drank every time someone made a poor choice or ignored the obvious you’d enjoy the show that much more.
Ringer is worth a second look and luckily you can watch the entire series on Netflix.