Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ringer: “P.S. You’re An Idiot”

Illustration for article titled Ringer: “P.S. You’re An Idiot”

How can a show with such consistently good episode titles be so bad? “P.S. You’re An Idiot” is just the latest in a string of really fun and clever episode titles in service of middling to downright awful episodes. It’s almost as if the show is mocking us at this point, like “P.S. You’re an idiot for still watching this crap!” Oh, Ringer. We know. No need to rub it in.

Here’s the thing. As the show breezed through a few big reveals tonight (Catherine is sleeping with Mr. C! Catherine stole both Tessa and Mr. C’s money and is keeping it from Juliet! Andrew might be knowingly running a Ponzi scheme!) I realized that the actual pace of reveals on the show hasn’t been so bad. If you sat down and simply wrote out what happened and when, it actually all seems fairly logical. The problem is all of the actual reveals and the stories leading up to those reveals have been so bungled that the actual reveals have been horribly anticlimactic. There’s an art to creating a solid twisty mystery, which basically boils down to the art of the tease: Give your audience just enough of a breadth of information to get them thinking, then when doing the actual reveals vary them just enough so the audience never knows what to expect. This is where Ringer has totally failed.

First of all, the show barely gives out any information, let alone enough information to make the audience engaged enough to start discussing potential theories about what is happening. The theme of my notes tonight was “WHY?”and “HOW?” Why does Siobhan hate Andrew so much? How does Catherine even know Mr. C? Why does this show like such complicated names? Why should we care about this financial storyline other than wondering if someone on the writing staff fell asleep while watching Margin Call? How are we supposed to believe Andrew is all of a sudden a villain when he’s basically been perfect up until this point? Mysteries are one thing, but mysteries must be based on something, or else they’re just like those magnetic words you put on the refrigerator and arrange into new nonsensical sentences each time you get up to get a new beer. Certainly "the big mystery this show is based on is probably a Ponzi scheme” is far less interesting than something you’d write on the fridge after a few too many, that’s for sure.

Secondly, the reveals themselves, while mostly fine in actual content, have been murderous in execution. There’s no variation to how they play out—the show leads the audience one way, then does a 180 and reveals it to be the exact opposite way—and therefore, every single reveal is completely predictable. Juliet’s sociopathic mother should be a really fun character, but because her arc has been ever-so-obvious from the start, any campy delight she could have brought to the proceedings is wasted, as we sit here and wait for the inevitable to play out. From the very beginning, it was clear she was the person behind Tessa’s assault and robbery. Seeing her pay the person responsible tonight was simply boring, clunky overkill, especially after explicitly seeing her screw over Mr. C. At least along the way we got to see Jason Dohring shirtless a few times, so it wasn’t all a wash.

So now here we are, with a show that started with the premise its lead was in mortal danger (remember when people were trying to kill her?) and now has settled on being some sort of a Bernie Madoff rehash with far better hair. It’s funny; I complained about the silly Bodaway stuff then, and have consistently noted how Agent Machado had nothing interesting to do, but after being threatened with the idea of this whole thing becoming some sort of awful financial thriller? Well bring on the mob, baby.

Stray observations:

  • Siobhan isn’t showing but she’s pregnant with twins and she can feel them kicking? That’s… not correct, I don’t think.
  • Bridget shops at the same coat store as Georgina Sparks! I like to imagine them both spying the coat on the rack at the same time and giving each other a knowing “we’re liars with interesting taste in outerwear” smirk.
  • There was a WHOLE SCENE where Malcolm explained a FINANCIAL ALGORITHM. That’s good drama.
  • Maybe Malcolm shouldn’t leave voicemails that say Bridget? Or that talk about all of their secrets? You know, just in case?
  • It’s really helpful that Siobhan kept all of her papers neatly filed by shady location address.
  • Andrew: “Siobhan, will you marry me… again?”