Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Two Worlds, One Ringer

This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, Amber West and I review two new programs to the 2011-2012 television schedule whose plots are based on dual realities – NBC’s new drama, Awake, where the protagonist lives in alternate realities depending on whether or not he is dreaming; and the CW’s new mystery, Ringer, where the protagonist is choosing to live in another reality, her twin sister’s world.

Ringer stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as twin sisters Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin.

The sisters share a troubled past – Bridget is a former narcotics user and stripper, and Siobhan cut ties from Bridget when she married a millionaire New York City hedge fund manager, leaving her normal life and sister behind.  But after a few years apart, the girls suddenly decide to move past previously made mistakes and mend their relationship, or so it seems.

The series begins as Bridget runs to her wealthy sister, Siobhan, after she witnesses a mob hit and escapes protective custody just before testifying in court.  A few days into the happy reunion, Siobhan disappears herself (making it look like an apparent suicide).  Bridget panics, like most would, but then realizes that this is her perfect opportunity to escape her past and assume her sister’s identity.

And so the story begins….

Bridget’s first matter of business is to convince Siobhan’s husband (Andrew Martin, played by Ioan Gruffudd) that she is her sister.  She learns rather quickly that the two share a rocky, tumultuous marriage, and her new husband doesn’t seem to like her very much.  Andrew’s teenage daughter from a previous marriage really hates Siobhan (Juliet Martin, played by Zoey Deutch), and she lashes out constantly by skipping school, doing drugs, and destroying things around the penthouse.

Siobhan's husband, Andrew

As if Siobhan’s life at home wasn’t enough of a disaster, Bridget soon discovers that her sister was also having an affair with Henry Butler (Kristoffer Polaha), the husband of her best friend (Gemma Butler, played by Tara Summers).

Siobhan's boyfriend and best friend's husband, Henry

Just as Bridget begins to manage all of the lies her sister is living, the FBI agent tasked with protecting her during the trial (Agent Victor Machado, played by Nestor Carbonell) arrives in New York with a few questions for Siobhan.

The FBI agent tasked with protecting Bridget, Victor

Meanwhile, Bridget’s Narcotics Anonymous sponsor and apparent lover (Malcolm Ward, played by Mike Colter) is abducted by the drug lord/mob boss looking for her back home, beaten within an inch of his life, and reacquainted with black tar heroin.  Malcolm might just be the hero of the show; despite the torture, he doesn’t disclose Bridget’s secret and he still manages to escape and travel to NYC to protect her.

Bridget's NA Sponsor and one-time lover, Malcolm

Everything is just too much, so Bridget (aka Siobhan) seeks out a new NA sponsor in the city and meets Charlie (Billy Miller).  Charlie seems eager to help, not only with her constant battle with relapse, but also with the many matters surrounding her double life.  People can trust sponsors, right?

Bridget's new NA sponsor and dirty former cop, Charlie

Oh, and did we mention the “real” Siobhan (who is camped out in Paris under an assumed identity) is pregnant?  That’s an interesting twist…Bridget gets the call from Siobhan’s doctor and has to pretend she’s pregnant; meanwhile, Henry thinks the baby is his; Andrew of course thinks the baby is his; and Siobhan’s new Parisian lover (Tyler, played by Justin Bruening) now thinks the baby is his.  This lady is a mess.

Siobhan's Parisian boy-toy and her husband's business associate, Tyler

To make matters worse, Bridget doesn’t do a bang up job keeping her secret – Gemma discovers the truth: that the “real” Siobhan is sleeping with her husband, and that Bridget is assuming her sister’s identity.  When Gemma threatens to blow the top off Bridget’s lies, she disappears.   Henry comes home to find blood all over the walls and a broken vase, and immediately cleans the mess up to protect Siobhan.  But when he confronts Siobhan (aka Bridget), she of course thinks he did something to Gemma – why else would he cover up the evidence?

Confused yet?  Remember, the “real” Siobhan is the puppet master pulling all the strings; Bridget is only trying to survive in Siobhan’s world.

And this ladies and gentleman is just the beginning…

Because of the non-stop twists and turns, I must award Ringer with the JFTV rating – it’s the perfect Junk Food Television.  I sat and watched the entire first half of the season in mini-marathon style.  See, I record the series each week, but wasn’t intrigued enough at first to watch; but once I started the episodes, I couldn’t stop – just like when I pick up a bag of Hershey’s miniatures from Costco — someone needs to pull the bag of chocolate away from me in order for me to stop popping the delicious delights in my mouth one right after the other.

I enjoyed my mini-marathon of the first half of the season so much, I’m currently stock-piling the second half of the season for another marathon-style viewing party.  I’m just waiting for that perfect Saturday…

What do you think? Do you watch Ringer?  Which of Siobhan and Bridget’s men is your favorite and why?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on the masterfully creative dual realities of Awake.

Come back next week when Amber and I review two new (or maybe old) TV shows.  We like to keep everyone on their toes.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Tele-Tuesday: Reader’s Pick Per Night – The Polls

This month marks the one year anniversary (or blogiversary as we’ve gotten to know it around the blogosphere) of The Ooo Factor.  One year seems like a long time, but in all honesty the blog posts have flown by and I’ve had a great time sharing my television addiction with everyone on a weekly basis.  Blogging has actually given my obsessive TV watching purpose, and has made me feel better about the amount of television I watch each and every night.  And whether or not my readers can believe it, I have much more to share!

If we’ve learned anything as we’ve moved through the years, we’ve learned that as time passes, people change.

Whew; that sounded borderline serious for a second.   But it’s true…

But other things change too, like the revolving door of television programs.  The networks update their television schedules drastically over the course of a year, sometimes in just a matter of months.  In celebration of the past twelve months here at Tele-Tuesday, we’ve decided to update a few of our older posts that don’t necessarily stand true any longer (whether it be because the networks moved our shows around or because some new hit has taken its place).

Last year, we blogged about our 2011 Pick Per Night television series.  While some of our choices still air today, we may have a different favorite that has taken over on that particular night of the week and we feel an obligation to update our readers with the 2012 choices.  But before we do, we’d like to know what everyone else watches.

If you could choose only one show per night, what would it be?

Did your favorite show make the list?  If not, what is it?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Next week, we will announce what our viewers prefer to watch and what we here at Tele-Tuesday mark as our #1 must watch programs in a Pick Per Night 2012.

 

Tele-Tuesday: New Year, Even More New Drama

The last couple of weeks, we’ve introduced a few of the new programs to hit television screens in 2012.  Many have accused us of adding too much to their already full TV schedules, and for that we apologize.  But that’s not going to stop us from talking about even more!

That’s right, we’re not done yet!  The networks are bringing television viewers a few additional winter premieres, or mid-season replacements as they like to call them, starting in February and some as late as April.  But for the sake of today’s post, we’ll stick to a handful that we can expect to see sooner rather than later.

So what do we have to look forward to?

*****

Smash

Will a show about a Broadway Musical have as much success as the popular musical dramedy Glee?

NBC sure hopes so.

Smash stars two of entertainment’s most dynamic women: Debra Messing (Will & Grace) plays Julia, a co-writer of the musical, and Academy Award winning actress Angelica Huston plays Eileen, the producer.  Keeping with the popular appeal of female success, former American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee plays Karen, a young and unfamiliar talent who finds herself a favorite for the starring role in the musical.

Perhaps the story behind the musical itself will attract an audience all its own, telling the story of the original blonde-bombshell and 1950’s starlet, Marilyn Monroe.

If the musical is actually biographical, this TV junkie might have more of an interest in checking out Smash.  But we have a feeling the new series will actually focus on the personal lives of those behind the scenes and those vying for a part in the musical, rather than the life of one of our favorite sex symbols.

Smash premieres on NBC Monday, February 6th.

*****

Missing

What would you do if your child went missing while studying abroad?

This frightening situation is the premise behind ABC’s new drama Missing.  The series stars yet another motion picture favorite, Ashley Judd, as widower and single mother Becca Winstone.  Becca takes it upon herself to travel to Rome to search for any leads and clues into her son Michael’s disappearance, and it doesn’t hurt that she has a background as a former CIA agent.

Sounds like the kidnappers picked the wrong lady to mess with…

Missing also stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as CIA Agent Paul Winstone, Becca’s deceased husband, and Nick Eversman as Michael Winstone.

Missing premieres Thursday, March 15th on ABC.

*****

Awake

What is quantum immortality?

Physicists explain that quantum immortality is the subjective experience of surviving quantum suicide, or that this highly controversial phenomenon implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. 

Does this make sense to anyone?  How about an explanation that the rest of us who struggled in Physics can comprehend, please?

Better yet, let’s explain it by introducing the premise of NBC’s new science fiction drama, Awake.

Awake follows Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs, from the Harry Potter films) after he survives a fatal car accident involving his wife and son.  Once he wakes up, he is faced with two realities – one where his wife (Laura Allen, the 4400) did not survive, and another where his son did not survive.  Michael begins moving from one reality to the other, struggling to remember which life he is currently living, all while attempting to keep his family together.

The new series is filled with familiar faces, including: Steve Harris (The Practice) as Michael’s partner in one reality; Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show) as Michael’s partner in the other reality; B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU) as Michael’s therapist in one reality; Cherry Jones (24) as Michael’s therapist in the other reality; and Michaela McManus (also from Law & Order: SVU), Michael’s love interest in the reality where his wife has passed.

How does he keep his life straight?

I’m glad to see that Michael has a therapist in both worlds…his life sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

Awake is scheduled to premiere in March, after it was originally scheduled to begin in Fall 2011 and again in January 2012.  What’s the deal?  Why is NBC all over the place when it comes to the actual premiere date?

According to an online article by NY Mag.com, the writers had to work out a few kinks.  Makes sense, considering the storyline could definitely confuse the audience with all the back and forth (Fringe, anyone?).

*****

What do you think?  Do you plan to watch Smash, Missing, or Awake?  Which show has the most promise and why?  The least?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

If you’d like to take a stab at  better understanding quantum immortality, quantum suicide, or metaphysics, click here!  Thank you Wikipedia, but even this is out of my league.

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