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October 25, 2011

"Revenge" and "Ringer:" Similar Shows, Solid Entertainment

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Two new fall TV dramas, Revenge and Ringer, have become regular fixtures in my TV viewing calendar. And since both have been landing solid ratings each week, I was glad to hear they've each been picked up for full seasons.

Sarah Michelle Gellar in "Ringer," Image Courtesy: CW

Here's the lowdown on both shows:

They both have one world titles that start with the letter "R." 
They both star talented, blond actresses
They're both set in and around New York, including the ritzy Hamptons
They both have good guys, bad guys, blackmail, murder, betrayal and payback that rhymes with witch. 

Emily vancamp
Emily VanCamp in "Revenge," Image Courtesy ABC

Ringer marks the return of  Buffy Summers, er Sarah Michelle Gellar, to the CW.  The show takes the classic soap convention of the good twin and the evil twin, updates it, adds lots of money, and runs with it.

The twins are Siobhan Martin, a socialite with an evil streak who's not above playing around with her best friend's husband, shipping her troubled step daughter off to boarding school and scheming secret schemes from a fancy hotel in Paris.

Meanwhile Bridget Kelly is a recovering drug addict/stripper who witnessed a murder and was just about to testify against the baddest of baddies when she got cold feet and skipped off to see Siobhan in New York.  As an odd way to celebrate their reunion, they take a boat ride off the Hamptons where it appears that Siobhan commits suicide.  Intstead of calling the police, Bridget does what any normal identical twin would do, she takes her sister's place.

Bridget's baddie gets off and immediately starts hunting for her.  Meanwhile Siobhan also has a killer on her trail, so Bridget isn't as safe as she thought.  Oh and Siobhan is pregnant with her best friend's husband's baby.

Soap opera of the best kind.

And the male eye candy ain't bad either.  There's Siobhan's mysterious, British husband played by Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell and his eyeliner, fresh off his stint on Lost, who plays the detective hunting for Bridget, Kristoffer Polaha as Siobhan's lover and Mike Colter as Bridget's former sponsor.

Emily Van Camp in "Revenge," Image Courtesy: ABC

While Ringer is good, though a bit over the top, Revenge is a well paced, first class drama.The show stars Emily VanCamp as Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne, a woman's whose father was convicted of supporting terrorists when she was a child.  Years later, after her father has died in prison, she discovers his papers and they tell how he was framed by his lover, her husband and an assortment of other not so good friends.

Amanda changes her name to Emily Thorne and sets out with her newly inherited millions to get some--wait for it...revenge!  She's especially after her father's former lover, and self-appointed queen bee of the society set, Victoria Grayson.

Madeleine Stowe is delicious as the conniving Victoria, a woman who's not afraid to play dirty to get what she wants or to make her enemies pay.  Gabriel Mann is funny and almost touching as Nolan Ross, an internet whiz kid who guesses Emily's true identity and decides to help her.

Madeleine stowe

Madeleine Stowe in "Revenge," Image Courtesy ABC

What's great about Revenge is that the characters are so well written, you can never quite put a halo on Emily and you can never quite give Victoria a pitchfork.  And though I'd never suggest you watch a show just for the clothes, every week is like a fabulous fashion show.  Someone's always throwing a fundraiser, tea party, barbecue or polo match and the designer duds they trot out are to die for.

Finally Revenge has a magic dog.  Or at least that's what some who watch the show are calling it.  Emily's Dad gave her a golden lab puppy before he got tossed in jail and little Emily got sent to an institution.  The dog ended up with the local barkeep's family but the trouble is he recognizes Amanda and keeps coming for visits.  It's kind of a running gag because based on the show's chronology, the dog would have to be at least 18 years old and he looks very good for his age.

So if you want some good, soapy, down home TV drama, check out Revenge and Ringer.

Ringer airs Tuesdays 9/8c on CW

Revenge airs Wednesdays 10/9c on ABC

Cross Posted from BlogHer




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