What with all the twin-confusion fun of the last few weeks I’d completely forgotten about Andrew and Bridget/Siobhan renewing their marriage vows, which is how we open, but with Bodaway on the guest list. Wonder who he brought as his plus-one? Oh, it’s a dream.
Anyway, before the actual renewal B/S decides that she’s going to go through with her demented plan to see if Andrew is so much in love with her that he’s prepared to be, all, “bygones” when he finds out the truth. He isn’t. Who knew? So B/S is on her own, as is Siobhan once Henry finds out that he’s not the babydaddy and that Siobhan is prepared to lie about it.
Although this was by no means the worst episode of Ringer, with the writers still trying to set Ringer up for the second season we now know it probably won’t get, it was in some ways an unsatisfactory ending to the season. In particular, we had no Siobhan-meets-Bridget money-shot, although their paths cross when a confused Bodaway is trying to kill one of them (I forget which one) and is killed by one of them (ditto).
And so we’re just about done with Ringer; although officially no decision has been made public on renewal, it’s about to be killed. (Unless, of course, it’s going to swap places with another drama that looks like it.) A season feels just about right to me, I have to say, although in the unlikely event of renewal I’d totally be there: Ringer was, for the most part, deeply silly, trashy, lip-smacking fun; and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.
There used to be a certain amount of snobbery about the whole idea of TV – people boasting of not watching it at all, or, y’know, just for the news and wildlife documentaries. The present golden age of TV drama has just about killed that off, but there’s a new, more subtle variation around, which holds that unless it’s something like The Wire or Breaking Bad or that one about the motorcycle club it’s not worth bothering with. This is, of course, elitist nonsense: I’m not trying here to argue that FlashForward is as good as Mad Men, but surely there’s room for both?
The famously uxorious actor Paul Newman once said, of his long and successful marriage, “Why go out for a hamburger when you have steak at home?”. Which kind of misses the point a little: sometime’s a burger’s exactly what you want. I was reminded of Newman’s quote this week when watching the last episode in the second season of the USA network’s Alias-lite spy drama Covert Affairs, of which I’m quite the fan. The plots are just involving enough to be interesting without being too demanding, and the use of locations is moderately innovative – if you’re in Paris, say, you don’t need to have a shootout under the Arc.
On top of that it has a decent ensemble cast – Piper Perabo doesn’t bring too much intensity to the table, and I suspect that Sydney Bristow would kick Annie’s ass, but she’s very watchable. Kari Matchett and Peter Gallagher are engagingly grown-up in support, although once again Sendhil Ramamurthy is marooned in an unlikeable role. The real star, of course, is Christopher Gorham as the charismatic-yet-slightly-unreachable Auggie: not only is he blind, but he’s in danger of being deafened by the sound of women’s clothes hitting the ground whenever he walks by.
As it happens this episode wasn’t the best: the conceit that Annie’s sister Danielle (Anne Dudek, another very solid team player) could be mistaken for a spy was a good one, but it felt like an idea which could sustain half an episode, and something else was needed to round it off.
Still, never mind. Covert Affairs has been the burger I’ve been craving after some TV steak, and I like it. It returns in July in America, “later in the year” in the UK, and I’ll be watching, particularly as the ensemble is being strengthened by the addition of Sarah ‘Nina Myers’ Clarke.