Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Pilot #1: Ringer

FALL PILOT #1: Ringer 
NETWORK: The CW
SUPPOSED SELLING POINT:  Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television.  Sarah Michelle Gellar plays twins.  Sarah Michelle Gellar engages in intrigue.  Sarah Michelle Gellar brings a show with real adults to the CW.
POSSIBLE SELLING POINT FOR ME:  Being able to find a mystery that's not as embarrassing to be addicted to?  Because I really feel ridiculous watching Pretty Little Liars...in the best way. 

There's been a lot of excited chatter about Buffy the Vampire Slayer's return to network television.  In the years since Joss Whedon's show came to an end, the show has grown exponentially within canons cult and academic alike.  Buffy the series is a thing, Gellar the actress?  Well, in my opinion: not so much.  While I've enjoyed my share of Buffy, Gellar the Sunnydale hamster (and many of the cast members) always struck me as rather here nor there, working with material that played to their individual strengths and happened to have them in the right place at the right time.  Ringer doesn't suggest anything to the contrary at this point, but it does seem to be a good match for the now 34-year-old actress.  Here, Gellar gets the chance to flex her soapy muscles and take a stab at playing twins: Bridget and Siobhan.  Bridget is a little closer to Buffy level casual.  She's a former stripper and recovering addict currently on the run from a dangerous killer, yes, but a likable, potentially talkative former stripper.  Bridget is scheduled to testify in court and is under FBI watch, before she can do that, though, she takes off, escaping to East Hampton with the help of her estranged sister Siobhan.  Siobhan appears to have it all.  She's the cold, calculating, manipulative Sarah Michelle Gellar we got a glimpse at in Cruel Intentions.  One thing leads to another, and after a great shot featuring the twins side by side in an infinity hall of mirrors, a supposed suicide finds Bridget assuming Siobhan's life in full.  The noir melodrama is palpable, the improbability equally so.  Still, Ringer is gripping in a B-movie, conspiracy sort of way.  It's easy to get involved in, namely because we find ourselves quickly worried that Bridget's lies will be revealed as she attempts to slip into Siobhan's pristine Louboutins.  There will be false deaths, there will be identity games, Gellar will look concerned, and I'm sure there will no doubt be twist after twist of the "I'm not who you think I am" sort thrown in down the line.  Right now, it promises evening soap hijinks and delivers in its first episode on all the extramarital affairs and high society scandals your little heart could possibly desire.  Ringer is what happens when you cross-pollinate Gossip Girl and Damages.  That's not a bad thing, really.  It just means it's going to be like crack for the female 18-45 demographic.


SECOND EPISODE?:  Yeah, I'll probably check it out again. 
WILL IT MAKE IT TO A SECOND SEASON?:  Yes. Undoubtedly.

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