Ringer – “Pilot”

Ringer – “Pilot

So Sarah Michelle Gellar achieved major success with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has been in a couple movies since the show ended, like The Grudge and the Scooby Doo films (as well as several lower-profile films and voice over roles) but she hasn’t really done the movie star thing. Well she’s back to the medium that gave her her celebrity in the first place (before Buffy she had a role on All My Children) for the new CW series Ringer.

The show begins en media res because it seems like every new show does these days. I don’t think watching Gellar being chased by a thug at the beginning of the episode really added much of anything that wasn’t there already when the same exact scene happens at the end. Anyway once the story proper stars we are introduced to Gellar’s character Bridget. She is a recovering addict and former stripper who is also a federal witness against a mobster who murdered one of her fellow dancers. However, she ditches the FBI agents who guards her and heads to the Hamptons to reunite with her twin sister Siobhan (also Gellar). There’s some alluded to unpleasantness in their past (that seems to involve Siobhan’s probably-deceased son). Siobhan forgives Bridget and they spend a couple badly-split-screened scenes catching up before they go out boating. Bridget apparently passes out and when she wakes up, Siobhan is gone. Her wedding ring is left behind and some of her clothes are floating in the water. So it looks like she’s dead (but really… come on. Everyone knows nobody is ever dead on TV unless you see the body… even then, it’s iffy…)

So in her grief, naturally identity theft is the first thing that occurs to Bridget. However she learns a lot of things about Manhattan socialite Siobhan, and most of them aren’t very good. Her marriage to husband Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) is completely loveless and she’s having an affair with her best friend’s husband. It seems like more soap opera than the noir story that the advertisements indicated. Bridget also learns by phone that Siobhan was/is pregnant leading her to respond “I’m pregnant?” within earshot of Andrew. I am somewhat curious how this is going to play out over the season because it’d be pretty difficult to fake a pregnancy. Glee got away with it because that show is practically a cartoon, but even there it lasted months longer than it should have taken anyone with half a brain to figure out the score. The mystery of the show rears its head at the end when the aforementioned thug attacked Bridget. Bridget naturally assumes it’s one of the mobster’s goons looking for her but after she subdues the thug she learns the target is indeed Siobhan. The big “surprise” at the end is that Siobhan isn’t dead (go figure) and is somehow orchestrating some sort of scheme.

Solely on the basis of the pilot I’m not sure this show is going anywhere but I will check out a couple episodes to give it a shot. The only really compelling question is about just what the hell the missing sister is up to, and that’s one barely touched on in the first episode. The fake pregnancy needs to be resolved quickly (fake miscarriage?). Also the idea that Siobhan’s stepdaughter is a recreational drug user, thusly providing an opportunity to relapse for recovering addict Bridget is teased. I think that there may be an interesting show in here somewhere but I think it will probably get lost among the subplots and boring tone. There’s a recurring visual motif with mirrors and Gellar (as one sister or the other) staring at her own reflection (get it? Because there’s two of her!) and it seems to be the perfect example of the show’s self-seriousness. This show doesn’t seem like very much fun and a film noir/soap opera with the girl from Buffy should be fun.

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