When I first heard about Ringer, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Sarah Michelle Gellar is, of course, TV’s Sweetheart after her epic portrayal of Buffy; but I had some reservations about her small screen comeback. First of which, the fact that this show is airing on the CW. Any network that will give Tyra Banks her own show should be burned to the ground, but I digress.
The premise of the show seemed a little stale to me. Gellar plays a double role of Bridget and Siobhan, estranged twin sisters who are reunited after drug addict/prostitute Bridget becomes the only witness to a murder, and is on the run from the man involved. Moments after catching up, Bridget awakes on a boat (presumably drugged) to find Siobhan missing, allegedly having killed herself. So Bridget, trying to escape her old, unsafe life, takes Siobhan’s identity. Kind of like Face-Off meets The Parent Trap.
The pilot was just kind of there. It wasn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as good, either. The pilot was very plot heavy; and while the pacing was alright, I didn’t really believe the characters. There’s something oddly compelling about watching a person try to live another person’s life, but the performance fell a little flat with me. Gellar was likable enough, but her character Bridget came across as a shrinking violet, blending into the background with her confusion and weakness.
And, as we learn at the end of this episode, is not dead, and was plotting to kill Bridget the entire time. Her cold villainy was almost comical; like she should be stroking a cat and twiddling her mustache. Her motivation seemingly stemmed from the fact that Bridget appears to have been responsible for the death of Sean, who we are lead to believe was Siobhan’s son.
One thing we have to keep in mind is that this is a pilot. Think of the pilot like a preface. It sets up the story without delving too much into it. As the next few episodes air, we may have the opportunity to get some insight into these characters; and I hope we do. Gellar has quite a task ahead of her in making not one, but two characters real and believable. As much as we all loved her in Buffy, I’m not sure she has the chops to carry the show; and I’m not really convinced that the writing material will give the show the edge it needs to keep it from being hokey and predictable. We need to see more development of characters, more action, and more double-crossing! It does however have all the elements necessary for an old school film noir feel…
I give this pilot 3/5 bears for potential.