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PILOT REVIEW: Ringer


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Image via Wikipedia

Ringer
“Pilot”
CBS
By Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder (Supernatural)
Grade: B+

I’m a huge Sarah Michelle Gellar fan. I’m an even bigger Buffy fan. Ringer is not Buffy. Nor is it your typical CBS procedural. That’s okay. If you’re expecting anything remotely similar to the vampire-slaying feminist manifesto that is Buffy, you’re out of luck. However, if you’re interested in a well-done, if slightly soapy, character drama, Ringer succeeds.

Ringer centers on Bridget Cafferty, a woman whose found herself on the wrong side of the tracks. Not only is she is rehab, but she’s also on the run from a very powerful mob lord. After she seeks asylum from her wealthy rich sister, Siobhan Marx, Bridget begins to pose as Siobhan in order to escape the authorities. Right here is one of the first grievances I have with the pilot: After Siobhan is presumed dead, Bridget falls into Siobhan’s life relatively easily, even though they haven’t spoken in years. Siobhan is a socialite with a husband and a step-daughter. Bridget is a recovering drug addict who is used to a poll and a street corner. Yet besides some vague references to how different she is, no one suspects something’s truly afoot. Yes, Bridget is Siobhan’s twin. Yet the idea is so soapy that it’s hard to take seriously – twin sisters impersonating each other?  It’s even harder to understand given how different their lives have become.

Yet if anyone can pull of this duplicitous role, it’s Gellar. The actual dialog and flow of the pilot works extremely well, setting up an intriguing mystery within Bridget’s new found world. If it weren’t for the grievances I have with the premise, Ringer would be competing for my top network drama pilot. Charmelo and Snyder build a wondering cast of characters who pop off the page. It’s a bit slow, but it’s supposed to be; the audience and Bridget are discovering this world together. And it’s possible that none of these people truly know Siobhan. Her husband hints at a recent falling out, and Siobhan herself is evasive enough to suggest that it’s almost impossible to know her, truly. My initial reservations with the premise could prove unsubstantiated as the series progresses, but that remains to be seen.

In some ways, it’s odd that Ringer is a CBS show – there are very few procedural elements apparent. Yet it also shows hints of The Good Wife as a strong, female-centered character drama. I’m curious to see if CBS picks it up, and if so, where it lands on its schedule.

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3 Responses

  1. maybe on friday night?

  2. The concept sounds ridiculously soapy, but it’s Sarah, so I’m there. But on CBS?

    I’d rather have watched The Wonderful Maladies though.

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