Monday, July 25, 2011

Sarah Michelle Gellar Returns to TV in “Ringer”... playing twins. Yes, Please.

The title of this post was about all anyone knew about the upcoming thriller/mystery series developed by CBS for sister cable network CW until Comic Con 2011, but even that was exciting news for some of us. It has been eight years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air, and fans spent quite a bit of that near-decade wondering when we'd see Sarah Michelle Gellar in anything on TV again. The teaser trailer that premiered at San Diego Comic Con International gives us a whole lot of information, and even if it isn't science fiction, it looks like Ringer could be really pretty good. Some of the setup is familiar territory, a story about two sisters who look alike and lead very different lives, one wealthy and one destitute, but both of them have had hard lives and face real problems that are about to catch up with them.

One of the more popular images, showing both sisters, in a way.

Ringer will premiere on Tuesday, September 13th, and in addition to Sarah Michelle Gellar playing twin sisters Siobhan and Bridget, the cast will feature Nestor Carbonell (known as Richard Alpert on LOST) playing Victor Machado, an FBI agent assigned to track and protect Bridget. Other supporting cast members are Siobhan's husband Andrew Martin (Ioan Gruffud) and her lover Henry Gallagher (Kristoffer Polaha). From the trailer, we can also see that Mike Colter will be playing Bridget's AA sponsor, but it is difficult to tell at this point how large a role that character will have in the series as a whole.

Bridget is a woman whose life is a mess, she is poor, struggling with addictions and consistently makes poor choices that get her into trouble, on occasion needing to turn to prostitution in order to survive. She's trying to pull her life back together when she witnesses a murder that pulls her into an FBI investigation concerning the Mafia. She reluctantly agrees to testify in order to qualify for witness protection, but she has little faith that the system won't let her down again and the men who want to make sure she never gets to the stand will eventually find and kill her. She is contacted by her wealthy and estranged sister and the offer to visit and mend fences provides her with a potential way out.

So many of the early plot twists seem to have already been
given away, I'm curious to see the specific other mysteries in  the series.

Siobhan and Bridget reconnect as best they can, sorting out their past and the six years they haven't seen each other, and Bridget is at first enamored with the wealth and power her twin's life has brought her. Shortly, however, it becomes apparent that Siobhan's life isn't perfect either and she is struggling under the weight of problems all her own. When the sisters take a boating trip out, Bridget discovers that Siobhan has taken her own life out at sea, leaving behind her wedding ring. Deciding quickly that being at the center of another criminal investigation isn't what she wants in her already complicated life, Bridget makes the snap decision to put the ring on and pretend to be her identical twin sister. She'll let everyone from the FBI to the Mafia believe that it was her who died in a tragic boating accident.

Her choice puts her into a position to learn, one secret at a time, that she may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. People, including her sister's husband and the man she is having an affair with allude to things that they believe she already knows, and she begins to piece together why her sister committed suicide. She pushes deeper and deeper into the secrets around her sister's life and the dangerous events she was involved in, and quickly realizes that if she can't puzzle out exactly what is going on, she is no safer in her sister's life than she was in her own, money or not. While she deals with this, the FBI agent assigned to the witness protection program she “died” before making it into is investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding her “death.”

By the end of the currently available promotional materials, we've been shown a lot of action, modern film noir-style mystery and a show based around the secrets and hidden motivations of the ensemble. It is even suggested that Siobhan may have been the one faking her own death, and each sister traded one set of problems for the others, and it isn't clear at all who got the worse end of the deal. Sarah Michelle Gellar has done a few interviews on these points, and assure long-time fans that the intelligence of the fans that she is used to from her days on Buffy will not be insulted by this show. She further insists that every mystery has an answer and every secret an explanation; the writes and producers won't be making anything up as they go along, or answering questions with more questions.

There's a lot of familiar territory here, but the setup is really interesting to me, and I'll be looking forward to seeing specifically how the story plays out. I'm a sucker for a good mystery and a fan of film noir in general, so if the characters are well-written enough to make me care about them, this one will be a show that I'll be keeping up with. I have a lot of faith in the actors who have been cast in this, and the announcement that the series would be airing on the CW rather than on CBS is good news for the potential of a show that isn't reality TV to survive for more than a season. Sarah Michelle Gellar said that she'd wanted to return to TV for these eight years she was off it, but she was waiting for the right project to come along. This fall, we'll see if it was all worth the wait.
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Electric Addict said...

she's hot

Alpha said...

I'll pass

Timothy said...

I remember this plotline as an episode of Law & Order; it doesn't seem like enough to fill out a series. And while I haven't seen (I wasn't interested to see) the trailer, the TV teaser spots made the show look like it was produced on the cheap.
You may know that I am very up front with my dedication to certain actors (or at least to one Canadian actor), so I get being excited to see one return from a long absence. I just don't see this as being a good project for SMG.

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