Ringer

Warning. It’s nigh on impossible to review Ringer without at least a few Spoilers, but I will stick to the ones that occur in the first act and avoid the later turning points.

This series is all about Sarah Michelle Gellar or, perhaps even two SMGs.

It marks her return to a series role following her hit series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So successful in that role was she that she still holds a passionate fanbase. A lot of vampire blood has passed since 2003 so hopefully they are ready to embrace her in a new role and a new genre.

We open in Wyoming, a state frequently overlooked by television in favor of the backdrops of LA, New York, Florida, Hawaii and the deep south.

Bridget (Gellar) is a recovering addict and ex-stripper, rebuilding her life via therapy sessions with a self-help group. But Bridget is also under a Witness Protection plan run by FBI Agent Victor Machado (Lost‘s Richard Alpert).

Otherwise laying low in a motel room ahead of testifying in a murder trial against a mob leader, she’s not convinced she is safe and makes a getaway to meet her twin sister Siobhan, whom she hasn’t seen in six years.

Siobhan (also played by Gellar) is a New York socialite who’s never revealed to husband Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) that Bridget exists. When the twins take time out in The Hamptons there’s a lot of mysterioso stuff about what went on in the past and allusions to their sibling rift.

But when Siobhan disappears at sea during an afternoon on a speedboat, Bridget makes a convenient switch by adopting her sister’s lifestyle hoping nobody will notice the difference. Hey presto, new life solved.

Yep, this premise is the stuff of Mills and Boons novels, or even an episode of The Bold and The Beautiful, as we parachute into the lifestyle of the wealthy on the back of a lie.

She’s on the run, dodging killers and cops, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and doing her best to fake it with Siobhan’s family and friends. In this sense Ringer is an escapist thriller, more soap than action, more style than substance and more aspiration than perspiration.

Nevertheless, Gellar still holds up rather well as a more mature female heroine than her sexy bad-ass juvenile Buffy. You can almost forgive some of the unsophisticated dialogue merely for the fact that she’s back on the small screen. Aside from a few twists and turns in the Pilot episode there’s not a lot of subtlety here. Contemporary pop tunes smooth over the logic.

Having Gellar double as herself in Bewitched-style scenes is passable stuff, but whoever gave a green-screen speedboat scene the tick of approval needs to go back to CGI school. It’s up there with the worst of them.

Gellar does most of the heavy lifting here, with Ioan Gruffudd suitably unlikable as her instant husband and demonstrating that all was not well in Siobhan’s life. Others including Carbonell and therapy-group buddy Malcolm (Mike Colter) look like they will have more to do as episodes unfold.

Hiding out from the mob is hardly new terrain. I remember Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon doing it with hilarious results in Some Like it Hot, or Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. Ringer has some hi-jinks but there’s none of the humour.

Gellar is also an Executive Producer of this story, created by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder (Supernatural, Love You to Death). I’m not convinced it will enjoy the same success as Buffy, but it’s good to have her back.

Ringer airs 9:30pm Sundays on TEN

33 Comments:

  1. i love this show..and i do hope it doesnt get axed like alot of the good shows they tend to air at thw wrong time or day..not to mention for ever interrupted by some special event that pops up..cant wait for the nxt ep..

  2. I love this show. It keeps me on edge waiting for the next twist. I do think it’s on the wrong night and the timeslot is off. I tend to watch it online along with Person of Interest and Gossip Girl.

    I find it frustrating that there is no rhythm to the plan from each station to the shows each night. There are no warnings when a timeslot or channel has been changed and not all ‘current’ shows are online, yet we have ridiculous shows like Huey and the upcoming Good Chef/Bad Chef! Where is Everyday Gourmet? It was much better than that buffoon Huey.

    Btw – what happened to Covert Affairs…? Another awesome show that has vanished. It’s crazy, one off week and the shows get axed or moved.

  3. Finally watched the first episode last night and I have to say I’m way out of step with fellow reviewers. I thought it was pretty woeful and gave it the flick after 30min. The boat scene was as bad as described but some of the writing and plots were just awful. I pulled the plug after the mysterious man finally met up with SMG for a pash, after several shots of him looking at her from a distance with the obligatory heavy music.
    However, because so many of the TT reviewers say it gets better with each episode, I’m going to try and watch the next episode.

  4. For the time slot, the show had quite a high debut.. I don’t think channel 10 was expecting more, considering terra nova (which has a considerably higher production budget) is only just making it over the million which aires before Ringer.

    I guess as a hardcore buffy fan I was expecting a lot more but will watch the season in anticipation just to give SMG the loyal fan dedication.

    Definitely have to agree with the definition for the boat scene, the worst I have seen in years But it did make me think “Oh Crap, Do I need a new tv?”

    All in all i’ll be watching and everyone else should too 🙂

  5. @ Josh I too would have went nowhere near this show until I saw your comment and thought I would give it a go despite thinking I would be changing the channel before the first commercial break. But now I’m also addicted, kept me glued as well, couldn’t believe how good it was and can’t wait for the next episode.

    It sort of reminds me of one of those 70’s made for TV movies which had similar plot, style and premise. Just hope it keeps up but I doubt many people will be watching for the same reasons I was hesitant about tuning in and will probably be shafted within a few weeks.

  6. @TVLuna
    What’s really funny and ironic about your post is that you say that Channel Ten won’t do it justice and will just send it to Eleven– Yet you urge people to watch it online or wait for the DVD. Pretty sure that’s the reason why Channel Ten would send it to Eleven- because viewers like yourself tell people to watch it online and because Ringer won’t get higher ratings, Channel Ten will move it to Eleven.

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