‘Ringer’ Series Premiere Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 14th, 2011 at 11:12 am,

Sarah Michelle Gellar Ringer CW Ringer Series Premiere Review

Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to The CW in the new thriller Ringer, and while the series is a far cry from the vampire staking antics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the premiere of this dark mystery of assumed identity should still attract throngs of Gellar devotees – but can it keep them tuning in?

Let’s be honest; the draw of Ringer is seeing Gellar back on television after eight years without her. Thankfully, SMG isn’t the only draw. Ringer producers have assembled a top-notch cast, which includes familiar faces like former Mr. Fantastic Ioan Gruffudd, and the Mayor of Gotham City, Nestor Carbonell – with Kristoffer Polaha taking a drastic turn from his role on the teen-centric drama Life Unexpected as Henry, a man sharing a secret with Siobhan (Gellar).

So how does Ringer play out? Well, if you’ve been following, you’ll know that Ringer is the story of estranged twin sisters: the über-rich Siobhan and the troubled, recovering addict Bridget (also Gellar). The series has been teasing the seemingly simple premise that Bridget has assumed the identity of her missing – and presumed dead – twin.

Though it sounds like someone is trying to put a dark spin on The Parent Trap, Ringer quickly proves that the world in which Gellar finds herself is not so black and white – but it’s not all that complex, either.

Ringer begins in Wyoming where Bridget is under the protective custody of F.B.I. Agent Victor Machado (Carbonell) while waiting to testify against the crime boss who she witnessed committing a murder. Things go south quickly, and Bridget finds herself on the run from the law and the mob – seeking refuge with her alienated sibling in New York.

The mystery of what drove them apart is briefly teased before Siobhan offers a seemingly obligatory exoneration to Bridget – and then, hours later, appears to have drowned while the sisters went boating. Desperate, Bridget does what any down-on-her-luck identical twin would do in the face of such tragedy – assume the identity of the now deceased twin, of course.

ringer series premiere the cw Ringer Series Premiere Review

Given that Ringer has a great deal of plot that needs to be explained in the series premiere, it was pleasant to see how the episode actually took off like a rocket, and included a few of the twists that series creators Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder (Supernatural) say will be a big part of Ringer‘s draw.

As mentioned before, Ringer does a great job of setting up the series’ premise, while providing enough information about the world Bridget is trying to leave – and the one she is entering – without being bogged down by too much expository dialogue.

Sure, there are points where Bridget and Siobahn’s exchanges border on tedious, but the inherent importance of the siblings’ fractured relationship – and how it will play into the continuation of the season – more than accommodates for any slowdown in Ringer‘s pace.

However, the interaction between the two is also the episode’s weakest point. In this day of cutting edge special effects, the back-and-forth editing between Bridget and Siobhan looks downright sophomoric. Additionally, the dialogue feels stilted and forced – as though Gellar is all too aware her performance will only be made whole later on.

Case in point: the scene in which Siobhan and Bridget go boating seems to be actively working to convince the audience these are not two separate characters. Furthermore, the scene is not only incongruent with the look and feel the program has already established, but is so utterly convenient that it practically spells out the final twist at the end of the episode.

Provided Ringer limits the amount of time Bridget and Siobhan share the screen, it will likely find a more solid performance from Gellar – and an audience more willing to take the program seriously and believe what is happening.

Sarah Michell Gellar Ringer Pilot Photo CW Ringer Series Premiere Review

Therein lies the other challenge for Ringer, however. As the series relies heavily on the fact that all (or at least most) of the characters believe Bridget to be Siobhan, the ease with which Bridget assimilates into a world she arguably knows nothing about creates the effect that Siobhan’s friends and family aren’t altogether bright or observant, leaving the audience unsure what to feel about them.

Sure, Siobhan’s husband Andrew (Gruffudd) suspects something is amiss, which will likely be more drawn out later in the series, but other people with whom Siobhan had been intimate are conveniently none the wiser. Still, a viewer’s disbelief in Bridget’s Jason Bourne-like assimilation skills could very well be trumped – or thrown out the window altogether – if the series amps up the entertainment level by constantly throwing a wrench into the audience’s assumptions about each character.

Should Charmelo and Snyder deftly navigate the tightrope that is a television mystery (i.e., the perfect balance of lingering questions and shocking reveals) Ringer could easily become a show worth sticking with.

For now, Ringer is a fun mystery that is hindered by some glitches and limitations (technical and otherwise), which can easily be ironed out as the series progresses. While there is concern as to how sustainable this mystery series can be, hopefully the writers and producers can make it worth sustaining.

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Ringer airs Tuesdays @9pm on The CW.

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  1. Bette Davis’1964 ‘Dead Ringer’, same exact concept.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057997/ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057997/
    Any of you remember?…

  2. Gave up halfway through the episode, it was too cheesy to bear.

  3. At first the show was little bit boring but picked up after ten minutes. I think if the writers can keep this up with the confusion of characters with a plot always turning it will be a great show.

  4. The boat scene was laughable, I was going to give up if it weren’t for that final scene, which I had no idea would happen since I haven’t been following the show. I’ll definitely stay tuned to see where this goes.

    Besides The CW has a track record of having awful pilots and then they pick it up in later episodes, apperantly the pilot for The Secret Circle is almost unwatchable.

    • IMO CW has a track record for having awful shows period not just their pilots. Some of the worse non reality shows of the last 5 years have all been CW shows. Other than Supernatural IMO there is nothing worth watching on the station.

      • Hmm, forgot about supernatural.

        Anyway there was Aliens in America which was unfairly cancelled after one season despite being better then most other teen shows.
        Oh and Nikita and Vampire Diaries, the last one is probably a guilty pleasure pick though.

        • Oh, and Smallville and Reaper.
          guess I actually like The CW.

          • Jose lol funny thing is I agreed with you until this most recent post. I hate the CW. I love Supernatural so much and I plan to give Ringer a chance, but I hate everything else the Network has done. I think Twilight is awful and IMO Vampire diaries is twice as bad. Nikita is nothing more than “Hey watch this attractive girl do things” it lacks any charm, character or interesting plot. It’s just a dumb stare at attractive action chick show. Couldn’t stand Smallville because no one knew how to do what they were suppose to do the actors other than the guy playing Lex sucked especially Welling and the writers clearly couldn’t write a decent plot or even one that made sense.

            I’ll admit I have not seen Reaper. I planned to but after it ended I decided not to. I didn’t think it looked good, but it did get good reviews and it looked like it might be at least sort of ok, but the last thing I need is another show I like that was cancelled really early before it got a chance to do anything. I already have Firefly, Jericho and 50 other shows that I’m sure are all better. I love tv but it is hard to be a fan of television sometimes.

            • I loved Supernatural, but I felt it overstayed its welcome and its latest season felt like it was tacked on and it didn’t feel organic. I gave up like halfway through last season.

              I feel the opposite with you on Nikita, enjoyed Smallvile, and as for Vampire diaries, well geesh don’t know how to defend that one, other then I don’t feel its anything like Twilight.

              Oh and I recomend you check out Aliens in America and Reaper,yes reviews were good, but Vampire Diaries also got good reviews.

              P.S. I gave Ringer a second viewing, unless they add some beleivable dialogue and make it more “noir” like Gellar says it is and less soapy, its not gonna last lang.

  5. Haha…CW’s Ringer = adult version of ABCF’s The Lying Game.

    Similar plot twists…and, similar twisted “I’m your twin sister and I’m going to be intimate with the guy you have been intimate with…” Just similarly stupid.

  6. Yawn. Boring.

  7. Wasn’t this a Law & Order episode? C’mon, maybe you stretch this into a 2 hour movie but a whole series?

    No thanks, I’ll pass

  8. As long as Sarah doesnt wear herself out with this new series. I expect her to be in top shape when they finally bring back Buffy.

    • Sadly that will never happen. Everyone has moved on. Best we will get is a lousy reboot with new actors and even that isn’t likely given the lack of interest.

      • I know in my head, but in my heart I believe….

        • I liked Buffy alot, but I felt it concluded well and it didn’t really leave a void especially since season 7 showed a clear drop in quality anyway, but had a good finale.

          Angel however held on to hope forever until about 2 years ago and I finally gave up. I held up we would finally get the Angel and or Spike movie we were promised, but never got. I liked Buffy alot, but Angel is my second fave show of all time I thought it was a huge step up from Buffy which was great as it was.

          • An Angel and Spike movie was promised? That’s the first I heard of it.

            • Jose

              When they cancelled Angel the WB promised Joss a few TV movies, but they never actually let him make them. He said he planned to make an Angel movie and a Spike movie as well. James said though that if it didn’t start with in a certain Time Frame he wouldn’t do it because he was getting to be far to old to play an ageless Vampire.

              • Wasn’t aware of that until now, it would’ve been interesting to see a movie but I was ok with how the show ended.

                • It was a good finale, but i would of preferred more it deserved more. Unlike Buffy it ended on it’s best season yet and could of easily gone at least 2 more years.

                  • I’ve read that Whedon was holding out for a two year contact with the WB, while they only wanted to renew it for another year and go from there. Ended up being a stale mate so the WB cancelled it. Second most stupid decison on tv after Fox cancelled Firefly.

                    At one point there was talk of a Faith spin-ff untill Eliza ended up doing that stupid Tru Calling show.

                    • What actually happened was that they hadn’t decided to pick it up for another season yet or not and it was getting near time to write the last episode. Joss needed to know right away if it was picked up or not because he needed to know how to make the finale episode. The head of WB at the time was a stubborn jerk and decided that since Joss rushed him he was going to cancel it.

                      The Co after him said it was the single biggest mistake in the history of the network.

  9. I found it tedious, poorly acted, and switched channels about halfway through. Though I’ll tune in once more to see if it gets better. I just hope the McGuffin in this doesn’t go the way of “Dallas” (just kidding, the entire season was a dream) or “Lost” (they’re all dead).

    My greatest fear: the whole series is the hallucination of a schizophrenic.

    It was far more entertaining on the always-original “St. Elsewhere” when the whole series turned out to a fantasy in the mind of an autistic boy.

  10. AWFUL. RIDICULOUS PREMISE, LAUGHABLE ACTING BY ALL INVOLVED, TYPICAL AMERICAN DRECK. IS EVERY CHARACTER ALWAYS REQUIRED TO LOOK LIKE A SUPERMODEL? I MADE IT THROUGH 30 MINUTES OF WASTED TIME; BY THEN I WAS PRAYING THAT EVERY ACTOR WOULD DIE IN A FIERY CAR CRASH IN ORDER TO PUT THIS CRINGEWORTHY GARBAGE OUT OF ITS MISERY. I’LL WAIT FOR DOWNTON ABBEY NEXT WEEK AND PROMISE MYSELF TO NEVER AGAIN EVEN TRY OUT ANOTHER AMERICAN TV SHOW. tHEY ARE UNIVERSALLY S-T-U-P-I-D. YUK!

    • TODO

      The Majority of the worlds best shows are american. Most other countries don’t even make TV or they make melodramatic soap operas. The UK is the only other place that makes good TV and still far less than America mostly because they have far fewer shows.

      Bash American TV all you want, but you are simply wrong. American TV has The Wire, The Shield, Breaking bad, Sons of Anarky, Buffy , Angel, Firefly, Mad Me, Californication, Dexter, Dead Wood, Rescue Me , Star Trek TNG and many more.

  11. Love Sarah Michelle Gellar, the show not so much. Too cotton candy, needs some grit to it.

  12. Maybe the other viewer comments are right. Maybe she is just dreaming this and she is really somebody else. Maybe and hopefully that she is really either Buffy or she is Faith in Buffy’s body. I am just following the clues that relate or could relate back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I hope that through flashbacks maybe will see the Scooby Gang.

  13. I really like the series, Ringer. The above review was obviously wrtitten by an intelligent person but I don’t care what anybody says, I find this series very entertaining and I am so glad it wasn’t cancelled.

  14. Has anyone else given up on this program? I can’t keep the “twins” separated–too confusing. Sorry–but I stopped watching in the middle of ast nights episode – Feb. 7, 2012.

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