×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ringer

Sarah Michelle Gellar lands the enviable dual role of a former stripper facing witness protection who reconnects with her wealthy sister, only to have the latter abruptly disappear, leaving the confused woman to try walking a mile (or at least five seasons) in her Manolo Blahniks.

With:
Bridget/Siobhan - Sarah Michelle Gellar
Henry - Kristoffer Polaha
Andrew Martin - Ioan Gruffudd
Agent Victor Machado - Nestor Carbonell
Malcolm Ward - Mike Colter

In the rich treasure trove of evil-twin cinema, “Ringer” qualifies as a middle child. Sarah Michelle Gellar lands the enviable dual role of a former stripper facing witness protection who reconnects with her wealthy sister, only to have the latter abruptly disappear, leaving the confused woman to try walking a mile (or at least five seasons) in her Manolo Blahniks. There’s intrigue, murder and affairs all crammed into the busy premiere, but to survive even by CW standards will require a delicate balancing act that, based on first impressions, might be beyond “Ringer’s” reach.

Developed originally by CBS before finding a home at TV-niece CW, “Ringer” (no relation to ABC Family’s conceptual dead-ringer “The Lying Game”) is more grown-up than most of the netlet’s fare, though Gellar’s link to the channel’s history as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” still makes the show feel “on brand,” or whatever the kids call it these days.

Being pressured to testify regarding a mob hit, Gellar’s Bridget goes AWOL. Frightened, she takes refuge with sis Siobhan, who outwardly has the perfect life and has kept her existence a secret. So Bridget is understandably flustered when in the midst of reconnecting, her other half appears to commit suicide, leaving her to decipher Siobhan’s husband (Ioan Gruffudd), who seems baffled when she rather demurely kisses him.

Then there’s the little matter of Siobhan’s friends — including pal Gemma (Tara Summers), who suspects her hubby (Kristoffer Polaha) of having an affair — plus the question of who’s trying to kill her, and the government agent (Nestor Carbonell) who remains in hot pursuit of Bridget.

The producers have lots of fun with split-screens and stand-ins to realize Bridget and Siobhan’s scenes together (though I’ll miss the uncorrected pilot’s awful green-screen effects), but the larger mystery — as Bridget sorts through her sibling’s complicated life via the tidbits others divulge — is the real gist of the show. And that’s an alluring if fragile fishing line on which to hang these soapy proceedings.

Gellar certainly has a prime profile for such an enterprise, but as initially written, her double role isn’t as meaty as it could be, primarily leaving her to react to fast-moving events thrown her way.

Adopting a kitchen-sink approach, “Ringer” dumps out so many bread crumbs at the outset it’s hard not to wonder where they might lead. The flip side of that, though, is the risk that viewers will gradually give up the scavenger hunt if those crumbs are not arranged just right.

At a glance, there’s little mystery why CW leapt at the chance to add “Ringer” to its arsenal; still, any resemblance between the pilot and a truly addictive, first-rate soap/mystery is by no means identical.

Ringer

CW, Tues., Sept. 13, 9 p.m.

Production: Credits: Filmed in New York (pilot) and Los Angeles by Green Eggs and Pam Prods., B & Company Television and ABC Studios in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers, Pam Veasey, Jon Liebman, Joanne Colonna, Peter Traugott, Richard Shepard; co-executive producers, Rachel Kaplan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eric Charmelo, Nicole Snyder; producer, James Bigwood; director, Shepard; writers, Charmelo, Snyder.

Crew: Camera, Sarah Cawley; production designer, Lester Cohen; editor, Byron Smith; music, Gabriel Mann; casting, Mark Saks. 60 MIN.

Cast: Bridget/Siobhan - Sarah Michelle Gellar
Henry - Kristoffer Polaha
Andrew Martin - Ioan Gruffudd
Agent Victor Machado - Nestor Carbonell
Malcolm Ward - Mike Colter
With: Tara Summers.

More TV

  • Mira Sorvino Rory Culkin

    TV News Roundup: Mira Sorvino, Rory Culkin Join Quibi Series 'Emma'

    In today’s TV news roundup, Quibi announces new cast members for horror series “Emma” and Nickelodeon renews “Blue’s Clues and You!”  CASTINGS Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Rory Culkin have been cast in supporting roles in Quibi’s latest horror series “Emma.” The two are joined by Hannah Murray (“Game of Thrones”) and Michael Gaston (“Man [...]

  • Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Says She's Been Pressured to Do Nude Scenes After 'Game of Thrones'

    Emilia Clarke revealed that she’s been pressured to do nude scenes on projects following her role as the occasionally nude Daenerys Targaryen on “Game of Thrones.” Now a seasoned actor, Clarke is quick to shut down producers who won’t respect her boundaries. “I’m a lot savvier with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am [...]

  • CBS Makes Streaming News Available to

    CBS Makes Streaming News Available to Affiliates

    Any news junkie in need of a live-Information fix can toggle on to any number of streaming news outlets. Now, TV stations affiliated with CBS can do the same. CBS News told affiliates in a memo Tuesday that it would allow them to use live coverage from its CBSN streaming-video hub to keep news events [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    The Star of 'The Mandalorian:' Baby Yoda

    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for the first two episodes of “The Mandalorian,” if wish to be surprised you do, only annoyance will you find.  BB-8 and the Ewoks can step aside with the latest expansion of the “Star Wars” universe with Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian.” There’s a new addition to the long list [...]

  • Vikings S4 Finale

    'Vikings' Sequel Series Set at Netflix From Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart

    Fans of the History series “Vikings” rejoice! Netflix has ordered the follow up series titled “Vikings: Valhalla,” which will be set 100 years after the conclusion of the original show. The sixth and final season of “Vikings” on History is set to debut on Dec. 4. “Valhalla” will be executive produced by “Vikings” creator Michael [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Sets Molly Solomon to Oversee Olympics Production, Replacing Jim Bell

    NBC’s Tokyo Olympics has a new contestant. Molly Solomon, a veteran sports producer who has been with NBC since 1990, has been tapped as the new executive producer of NBCUniversal’s Olympics broadcast, one of the most important production jobs at the Comcast-owned media conglomerate. She begins her new role immediately, with just months to go [...]

  • Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime

    Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime 'Yellowjackets' Pilot

    Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” pilot is rounding out its cast. The network has announced that “Camping” star Juliette Lewis and original “Addams Family” actor Christina Ricci have boarded the project as series regulars, joining already announced cast members Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown. “Yellowjackets” tells the story of a team of talented high school [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content