I really, really want Sarah Michelle Gellar’s new fall series Ringer to be great. I just might need it to be great. I became an unsettling amount of invested in the show the very moment I read about it, and my hopes are approaching sky-high by this point. Ringer is a compelling mystery thriller about identical twins Bridget and Siobhan (great names). Bridget’s the screwed-up, recovering alcoholic twin; Siobhan’s the wealthy, composed twin. Once Siobhan disappears, Bridget adopts Siobhan’s identity in order to escape her own problems—only to discover that Siobhan’s life is more dangerous and complicated than it seems. SMG plays both twins, naturally.
Great hook, right? Writers and co-creators Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Synder did some eps of Supernatural, a show that gets a lot of well-deserved love ‘round these parts. I dig SMG’s co-stars: Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Nestor Carbonell (Lost) and Kristoffer Polaha (Mad Men) are each fairly rad in their own way, and I’m happy to see all three in a new project. I love a good mystery show; I find something quaint and nostalgic about following a mystery on my television from week to week, gathering and discarding plot clues and waiting eagerly for the next reveal. I’m always searching for a new solid mystery program, and my expectations for The Killing have been somewhat dashed. I have both high hopes and reservations about Ringer airing on The CW. The See-Dub isn’t afraid to embrace the off-beat, and the network certainly isn’t one to cancel a show without giving it a chance to grow. That said, there are obviously budget issues for the network and plenty of CW shows are asinine, but I appreciate their branching out into more mature programming.
But who am I kidding? The real reason I’m geeked about Ringer is that I miss Buffy. Yes, I miss Buffy the show, but dammit, I miss Buffy the woman. I literally gasped aloud when I read the words “Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television.” Every week for seven years, SMG played a flawed, funny and relatable heroine to perfection. Joss’s writing obviously contributes a ton to the character’s strength, but Gellar’s fresh, vulnerable performance makes even the worst-written eps of Buffy appealing. I rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on a constant loop, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to say that I’ve missed SMG on my small screen, but it’s true nonetheless. Gellar’s been in several movies since the end of Buffy, but it’s pretty universally true that female roles are more substantial and rewarding on television than in films. And I just feel that SMG’s thing—the crooked smile, wry voice and tough girliness she owns—works better in a serialized narrative. She’s not about huge melodrama or overt glamour. She’s subtle and droll, and she shines brightest when revealing layers of her character over time. I’m fully stoked to see her portray not one but two intriguing new characters on my TV each week, and I only pray to the small screen gods that this is the show that deserves her.
All of that aside, I’m aware that there’s a good chance Ringer will fail. The trailer (which is no longer available through legal channels, but you can check it out here. Beware of spoilers!) is heavy on the histrionics and the clunky mirror analogies. And every year I get excited about a few new shows that often eventually disappoint me. But if Smidge waited this long to return to the format and the fans that love her, biding her time for eight years until she found the right script, you can bet I’ll be there for her homecoming. I hope I’m not alone.
So what do you guys think about Ringer? Am I crazy to get my hopes up? Are you geeking out too?
You can read more from Meredith at www.dannyisnthere.com.