Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

Bridget’s done a bad, bad thing. Oh, wait. Or was it Siobhan?

Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on primetime television this fall playing the duplicitous Bridget/Siobhan on CW50’s new drama, Ringer. We missed Sarah, but it was worth the wait because her new character(s) sure is naughty.

I viewed the pilot episode that sets up the series. Bridget has a sordid past. Stripping, drug addiction, prostitution. She’s six months sober and potentially in a relationship with her NA sponsor, Malcolm. She was the only eyewitness to a murder and is scheduled to give her testimony in court. Instead of attending trial, she roughs up a cop, steals his gun, and skips town. Dressed in her Rock Springs, Wyoming finest (a.k.a. jeans and a flannel), she heads to Long Island to visit her estranged twin sister, Siobhan.

Guess what? Siobhan’s life in New York is just as rocky. An emotionally distant husband, affairs, secrets. As disturbing events begin to unravel, Bridget wonders: “What have you done, Siobhan?” During a boat trip, Siobhan disappears. Suicide, perhaps? To avoid standing trial at home, Bridget “sees an opportunity and takes it.” She literally steps into Siobhan’s shoes and her upper class lifestyle. Will Bridget fool people into believing she’s Siobhan?

TV To Talk About

I have to admit; this series throws down a gritty, intriguing premise. When the pilot was over, I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen next. The writers, Nicole Snyder and co-executive producer Eric Charmelo, share writing credits on several episodes of another CW show, Supernatural. Their Ringer script is jam-packed with dark twists and plenty of drama. There’s a scene where Gellar tangles with an intruder. I had to smile, thinking about her previous prowess as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gellar isn’t afraid to tackle (pun intended) stage combat scenes.

Her acting skills have blossomed over the years, but I think a former stripper from a small town might not be as poised as she portrays Bridget. Aside from Siobhan’s fancy high heels, huge diamond wedding ring, and designer clothes, Gellar is tasked with an actor’s challenge of creating a marked distinction between the twin sisters. Gellar should toughen up her Bridget. I want street-wise and desperate. Gellar seems more at ease as an actress playing proper Siobhan. Stretch out of your comfort zone, Sarah.

The series is shot like a major motion film. High camera angles, chiaroscuro lighting. I’m disappointed technically in the scenes where Bridget and Siobhan appear together. They look staged and fake. However, for me, that didn’t take away from the pace, the tight storytelling, and decent acting. BTW, are there other actors in the series? I think Sarah Michelle Gellar appears in almost every scene of the pilot. I look forward to finding out more about the other characters, especially her relationship with best friend, Gemma (Tara Summers, Damages). What’s in store this season for the new CW chameleon?

Ringer airs Tuesdays from 9:00pm-10:00pm on CW50.

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