The Concept – Bridget is a recovering drug addict former stripper (prostitute?) who’s about to testify against a scary bloke who murdered someone. The night before trial she flees the police and runs to New York where she reconnects with her identical twin sister. Siobhan is living the high life and snooty. Then Siobhan commits suicide and Bridget decides the safest thing to do is take over her sister’s life. Except that Siobhan’s life is far from straightforward.
Ringer has a slightly troubled past, it was originally pitched as a major network show but eventually found its way to The CW. The problem is that The CW is a much smaller network with correspondingly much smaller budgets. And herein lies the biggest problem with Ringer – it looks cheap.
While the wonderful Sarah Michelle Gellar is anything but cheap, exuding star quality and is enough to drag in a lot of Buffy fans to the show, everything else about the show is just a bit tacky. Almost immediately I was jarred by the heavy handed use of music and overuse of mirrors and it only got worse. The green screening is atrocious throughout, when SMG is playing both characters on screen at the same time it never feels as if they’re actually connected at all and there is an utterly awful scene on a boat with a CGI sea, a mediocre wind machine and awful Star Trek-esque bouncing up and down. It was horrific and completely ruined one of the few scenes with the sisters together.
If not for the cruddy production values I might have been more forgiving of the ridiculous plot. These sister’s have barely spoken for years, but Bridget can step into Siobhan’s life without anyone noticing. Not Siobhan’s best friend, husband or lover. How astronomically unlikely is that? The two sisters are clearly from different worlds, Bridget wears check shirts and jeans and is screwed up but likeable while Siobhan is kitted out in designer clothes and is cold and unpleasant. So how can Bridget possibly fake being Siobhan? Most disappointingly of all is that I don’t think Sarah Michelle Gellar really pulls off either character – Bridget comes across a little too girl next door to be a drug addicted stripper and Siobhan comes across as too emotionless to be a human being.
I really wanted to like this show, I wanted to see Sarah Michelle Gellar back on television. But this just wasn’t very good. The mystery of what Siobhan’s life is about is an interesting one, but between the ridiculous premise and the terrible production values, I’m just not sure I can bring myself to watch it, and that’s very sad.
CliqueClack agreed with me – “While I didn’t have problems with the story, I didn’t like the execution.”
NYTimes is more on the fence – “Elaborating on the twin-sisters-in-peril premise without descending into camp may prove to be too much of a challenge for the producers, but Ms. Gellar deserves our indulgence, at least for a few weeks.”
AOL TV liked it – “In a single episode, we got plenty of questions to lure us back, as well as several well-rounded characters and situations that are intriguing on their own.”
Ringer is “coming soon” to Sky Living