Oh The Things We Have Seen: First Impressions of Ringer, Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar


Just after fall schedules are determined at networks' upfront presentations in late May, major networks send the pilots of their new programs to the media. These previews are not for in-depth review, because many pilots are retooled, recast, and reshot before they officially debut and the final product might be much different. But that doesn't mean we can't share some basic ideas of what to expect!


The Show: Ringer on The CW; debuts Tuesday, September 13

The Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nestor Carbonell (Lost), Kristofer Polaha (Life Unexpected)

The CW's Official Logline: "Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister—only to learn that her sister's seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she's trying to leave behind."

Early Intel: This is Sarah Michelle Gellar's first regular TV work since Buffy, which is a pretty big deal. Also: Ringer was originally set up at CBS, but handed down to the network's little sister The CW when CBS passed.

First Thoughts: I just got finished watching and I'm still feeling nauseated from all the twists and turns. Seriously, those of you who are prone to motion sickness or pregnant might want to skip this one; the rug gets pulled out from underneath you so often that you might crack your skull open. One episode in, Ringer is the most serious show that's hit The CW in a long time, and it's a far cry from what the network is known for (probably because CBS was considering it for its own schedule).

What it has going for it: Over-the-top can mean fun times, and Ringer has put together one of the most spectacularly ridiculous premises TV has seen in a while. A former stripper and addict on the run from a murderer whose crime she witnessed takes over her wealthy identical twin sister's seemingly exuberant life, only to discover that sis is also hiding secrets and may be in more danger than . And that's just the beginning! It's absolutely unnecessarily complicated, but that could prove to be its draw among viewers who are just looking to get slapped around a bit. It's a trashy beach novel that aims to shock more than make sense. We don't watch TV to be bored, right?

Room for Improvement: Even after a full episode, the character development needs work. Everyone is an archetype, I got the impression that this plot-heavy thriller will focus more on more on gasps than any emotional attachment. And just because Sarah Michelle Gellar was Buffy doesn't mean she's going to act circles around the rest of the cast—can she shoulder the burden of giving two different roles the strength they need to make this show work?

The Coolest Part of the Early Version: There are a lot of scenes in which Gellar plays opposite herself, and the unfinished pilot was (understandably) still skimpy on the CGI. The result was a looked a lot like the French New Wave films of the late-60s, which actually paired really well with Ringer's tone. Sadly, that look will probably be prettied-up for the show's real primetime debut.

Last Word: Outrageous. But potentially delicious fun. The show's main draw is its convoluted mystery, and that should be enough to keep people interested.


Here's the CW's official trailer for the series:
***Warning: It's VERY spoilery!!***


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (36)
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Sep 11, 2011
"those of you who are prone to motion sickness or pregnant might want to skip this one" :)) i won't skip this!
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Sep 06, 2011
How lame you removed the trailer... Guess I will have to look elsewhere for it... Still intrigued by the whole idea. I will be tuning in to the show!
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Aug 25, 2011
Always loved Sarah! Hope I enjoy this one when it airs - I've missed seeing her on a weekly basis.
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Aug 19, 2011
trailer says"removed by user"...seems unusually when you are asking us to view it. for yrs i refused to watch buffy because i was to old and sophisticated for that stuff,and when i did(well i own all of it and angel) geller can act. she i am not worried about. i saw an old betty davis movis called"dead ringer" that had the exact same premis and it was a good not great movie. i was just a kid but it was as i recall twist,turns and hithcock-like. if they can do enough of that. well i hope it will be as good as some are saying.
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Jul 20, 2011
Murder, Suicide, Alive, Dead. I'll watch this just for the awesomeness of those last clips.
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Jul 18, 2011
The trailer is really informative, which is great. I agree that they need character development and not let things slide into "corny" territory - and, if possible, to keep filming it "dirty", not clean it up for US audiences. Also, that Gellar must prove she can really hold it as a serious actress here. All in all, I'll check it out and see where it takes us.
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Jul 14, 2011
I really hope they dont change anything, the show looks awesome they way it is :)
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Jul 13, 2011
looks amazing! cant wait for a great show to finally showcase SMG's talent
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Jul 10, 2011
great actress so I defenitely going to watch Ringer and I miss Buffy :P
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Jul 10, 2011
*Sarah
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Jul 10, 2011
I am a HUGE fan of Sarrah Micheller Gellar and Buffy is my fav show (own every season on dvd) and I can't wait for this! :)
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Jul 09, 2011
I hate the CW. I have boycotted the entire network since they canceled Veronica Mars. I'm tempted to watch this show but I'm afraid to become too invested because, with the exception of Supernatural, the CW is tv for morons and any quality show on the network is doomed because of that.
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Sep 14, 2011
Veronica Mars and Super Natural are the only good things that have come from the CW ever.
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Jul 09, 2011
@provencrt what are you talking about sarah is an amazing actress.she can pull emotion out like it aint nothing.sarah acting is already its best she dont have to get better,she all ready better.
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Jul 09, 2011
I think The CW's only good show at the moment is Supernatural. Everything else is meant to be viewed by immature teenage girls. They did screw it up a little by letting it run for too long, just like they did with One Tree Hill and Smallville. I really hope Ringer can change all of that and bring a better reputation to The CW.
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Jul 09, 2011
don't know, just cant see her acting getting any better, so....will be disappointed probably
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Jul 09, 2011
the ringer may turn out to be good but no matter what its on the wrong channel. cw is teen angst....the ringer is an odd ball.
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Jul 08, 2011
This trailer is by far the BEST one I have seen for this show to date. The commercials airing on the CW do not do it justice. I am intrigued by this trailer!
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Jul 08, 2011
I'll give the show a try even though your article here was as mixed as your grammar and writing skills.
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Jul 08, 2011
I used to be an avid SMG fan douring my youngers years - at 30 I still am not ashamed to say Buffy is one of my favourite shows (and I still watch them!) I appreciated her work in Cruel Intentions... it was so out of (buffy) character and gave SMG the scope to perform outside of her 'comfort zone'. However I didnt really see her shine in anything else post CI (i may have missed some films). So now comes Ringer. I am very much looking forward to seeing it; from the promos I have seen it looks very in keeping with the fact that she has aged since buffy and has emerged and matured as an actress. The premise of Ringer is a bit movie like but it doesn't deter me in the slightest as it looks really really intriguing... Roll on autumn/fall!
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Jul 08, 2011
My first impression on the show after watching the trailer was that the show might bank on shocking plots more, but will definitely tune in. Looks interesting. Glad to see something not with teens on CW.
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Jul 08, 2011
This trailer certainly makes the show more appealing. The previous trailers/previews I watched for this show made it seem a bit too chaotic or messy, and I was planning on passing on the show. Based on this trailer, I think I'll give it a shot.
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Jul 08, 2011
looks interesting, might be worth a watch
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Jul 08, 2011
everytime i see this promo i think it almost seems like a thriller,action,drama movie...it has so many twists and turns my head is filled with ideals and the show hasnt aired yet thats a good sign.its still hard to believe its a show, it seems so much like a movie.thats doesnt mean i wont watch b/c when it air i will be watching every minute:+)..btw cbs didnt pass on it they didnt have room for it on their network.
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Jul 08, 2011
I like things that keep me guessing so I'll definitely be taking a look at it when it airs.
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Jul 08, 2011
looks good
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Jul 08, 2011
will watch just for sarah, would follow her into the depths of hell!!
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Jul 07, 2011
Interesting concept, definitely glad to see Sarah back on television, it's been sorely lacking. Sounds like the CW could have an actual genuine drama, not just more teen garbage. I look forward to checking it out in the fall.
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Jul 07, 2011
I think it looks great! I can't wait!!
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Jul 07, 2011
Looks interesting - but the trailer is made by the backing music - that adds depth to the teaser trailer.
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Jul 07, 2011
Might just check it out because of Sarah...
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Jul 07, 2011
@Special-K99 I like it! Maybe I'll try that out...
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Jul 07, 2011
it looks good! and it has SMG, so yay!
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Jul 07, 2011
I'm so excited to see SMG on tv again! I'd watch it no matter lol.
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Jul 07, 2011
Sounds like I might like it, looking forward to it coming out
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Jul 07, 2011
Sounds like it could be good, though a better headline for this article would have been "We put Ringer through the wringer"! :-)
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