When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”
“Hello, my name is Bridget.” Wait, what? No, your name is Buffy. OK, fine. So she’s not Buffy. The show isn’t Buffy. The first step is to admit that you are powerless to bring Buffy back. This is a different show. Sarah Michelle Gellar is not Buffy. Her name here is Bridget – and also Siobhan. They’re identical twins, with secrets – so many secrets. So let’s get right down to it, shall we?
AFTERELLEN BAIT (What enticement did the episode use to reel in gay lady viewers?)
Double your Sarah Michelle Gellar, double your fun. Still, besides SMG this show features an awful a lot of dudes so far. Like a lot, a lot. That dude from The Fantastic Four (Ioan Grufffudd). That dude from Lost (Nestor Carbonell). That dude from Life Unexpected (Kristoffer Polaha). The only other ladies in the premiere were brief glimpses of Siobhan’s best friend, Gemma, and her petulant step-daughter, Juliet. Though, if we’re lucky even at all, double the SMG will mean double the leather pants somewhere down the road. We all know how well that gal can rock some leather pants.
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS! (Did the episode give you a lot of feelings?)
Pilot episodes are always hard to judge because they have to cram so much into one little episode. Character description, back story, endless exposition. So feelings are often the thing that gets lost in the welcome-to-our-show shuffle. So much is happening, it’s hard to find Ringer’s heart. And it’s hard to feel much emotion – good or bad – toward either twin. But, hey, we just met. I didn’t expect I’d be braiding hair or exchanging friendship bracelets with either character yet. Though seeing SMG brandish a gun in a very unBuffy-like fashion did give me one very distinct feeling: Whoa.
TWISTY TURNY (Exactly how confused are you?)
This, instead, is where the show clearly excels. Bridget is a stripper who goes to AA meetings and is running from federal agents and a crime boss. Siobhan is a socialite who goes to her house in the Hamptons and is running from her cold marriage and her hot affair. Bridget reunites with Siobhan after six years apart. Siobhan seemingly kills herself when they go out boating together. Bridget takes Siobhan’s identity. Someone tries to kill Siobhan, who is really Bridget. Siobhan isn’t really dead. Siobhan might be the one trying to kill Bridget. So, basically, things are as clear as marzipan in your pie plate bingo. Oh, and did I mention one of the twins is pregnant?
DOUBLE VISION (How clear is the show’s vision, double or otherwise?)
So how about that vision thing? Does the show show us the potential to spin a dark, twisty, emotional film noiry tale filled with double crosses and double vision? Heavens, yes. Not only does it have a tremendously talented (and missed, oh how we missed you SMG) star who gets to pull double duty, it have set up what could be a long, satisfying run through a maze of secrets, lies and surprises. Just one thing, for the love of God CW, spend a little more money on your special effects next time. The pilot had some Toonces the Driving Cat-worthy green screen, particularly the key scene on the lake when Siobhan disappears. I’m pretty sure the famous “Grrr Argh” monster from Joss Whedon’s Mutant Enemy Productions is more convincing than that fake montage.
Right, so Ringer isn’t Buffy – but that doesn’t mean it’s the apocalypse. What it does mean is this show has the potential to be a smart and sophisticated showcase of the artist formerly known as Buffy. So, what did you think? Will you be watching Ringer this season? Sound off in the comments.