Tuned In

Test Pilot: Ringer

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The CW

Test Pilot is a semiregular feature sharing my first impressions of the pilots for next season’s shows. These aren’t reviews, since these pilots can be rewritten, recast and retooled before airing, and the shows that eventually get on the air can prove much better or worse. But premature opinions are why God invented the Internet, so let’s get on with…

The Show: Ringer, The CW

The Premise: Sarah Michelle Gellar is Bridget, an ex-stripper and ex-addict trying to turn her life around. And Sarah Michelle Gellar is Siobhan, her rich, fabulous twin sister, who has made a point of making sure that no one in her life knows that there is a Bridget. When Siobhan goes missing, Bridget seizes the chance to take over her identity, and discovers that Siobhan’s life is far more complicated–and dangerous–than she expected.

First Impressions: Ringer really doubles down on the identical-twins premise in the early going, and here’s where I have to stress the “this is a preliminary pilot” part of the review. The scenes between Gellar and, um, herself have to carry a lot of weight but come across stilted and stunt-like–but it’s hard to tell how much is the CGI and how much is Gellar’s performance. Beyond that, the action- and intrigue-heavy pilot has a lot of potential for twists and thrills. But it ambitiously aims more for noir chills than soapy fun, so its success will depend on how well it sell Bridget’s character emotionally amid a far-fetched premise. (Which, to be fair, Gellar did once in Buffy.)

Do I Want to Watch Another Episode? As you can see above, I am of two minds. But more than usual, I want to see a final version of the pilot first.