The strange duality of Ringer – reflective of the CW show’s content – that while at once being one of the most highly anticipated of the Fall 2011 TV season (The return of Buffy!), almost no one knows anything about it. So clouded under a veil of mystery and enticing riddles, the only known facts are these: Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a “woman in trouble” who takes over the life of her recently deceased (or is she?) identical sister and then, well… I have no clue, but color me intrigued. Intrigued enough to attend the 2011 Comic Con panel (featuring the likes of Gellar, Ioan Gruffudd, Nestor Carbonell, Kristoffer Polaha and series creators Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder) in the pursuit of answers to just what the hell this show’s about. Choice highlights (and maybe answers) follow along with a new trailer after the jump.
Answers (kinda sorta):
Ringer, per Charmelo and Snyder, is the story of two sisters: Bridget, on the run, seeking redemption and Siobhan, to all perfect, seeking revenge. Episodes will be structured with Bridgette’s story in the present playing alongside flashbacks of Siobhan. Charmelo stated that he saw the show’s central mystery lasting three seasons; but was quick to note that shows develop and grow over time and nothing was set in stone. Snyder also added that every time a question would be answered on the show, another would pop up in its place – a central conceit of the mystery. On whether or not the show would deal with any supernatural elements, the two were quick to put such notions to rest: no vampires, no demons, no Hellmouth, no supernatural. Instead the show will eschew a more “noir”-esque vibe – with shady morally ambiguous characters, darker thematic plotlines and constant power shifts. “Who’s hustling who?” – will ultimately be the “What’s the island?” of the show.
On What Was The Immediate Appeal of the Show?
All the actors on the panel stated that it was the inherent moral ambiguity of the characters that drew them. Not knowing whether they were “good” or “bad” or exactly what their motivations were kept them constantly on their toes and surprised. Gruffudd added that his humorlessly stern (and potentially homicidal) husband was clearly misunderstood; in fact, he perceived the character as an ardent family man desperate to keep his crumbling marriage with Siobhan in check. Gellar, on the other hand, saw the show as an opportunity to play multiple characters all in forty-two minutes or less. Gellar informed that it’s not just two characters she’s been tasked to portray but five: 1&2) Bridget and Siobhan in the present 3&4) Bridget and Siobhan in the past 5) Bridget pretending to be Siobhan. The underlying vulnerability behind each of these variations being the thorough line that connects Gellar to the role.
On the switch from CBS to the CW:
For those unfamiliar Ringer was initially set up as a pilot for CBS; but after they passed, the CW stepped in and took up the show from its sister company. Gellar stated that the show’s serialized nature was not a good fit for the more procedurally akin CBS and that moving to an up-and-coming channel like the CW allows Ringer to take more chances. She also added that the more youthfully marketed CW allows her the opportunity to wear newer and hipper clothing (the most important of pluses).
How to Market a Mystery Show Like Ringer:
For the creators it’s simple: Don’t Give Away Anything.
Frustrating… but, darn it, intriguing.
Ringer premieres Tuesday, September 13th at 9PM. Here’s the trailer The CW premiered at Comic-Con:
Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.