'Ringer' Review: Sarah Michelle Gellar Returns In New Show

09/15/2011 07:47 am ET | Updated Nov 15, 2011

Sarah Michelle Gellar still knows how to die in style.

In her new CW series, "Ringer," Gellar plays Bridget, a haunted young woman with a history of addiction. She also plays her own twin, Siobhan, a NYC socialite, with secrets. Set in a tense, stylish version of Manhattan, the show has the look of another CW favorite, "Gossip Girl," if Gossip Girl had more guns and less shoes.

The show kicks off when Bridget runs away from her life to see Siobhan for the first time in five years... and then Siobhan appears to off herself by jumping in the ocean while Bridget's asleep on the boat. Naturally, there's nothing to do but for Bridget to assume Siobhan's identity.

With a show like this, it's less about how many questions are raised than about how many of those questions you actually want to know the answer to. "Ringer" raises about a thousand questions, and luckily, most of them are interesting.

As Bridget playing the part of Siobhan, Gellar's dark circles under her eyes frame her jittery, watchful presence, keeping the anxiety high. We step into Siobhan's life with Bridget as she navigates relationships with her husband, best friend -- and best friend's husband. Though Bridget's the one with the spotted past -- drug addiction, former job as a stripper -- it seems that Siobhan's life was not nearly as perfect as the massive loft, massive diamond ring, and handsome husband might indicate.

The husband, played by Ioan Gruffudd, reacts to Bridget's meekness with deep suspicion. With reason -- turns out Siobhan was carrying on a torrid affair with her best friend's husband. And, as Bridget finds out, she's four weeks pregnant with a baby whose paternity is a little uncertain.

Neither Bridget nor the real Siobhan seem to have any real relationships with the people around them. So far, Siobhan's friends and family (who don't know Bridget exists), notice only that their Siobhan has lost weight, and is way too nice. We don't yet have a sense of who Siobhan is -- though the show suggests we haven't seen the last of her.

Buffy fans may be disappointed by Bridget's less-than-badass attitude towards her troubles -- she's more of a victim than the vampire slayer ever was. But this shaky, nervous heroine is definitely a survivor, albeit one who's in way over her head. She may not have the roundhouse kicks and fierce uppercuts Buffy did, but she makes up in grit and desperation what she lacks in martial arts training.

Noir-ish, melodramatic, and tense, "Ringer" has the makings of an addicting thriller, but it's too soon to tell whether it will deliver. We don't know what Bridget's gotten herself into, and neither does she. But "Ringer" promises that more violence, mystery, and hopefully, answers, are on the way.

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