TV Time: Ringer

The Fall TV season is here. I don’t watch a lot of network television. I have nothing against it, it’s just that when I do watch TV oftentimes The Wife will come in and let out a heavy sigh and ask me why I’m watching that garbage (yes, my wife is a TV snob) which usually guilts me into turning it off. I’d rather surf the Internet or play Angry Birds anyway.

Still, I realize many of you– well, a few of you — OK, Stevie — look to me as your entertainment guru, and so I figured I should check out some of the new TV offerings and offer my thoughts. Besides, with the end of “Smallville” I now have an hour in my TV schedule to fill, so let’s see if anything measures up.

And remember, we’re looking for a replacement for “Smallville,” so the bar is very low.

Ringer

As a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fan I feel the obligation to check out all new shows featuring its former cast members. I usually don’t last long although I did suffer all the way through “Dollhouse.”

This time out it’s Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Where’s Xander? Why doesn’t Xander get a new show? I’d watch almost anything with Xander in it. He saved “Buffy” and everyone knows it. Him and Anya.

Sorry, digressing.

“Ringer” is the story of stripper/addict Bridget (SMG) who has to flee her stripper gig because she witnessed a stripper murder and now the stripper murderer wants to kill her next (Note: She is not addicted to stripping, I don’t think, the addict part is a separate character trait).

Bridget seeks refuge with her identical twin sister whose name I can’t pronounce or spell. Sister is your typical rich bitch ice queen. Sister takes Bridget out on the lake and promptly fakes her own death (Bridget doesn’t know it’s a fake-out). Bridget does what anyone would do in a similar situation — she takes on her sister’s identity.

It’s an awkward situation — Bridget doesn’t know anything about her sister’s family and friends, and she behaves nothing like her sister. Further complicating matters: all of Bridget’s family and friends have their own dirty little secrets.

As pilot episodes go, “Ringer” was pretty good. There’s a lot going on and they dive right into it. A lesser show would’ve waited until sweeps month or the season finale to reveal that Sister is still alive. Good cast. The scenes where SMG has to play against herself were awkward, but that’s typical for those situations.

I just have two problems. One — TOO MUCH CHICK MUSIC. This was a big problem with “Smallville” and probably every other show on the CW, the countless scenes of the hero staring wistfully into space while sad, indy music blares on. I think the CW is more interested in selling soundtracks than telling stories. And for the record, turning “25 or 6 to 4” into a weepy ballad is a crime against music.

Second, I just don’t see how this premise can hold up in the long run. This would be fine for a 2-hour movie or a mini-series or maybe even a one-season show, but how on Earth can you drag this thing out over multiple seasons? I just don’t see it. I’ve been burned too many times by shows that start off intriguing and then get caught up in the trap of their own success and can’t figure out a decent way out (I’m looking at you, “X-Files” and “Lost”).

I’ll probably watch it again tonight but I don’t know that I’m in it for the long run.

TOMORROW: 2 Broke Girls, 2.5 Men

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