Fall TV officially kicked off for me tonight with the return of the deliciously unrealistic 90210 and the premiere of the noirish drama Ringer, which brings fan favorite Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) back to the small screen.
Say what you will about 90210, it doesn't shirk from tackling a slew of plot points at breakneck speed: college (Naomi, Annie), marriage (Raj and Ivy), proposals (Liam to Annie - twice), cancer (Raj), homosexuality (Teddy), marijuana (Naomi's new pad), love (all), hate (all) and, of course, ridiculous wealth (again, all). No signs of a recession in these pretty people's lives. Never ceases to amaze me the copious amounts of alcohol these underagers have access to. Liam even manages to BUY HIS OWN BAR! But where there is bad, there is also good: When Teddy struggles to come out to his father, Silver wisely tells him not to apologize for who he is. Am I actually defending this show? Well, that's what guilty pleasures are for. And nice to see Matt Cohen (young John Winchester from Supernatural) working.
One of the more anticipated series this fall is this film noir-esque drama about twin sisters and their many, many secrets. Sarah Michelle Gellar pulls double duty as Bridget, a recovering addict who is poised to testify against a mob crime boss, and Siobhan (pronounced Shivan), a wealthy New York socialite in a loveless marriage.
**Episode details follow**
When Bridget takes off on her FBI protector Victor (Lost's Nestor Carbonell), she comes to Siobhan, whom she hasn't seen in six years. Apparently something bad happened to Siobhan's son Sean years ago with Bridget seemingly to blame, but Siobhan assures her sister that all is forgiven. Out for a boat ride to catch up, Bridget wakes up hours later to find Siobhan gone, only her wedding ring and an empty pill bottle left behind.
Believing her sister has killed herself, Bridget sees a way out and takes it, despite her own admission that "every time I clean up a mess I end up dirty." She soon finds she has taken on more than she bargained for: an emotionally distant husband (Ioan Gruffudd), a persistent lover - and Siobhan's best friend's husband (Kristoffer Polaha), an angry step-daughter, a surprise pregnancy and, at episode's end, a life-or-death struggle with a masked attacker Bridget thinks is after her, but is actually out to kill Siobhan, who we learn is actually alive and hiding out in Paris.
Pay particular attention to the use of mirrors throughout the show - they are EVERYWHERE - a clever metaphor for reflecting each character's duality back on them. And, of course, they can't help but think of the other every time they look at themselves - the faces are the same, after all. But what lies behind each face - the secrets, the lies, the betrayals - is sure to be revealed as the show progresses.
Bottom line: An intriguing series worthy of a second look...
Catch Ringer on the CW Tuesdays at 9 p.m., immediately following 90210 at 8 p.m.