allows Sarah Michelle Gellar to flop in two
By Dean Robbins
In 'Ringer' (Tuesday, 8 p.m., CW), Sarah Michelle
Gellar plays Bridget, a former prostitute/stripper/addict
who goes on the lam rather than testify against
a ruthless killer. Bridget hooks up with her
evil twin sister, Siobhan - also played by Gellar
- who conveniently disappears. That allows Bridget
to step into Siobhan's place as a high-society
matron and elude her would-be assassin. But
impersonating her is no easy feat, as sis is
involved in some craziness of her own.
'Ringer' is relentlessly cheesy and humorless,
and Gellar is simply awful in her dual role.
As Siobhan, she's just a clothes rack for designer
outfits, while as Bridget she keeps flashing
the same disoriented expression. It's hard to
believe this is the same appealing actress from
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Scooby-Doo.'
Wait a minute — is there any chance Gellar
herself has a twin sister? Perhaps an evil amateur-actress
twin who snuck onto the set of 'Ringer'?
'Voices from Inside the Towers'
Saturday, 8 p.m. (History)
There is scant visual evidence of the terror
inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
But there are cellphone messages the trapped
people left for loved ones, and 'Voices from
Inside the Towers' tastefully chronicles them.
We meet the still-grieving family members, who
explicate these precious seconds of audio.
One vignette offers a message left by Brad
Fetchet, a 24-year-old working on the 89th floor
of the South Tower. He called home after the
first plane hit, staying calm to reassure his
parents. "You're welcome to give me a call
here. I think we'll be here all day," he
says flatly, with only a nervous clearing of
the throat to suggest his dire situation.
Don't watch 'Voices from Inside the Towers'
without a box of tissues handy. Or maybe two
Saturday, 9 p.m. (HGTV)
'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' are renowned
for temper tantrums, fistfights and other crude
behavior. That's why we love them. So you expect
more of the same in this home-design show featuring
New Jersey Housewife Dina Manzo, who creates
elaborate theme parties for her clients. But
the premiere features an extraordinarily well-behaved
Dina, planning a Wild West party with exquisite
I'm all for exquisite taste, but not where The
Real Housewives of New Jersey are concerned.
Watching Dina go about her job with low-key
professionalism, you just feel cheated. Would
it kill her to break one damn plate over a client's
'The Space Between'
Sunday, 8 p.m. (USA)
If any subject would incline you to forgive
a sentimental TV movie, it's 9/11. In 'The Space
Between,' a flinty flight attendant named Montine
(Melissa Leo) is grounded on Sept. 11, 2001,
with an earnest Pakistani-American boy (Anthony
Keyvan) in her care. When she discovers that
the boy's father works in the crumbling World
Trade Center, she reluctantly shepherds him
to New York City by hook or by crook. As you
would imagine, acceptance and hope ensue.
But in this case, you're glad of it. 'The
Space Between' is truly moving, thanks to Leo's
mastery at creating her character. Montine is
a woman trying to hold onto her dignity despite
the indignities of her profession, and 9/11
pushes her to the edge. She's blunt, nasty,
exasperated and, ultimately, saintly — the way
a real woman might be in this situation.
It's not often an actress gets to scale her
performance to such justifiably intense material,
and Leo makes the most of the opportunity.
'Gaga by Gaultier'
Monday, 7 p.m. (CW)
Lady Gaga is a master of images; less so of
talking. Whenever she opens her mouth, all mystery
drains out of her persona, and she sounds like
any other inarticulate woman - albeit one wearing
a two-foot-high green wig.
Unfortunately, this special focuses on Gaga's
conversation. She speaks with designer Jean-Paul
Gaultier in his Paris workshop, discussing fashion
and (yawn) her relationship with her fans.
At least she'll model a few fabulous outfits.
This may be the first interview that's best
watched with the sound turned down.
Monday, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Donald Trump flirted with the Republican presidential
nomination earlier this year but ultimately
retreated back into his pageant kingdom. I think
all earthlings should be grateful that he's
the ruler of the Universe rather than the United