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Why Sarah Michelle Gellar’s ‘Ringer’ Deserves All The Praise! | By Haider Rifaat

I am not quite the TV geek as there are only few television shows that I follow. The kinds that I tend to keep an eye on are those with wicked, devious themes and those that are full of secrets.

Nowadays, it’s all about shows such as The Big Bang Theory or the Game of Thrones. But in all honesty, such shows have never enticed me as a viewer. They are quite overrated, if you ask me. The unfortunate thing, however, is that a show, such as Ringer, was not appreciated or given any credit despite the fact that it had a riveting storyline and great cast to go with it.

I have always adored Sarah Michelle Gellar ever since I was seven years old. She is an inspiration to me when it comes to acting. When I heard about her initial return to television with Ringer, I was literally on cloud nine! What’s better than a good television show that has your personal favorite actress in the lead?

MV5BMTgxMzI1ODYzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM0NTM0MjE@._V1__SX1460_SY682_I saw Ringer back in 2011, when it originally aired on The CW. The show borrows some elements from the neo-noir film genre. It centers on the lives of two twin sisters, Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin (both portrayed by Gellar respectively). Gellar has done a fantastic job playing both the roles with equal power and vigor.

Bridget is a recovering drug addict and a stripper. After she sees her boss commit a crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) put her under witness protection so that she can testify against him. But as soon as Bridget learns that her boss, and his gang, have murdered such witnesses before, she decides to flee. And in her desperation, she goes to her estranged twin sister, Siobhan, for help.

Siobhan, on the other hand, is an affluent young woman, residing in New York City with her husband Andrew Martin (played by Ioan Gruffudd). It is shown that Bridget and Siobhan have a seemingly contentious relationship with each other. They have shared a rough past, which is not disclosed in the first-half of the initial season but, gradually, the audience get to learn more about the twins and their relationship.

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After Siobhan’s mysterious death, Bridget assumes her identity, thinking she could escape her old life and start all over again. But little does she know that Siobhan’s life is as complex as hers. Bridget later learns that her sister had an affair with her best friend’s husband, Henry Butler (played by Kristoffer Polaha).

But wait till you hear this, Siobhan is not really dead. She is conspiring against her own sister. Why, you wonder? Well, I won’t spill all the details. You’ll have to watch the show to find out!

If you decide to watch Ringer, don’t judge the show on the basis of its pilot episode as it was not strong enough as compared to the rest of the episodes. The show only gets juicer and more intriguing as the story progresses.

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But sadly, the show was cancelled by The CW in 2012. If you are assuming that ratings played a pivotal role in the cancellation process, you might want to think again. There was a poll launched in early 2012 that had listed Ringer, The Secret Circle and Gossip Girl as shows that fans would like fresh seasons for. Although, Gossip Girl had lower ratings than Ringer, the fans picked Gossip Girl as their primary choice and it was renewed for a sixth season. Ringer, on the other hand, was cancelled.

I personally believe this was a rather unfair decision made by The CW network. Maybe it should have been marketed to other networks, such as NBC or ABC family. Ringer provided a completely different storyline to the television landscape. It was a show that offered something new to the audience every week; it was riveting, fun and full of suspense. In addition, Gellar’s acting was stellar. I still believe it should be given a second season. Ringer was a whole package overall.

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What makes Ringer standout from shows such as Gossip Girl or The Lying Game, is pure creativity and innovation with which it has been structured. The creators of the show, Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo, did a remarkable job with the plot and storylines. This very factor lacks in many TV shows that are currently on air. Most television shows of today have tedious plots, repetitive themes and predictable drama. Not only does Ringer have just the right amount of drama and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat, it also has a glamour and fashion element merged brilliantly with the theme of the show.

Moreover, Ringer managed to bring in a ‘twin connection’ on television and that was primarily why it did so well on television. This very factor lacks in a show such as Orphan Black, which also has a twin sister plot. But that show does not have the stimulation that Ringer had. Additionally, the creators of Orphan Black had borrowed a few elements from Ringer during the first season, reflecting on just how strong Ringer’s storyline was.

The best thing about Ringer is that it’s unpredictable and full of twists and turns. Every episode ended with a shocking climax scene that even Gossip Girl and/or Orphan Black couldn’t possibly engender.

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I put all my bets on this show! It’s worthy of every accolade known to mankind. The acting was brilliant. Every character had their own uniqueness and strong screen presence. Additionally, I loved the way the director(s) of the show had choreographed New York City in such a lavish, yet mysterious fashion.

Orphan Black, on the other hand, is a satisfactory television show with more of a sci-fi edge to it. While Ringer was about two twin sisters, Orphan Black is all about cloning (which is quite sad for a television show).

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I saw a few raving reviews about this show. Here is what some fans had to say about Ringer:

“It’s smart, clever, fashionable and out of this world! Love it!” said Martha Eve, a blogger from California.

“Ringer is sassy and a fun ride for everyone!” quoted Will Arthur, a website host.

“My latest obsession! Gellar is so talented. I wonder why she’s so underrated as an actress” said Timothy Harris, a writer for various newspapers.

There you go! I hope such reviews coax you into watching this amazing television series. Ringer will always remain one of my personal favorites and I hope you give it a chance. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.

Five Best Onscreen Villains Of Today | Haider Rifaat

We all know that villains either make or break a show. Undoubtedly, a television series is incomplete without a villain’s presence. I, for one, have always been on their side as they are smart, vicious and devious all at the same time! So, I have come up with a list of the five main villains who, according to me, are the best in the business. Take a look for yourself!

5. Mads Mikkelsen

Mikkelson has experimented with a number of diversified film and television roles but his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in ‘Hannibal’ was the winner! He plays the role of Hannibal, a cannibalistic serial killer who happens to be a food lover. The deadly mind games that this not-so-innocent gentleman plays in the show makes him worthy of the top five!

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4. Michelle Trachtenberg

Trachtenberg has always been a versatile actress. Don’t underestimate her innocent face because this girl can go from bad to worse! Her portrayal of Georgina Sparks in ‘Gossip Girl’ was entertaining and fun. Although her character in the show was not the center of attention but watching Georgina grow from season to season was an absolute treat!

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3. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Gellar has always been my favorite actress ever since I was seven years old. She played the lead role of Siobhan Martin in ‘Ringer’, a show that was cancelled by The CW for no apparent reason. Her performance as the evil twin garnered critical acclaim. She deserves all the praise. I loved her cheesy yet mysterious character in ‘Ringer.’ It was farfetched and brilliantly showcased.

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2. Janel Parrish

I was literally grief-stricken after the death of Jannel Parrish’s character Mona Vanderwaal in the summer finale episode of ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ She was the best character on the show. She made the series seem more interesting and fun. Mona was a psychopathic high school girl who exacted revenge on the five main characters of the show. Parrish is the best actress in today’s generation, hands down! Her performance in ‘Pretty Little Liars’ was worthy of every accolade. Janel is one of my favorite actresses, indeed!

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1. Zachary Quinto

I can give this lad all the credit for delivering not just one but two spectacular performances in shows such as ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ and ‘Heroes.’ However, I found him best as Dr. Oliver Thredson in ‘Asylum.’ Undoubtedly, Quinto did his character justice and was one of the spotlights of ‘American Horror Story.’ He portrayed the role of Dr. Oliver Thredson, a serial killer and psychiatrist. In my humble opinion, Zachary is one of the best actors America has produced.

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Season 5 – ‘A’ Is For Aria | Haider Rifaat

‘Pretty Little Liars’ is already halfway through its fifth season. The upcoming summer finale episode, ‘Taking This One To The Grave’ will air next week on ABC Family. During the first eleven episodes of the fifth season, I have come to learn a lot about Allison DiLaurentis’s ‘dark’ past. We also have several characters back for season five including Jenna Marshall (Tamin Sursock), Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) and Melissa Hastings (Torey DeVitto). It would be rather hard to predict who ‘A’ is this season as a lot of new characters have been introduced this year. Maybe the writers of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ want the fans to keep guessing who ‘A’ is until the end of the season finale.

However, after closely observing each and every character this season, I have come up with an ‘A’ Theory. I know this would sound rather unsettling but I believe that Aria Montgomery is ‘A.’ I have several reasons to back my theory up. I noticed a steady change in her unpredictable yet mysterious personality during the first ten episodes of the fifth season. Aria might be the ‘artsy’ girl of her club but I feel as if she has her own issues. Take for instance her fickle relationship with Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding). Clearly she was grief stricken after she had found out about Ezra and Allison’s connection.

0ce1fe0c717d30a87f8d86ffed0fFurthermore, in the previous episode Linda Tanner visited the Montgomery’s residence where she privately talked to Byron about Aria and her probable connection to the homicide. She didn’t disclose much information in the end but we all saw Aria eavesdropping on the other side of the room. And why hasn’t Aria ever been the target of ‘A’s’ vicious plans? It was either Hanna, Spencer or Emily who fell for ‘A’s’ traps. Also, in the finale episode of season two, Spencer suspiciously stared at the four dolls while she was at ‘A’s’ lair. All of them were dressed up in pretty clothes except for Aria, who was dressed up in a black hoodie.

Even if Aria is not ‘A’, she must be linked with the ‘A-Team’ one way or another. I just hope that more secrets unravel after the summer finale of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ season five.

Should There Be A ‘True Blood’ Season 8? | Haider Rifaat

Being a huge fan of the hit HBO television series ‘True Blood’, I feel as if it deserves an eighth season. Unquestionably, this show has left a legacy behind and in the years to come, we, as fans would be reminiscing over the seven golden years ‘True Blood’ has given to us. The series stars Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley and Alexander Skarsgård as main characters.

I would call ‘True Blood’ spicy, fun and a blend of both, horror and drama! It centers on Sookie Stackhouse, a southern American girl who possesses telepathic powers. But this show not only emphasizes on her ‘special’ abilities. It encompasses a number of aspects including humans’ bond with vampires. Each and every episode of ‘True Blood’ was brilliantly crafted! I must commend the directors’ effort in making this series a masterpiece! The show initially commenced in 2008 and immediately developed a cult fan following after the second season had aired back in 2009.

True-Blood-Season-7-spoilersWith just one episode left until the series concludes, I believe that the directors and producers of ‘True Blood’ should mull over a season eight. The best thing about this show is that it never loses its audience. The average viewer count of almost every episode is a little over four million. Furthermore, the most significant factor that has contributed to the show’s success is the promotion of racial harmony. Every character is integrated in ‘True Blood’ and that is primarily why it has such a huge fan following. Additionally, the acting is brilliant, as always! I personally adore Anna Paquin’s character. It is charming, funny and sexy all at the same time! Rutina Wesley, on the other hand, has delivered a fantastic performance in the series as well.

These factors and many others make ‘True Blood’ a standout from today’s television landscape. Every fan wants this series to be given an eight season although season seven is the last one of the show. I would be heartbroken if they don’t consider ‘True Blood’ for an eighth season. I just hope this prospect soon comes into view. There is no need to rush. We can always take it slow. Having said that, don’t miss the series finale of ‘True Blood’ on Sunday, August 24th at 9PM on HBO.

‘American Horror Story’ Is Strange, But Fun! | Haider Rifaat

When I first heard about the horror television series ‘American Horror Story’, I thought it would be yet another supernatural drama with monotonous storylines that date back to ‘The Exorcist’ days. Nonetheless, I decided to give this series a chance and honestly speaking, it is quite gripping! After watching the first few episodes of the first season, I came to realize how eerily they had been written and directed. Much to my utter dismay, I gave up on the show but it was until I heard about ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ from one of my friends.

He tried coaxing me into seeing the second season but I had my own reservations. However, I felt compelled to watch it after seeing the trailer. Surprisingly, after watching the second season, I felt as if the storyline had been stretched to a whole new level. ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ was quite a compelling season. It had a lot of plot twists and secrets that I had no idea of! I am not a huge fan of supernatural television shows but the exorcism showcased in one of season two’s episodes was the winner!

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Lily Rabe delivered a fantastic performance as an evil nun. Sarah Paulson, on the other hand, did her character justice and was the spotlight of the season. After I had finished watching the second season, the show was eventually renewed for a third season entitled ‘American Horror Story: Coven.’ I knew that the directors and writers would be turning tables for the third season. The plot was entirely different from the previous two seasons. It was a good watch overall! The spotlight of ‘Coven’ was unquestionably Jessica Lange who delivered a spectacular performance throughout the entire season. I found ‘American Horror Story’ rather uncanny when I first started watching it but with time, it became one of my favorite television shows. Its peculiarity is what makes it so special. Undoubtedly, the show takes the horror genre to a much grander level.

I am really looking forward to seeing ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show.’ The writers of the show are quite experimental when it comes to the plots. It is a good thing they come up with innovative ideas for every season. I am eagerly waiting for the season four premiere of ‘Freak Show.’ With new additions to the cast, I bet it would be a fun ride for all the fans of ‘American Horror Story.

Rest In Peace, Robin Williams | Haider Rifaat

 The 63-year old stand-up comedian and actor Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California on August 11, 2014 at 11:55AM. Sources claim Williams’ probable cause of death was from asphyxia, although it is still subject to conjecture. Williams’ wife Susan Schneider quoted: “I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken.”

While she was clearly devastated over her husband’s dreadful death, a number of actors have also expressed their deepest sympathies over his demise.

Steve Martin tweeted: “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

The 37-year old actress Sarah Michelle Gellar who recently starred alongside Robin Williams in CBS’ ‘The Crazy Ones’ also spoke about Williams in People’s Magazine. She called him ‘The father I ever dreamed of having.’ Gellar portrayed Sydney Roberts, the daughter of Simon Roberts (played by Robin Williams) in ‘The Crazy Ones.’

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Williams was one of America’s most famous comedians of all time. He entertained the whole world with his charismatic acting and comic talent after starring in the hit television series ‘Mork & Mindy’ that initially aired from 1978 until 1982. He subsequently ‘wowed’ his loyal fans with some spectacular performances in ‘The World According to Garp’, ‘Good Will Hunting’, ‘Jumanji’ and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire.’ Often called ‘The Legend of Comedy’, Williams had won four Golden Globe Awards, two Emmy Awards, five Grammy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and had been nominated for three Academy Awards winning one for his stunning performance in ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Robin Williams has always been an inspiration for young and up and coming actors.

He has experimented with a number of diversified film roles and has left a mark in the history of television and theater. Robin Williams had achieved ultimate stardom during his initial years as an actor. I myself am tremendously saddened by his death. Nonetheless, Williams’ legacy will live on.

Sarah Michelle Gellar Should Be Cast In ‘American Horror Story’ | Haider Rifaat

All Sarah Michelle Gellar fans want the 37-year old actress back on television once again. Clearly, freshman television shows are not quite working for Gellar at this point in her career. Sarah’s second comeback television series The Crazy Ones was cancelled by CBS a few months ago. This was not her only show to get axed by a network. Gellar’s initial return on television was with the drama-thriller series Ringer. The show was ultimately canceled by The CW in 2012.

Being a huge fan of the ‘Buffy’ star, I believe that Gellar should be cast in other television series’ that compliment her forte. The directors and producers of freshman television series’ always raise the bar to the next level. They often experiment with different storylines that might or might not appeal the fans.

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I would love to see Sarah Michelle Gellar be cast in American Horror Story, a twisted yet cleverly plotted out series that is a blend of horror, thriller and lots of drama. We all know Gellar from the cult classic television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was great on that show. Somehow or the other, I believe that Sarah would be perfect for any role in ‘American Horror Story’ as she has been down that road before.

For those of you who don’t know, Gellar earned the title of a ‘Scream Queen’ for her starring roles in movies such as Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Grudge and The Return. She knows how to work around the horror genre. If Sarah were cast in ‘American Horror Story’, I am sure that she would kick ass just like she did back in the ‘Buffy’ days. Currently, the show is in its fourth season that would most likely commence in fall 2014. It would be an absolute treat to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in a series that we, as fans, have chosen for her. I hope this prospect soon comes into play.

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