Sarah Michelle Gellar!
SMG’s comic super-power — that is, her ability to snap off seriously tongue-tangling dialogue so effortlessly that you don’t even see the punchlines sneaking up on you — has served her well over the years. Of course, you might argue that it’s easy to be Snappy Dialogue Girl when you have Joss Whedon teaching you how to be funny, but there’s no denying how much SMG herself contributed to everything that made “Buffy” great.
After all, the thing that makes Buffy Summers iconic is that she’s a character built of contrasts: she is both dangerous and silly; legitimately shallow and gut-wrenchingly deep; utterly terrified and heart-stoppingly brave; she fulfills our greatest Comediva desires by being incredibly normal and yet more than capable of rising to every challenge.
SMG has never been a girl next door type, or that actress you secretly believe you’d be BFFs with should you ever meet her (that would be her on-screen BFF, Alyson Hannigan, with whom, hello, we’d TOTALLY be besties). No, SMG is appealing because she makes the “plastics” of the world feel real. Somehow, she is both so at ease in her own skin that you know you’ll never be as cool as she is and so unsure of herself that you can believe that she is, despite all evidence to the contrary, just like you.
I, for one, can’t wait to see how Gellar manages “Ringer,” in which she plays a pair of twins who exemplify two very different aspects of her usual persona. Gellar is both Bridget Kelly, a recovering alcoholic who is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder, and Siobhan Martin, the seemingly perfect twin whose life may be less ideal than it seems. After Siobhan’s death (or supposed death; you never know on shows like this), Bridget takes on her identity in order to hide from the mob — the perfect recipe for shenanigans. Personally, I can’t wait to see the mayhem, murder, and general soap-tasticness that we can expect from “Ringer.”
Of course, there are those of you who recall gems like Simply Irresistible and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and feel right in saying, “No. Freaking. Way. Sarah Michelle Gellar is NOT a great comedienne.” But you, my dubious comedivas, are wrong.
Well, not ENTIRELY wrong.
SMG is not a great film comedienne; other than Cruel Intentions, which even the most skeptical among you must admit was awesome, SMG just never quite worked on the big screen. But, in her proper milieu, SMG can be magic.
The fact that she’s recognized this, and is clearly choosing to play to her strengths, makes me admire her all the more. That is, in fact, what we’re here to learn from SMG today. We all have our niches, and they might not be what we think they are. It’s okay if it turns out you don’t belong in the place you thought you would when you were a wee little comediva, as long as you are strong enough to return to the place where you shine the brightest.
Welcome back to television, SMG! We’ve missed you!