I’ll be honest – Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career is fascinating to me. In the past, I’ve had trouble understanding why she’s not much, much busier.
But the announcement that she’s slated to star in a limited series called Sometimes I Lie, executive produced by Ellen Degeneres, makes me feel like I finally understand what the strategy is - and I’m super into it.
It’s a limited series based on a novel about a woman who tries to figure out why she’s in a coma, using flashbacks and the clues from the family and friends who come visit her. The article I read includes this line which is most definitely from the show’s one-page or bible, so I’m putting it here to give you the full effect intended:
“The psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?”
This sounds fascinating, and I hope it gets picked up because I’d watch the hell out of it. It also feels like it shares more than a little DNA with SMG’s perplexing but fascinating show Ringer. Remember that? Twins, oblique, hard-to-decipher husband? It was weird as hell, but it was watchable – and I think that might be where the question of SMG’s projects can be answered…
The woman likes offbeat stuff! Remember, a lot of people would have never picked up a script called Buffy The Vampire Slayer, let alone one that was a TV spinoff of an offbeat movie. She played an evil character on All My Children as a teenager, at a time when tons of young actors are concerned only about likeability! And, maybe as a result of all that work when she was young, she’s never been the kind of actor who chooses only the splashy projects – which might lead you to believe they’re not available to her, especially since she hasn’t done tv since The Crazy Ones in 2013-14 with Robin Williams. But I just don’t think that’s it!
Especially since this is her second project in development at Fox; the other is called Other People’s Houses, it’s a dramedy, and it’s made by the same creators she worked with on Ringer, so see above. Weird stuff wins! In fact, I’m realizing that SMG might be an actress who chooses based on the writers involved with a project more than anyone else, so obviously I must adore her.
Two projects in contention at once tells me that a lack of SMG on our screens recently is due to her preference – maybe this is the first season in a while she’s actually reading scripts and looking to work, as her kids are older and, I suspect it’s more appealing now, since the second-or-third wave of genre projects has moved to a younger demographic, so that every script she’s sent isn’t a variation on Buffy.
I’m super into this. SMG’s acting is always compelling and never predictable, so any project she does, assuming it’s picked up, is going to be worth my time. Plus, as the television appetite finally, FINALLY turns toward complicated day-to-day relationships, there’s a lot of room for audiences to re-discover SMG as a complicated actress, and not just the synonymous star of what was, let’s be honest, the real beginning of Peak TV.
Yeah, I said it. And I bet she’d back me up.