Show Reviews (41)
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The Ultimate Movie Review! -- @tss5078
It is a common misconception that Sleeper Cell was cables first failed attempt to recreate the hit show 24, in a more extreme format, and that Sleeper Cell was the precursor to the smash hit Homeland. In reality, Sleeper Cell was a highly rated mini-series that was picked up for another year. The show was actually the inspiration for Homeland, as if one were to take Sleeper Cell and mix it with 24, the result would be Homeland.
The story follows Darwyn Al-Sayeed (Michale Ealy), the FBI's best undercover agent, who also happens to be a Muslim, making him the perfect choice to infiltrate the domestic side of Al-Queda. Darwyn poses as a recently paroled Islamic militant, who wants to strike a blow against the country that imprisoned him.
Through his prison contacts, Darwyn is connected to a mysterious man named Farik (Oded Fehr), who even the FBI can't identify. Through a series of tests, Farik introduces Darwyn to the rest of his cell and together they start to plan an attack on Los Angeles.
Michael Ealy stars and played the role of Darwyn as if it were specifically written for him. Ealy is the kind of actor who is easily recognized from dozens of minor movie roles, but I've never seen him star before. The character he's playing, Darwyn, is basically Jack Bauer with a lot more self-control. He's cool and collected, but ready to take action at a moments notice, making for a great character.
Ealy is paired with Oded Fehr, of the Mummy series, and he too was terrific. Obviously you need an actor with a Middle Eastern background to play this role, but Farik isn't you're typical Al-Queda, as he is able to easily fit into the suburban community. Farik is a ruthless killer, but also has a peaceful, caring side, that really comes across in the episode where they go to Mexico.
Sleeper Cell has all the action and edge of your seat drama that 24 had, and more, because let's face it, This was a cable show. Thanks to a top notch cast, some well known Directors, and a great team of Writers, Sleeper Cell was a sleeper hit on Showtime, that was easily overlooked, because it was only on for a short time. Besides only having 18 episodes, Showtime originally presented the show in a very strange way, airing all the episodes on back to back nights. This means that combined, both seasons were on the air for less than a month, and in a time before on demand had gotten popular. That is why this series was so overlooked, but thanks to Netflix, Me and thousands of others have been exposed to this hidden gem, that is worth every second that you put into to watching it.moreless
not an important cop mseries like csi
Terrorists are a lecturing, nagging, smarty-pants bunch on the Showtime miniseries Sleeper Cell, back for a second installment airing eight straight nights beginning Dec. 10. The drama — about a tiny group of extremists plotting jihad in America — never misses a ''teaching moment.'' The Dutch ex-prostitute (Thekla Reuten) speechifies about slavery to Western ideals; the U.K.-bred Iraqi (Over There's Omid Abtahi) rails against racism in England; captured cell leader Farik (The Mummy's Oded Fehr) opines on American guilt before having something very uncomfortable inserted in his urethra. The goal is to make these killers human and therefore more frightening; the outcome is that they seem human and frighteningly long-winded.
The series again has undercover agent Darwyn Al-Sayeed (Michael Ealy) infiltrate a terrorist cell of incredibly broad demographics. He must foil an attack while meeting regularly with his bumbling new FBI boss (Jay R. Ferguson) in a strip-club booth. (Have your little covert op, boys, but be sexy about it!) A series exploring terrorism should feel incredibly entwined — every action triggers something else. Cell introduces, abuses, and kills off characters, but rarely are the ripples felt — the most nettlesome conundrum involves the custody battle of Darwyn's girlfriend, Gayle. Cell dutifully addresses torture, border control, religious extremism, and cultural differences in karaoke. But it hardly enlightens, and it never feels urgent. It feels like a decent cop drama pretending to be something more important.moreless
Superficial with Hidden Agendas
There is nothing wrong with this ten-hour mini-series that couldn't have been fixed with about seven hours of heavy editting.
One of the first rules of story-telling is that you need to get the listener/viewer to become interested in the characters, to establish some sort of rapport or feeling of empathy. I felt little or nothing for any of them. I couldn't even get any interest vested in the supposedly sympathetic character of Darwyn, a man caught between his religion and his job. He was just, plain uninteresting to me.
Then there were the sub-stories that served no purpose but to consume time...I'm thinking primarily of the affair between Darwyn and the woman with the little boy. There was nothing key to her involvement in the story, why was she there? And did we really need to have the tedious episodes with the Blond guy's mother showing up or the Frenchman whining to his wife after his trysts? These two were just completely dislikable characters, both of whom were two-dimensional and no amount of sub-text was going to make me feel sympathetic to them. I really wanted to shake them, smack them across the chops, tell them to get over it, for cryin' out loud!
While we're on the topic of sub-text, I have to say that I don't like being preached to when I'm paying for entertainment. By that, I'm referring to Showtime's hidden, maybe not so hidden, agenda of portraying 'true' Islam as a religion of peace, handling scenes in the mosque and of prayers with the greatest of dignity while portraying everyone else as, at best, clueless and, at worst, dolts. Were the scenes with the enthusiastic Christian kid handing out pamphlets and his subsequent beating really necessary? Did we really need them to establish the fact that blondboy and the French connection were despicable? No, we did not. That fact was more than sufficiently supported already. The scenes were there to support some writer's notion that Christians are idiots while supporting the notion that these terrorists were somehow noble. Let's not even talk about the lead character's last name, Darwyn (Darwin)...please, you writers are certainly entitled to your opinion, but just entertain me...don't try to indoctrinate me.
This would have made a fairly good action movie if they'd dropped all the substories and kept just the last two hours, worked in some of the ponderous backstory that was the first episode with a smattering of the college student angle. As it stands, however, I'm not racing to add this one to my Netflix queue, and I'm dropping my subscription to Showtime.
Blistering thriller about an FBI agent infiltrating an American-based Al Qaeda terror cell
This is really superb stuff - gripping, intelligent and absolutely stunning in terms of its look at an undoubtedly controversial subject matter. The show was brought to people\'s attention in the UK due to the fact that the London Underground ad was banned for making too much of the fact that its lead character was a Muslim but this is nevertheless a clever move - allowing the programme makers to not demonise Muslims by showing both moderate and extremist opinions.
Compared plenty to 24, the show is obviously still very different in terms of its format, but in terms of how thrilling, how cleverly constructed and how startlingly original the programme is, its arguably a fair comparison.
The show is being released on DVD in the UK on August 18 and I really hope that people take the opportunity to discover a gem they may have missed given FX\'s relatively small audience. If you like not only 24, but also things like The Wire, Prison Break and other compulsive hits, Sleeper Cell is well worth looking out for.moreless
FANTASTIC!!! A must see for anyone who likes intellectual, elegant, realistic, as well as cleverly scripted shows .. It is truly hard to find QUALITY shows like this these days; I am glad i had the chance to see it.
Those who haven't seen the whole 1st season have no right to judge this show. I am not a Muslim, but i understand the struggles one goes through due to religious faith in a foreign land. This show aims to give us, the American people, an 'open mind'(among other noble prerogatives), so that we may understand why we are facing the "dilemma" of racial and religious hardships around the world. The show also stresses the importance of being an understanding and willing people striving towards a greater level of peace among our friends; even if they practice a different faith. Showtime has been coming out with some good shows lately, thank you. It is about time someone took the initiative of moving away from the regular "garbage" hollywood/ cable networks throw out to the public expecting us to like it.
PS. I hope they do a season 3.moreless
"I left my wallet in El Segundo..."
If you get the summary that I wrote then you are a fan of the show. Ha...like I am going to criticize someone for not catching the subtle nuances of the show.
Anyways...I got the seasons a while ago and have never had the time to sit and start watching them. I just finished season one and wow, I really enjoy this show so far. I thought that all of the characters did a great job playing their roles. It had (what I thought to be) very little fluff and filler plots that most of the time drive me away from shows. This, to me, especially happens in shows that are an hour long. I rarely could predict the next moves. It is also hard to me to pick out most and least favorite episodes. If you are going to classify this as a "cop drama" it is hard to come by something of this quality. Thank you Showtime, for producing something that leaves viewers thinking. Some people are saying how this stereotypes Muslims in the United States of America or may make people fear Muslim Americans more or plant that fear...I am not going to say that is wrong, but I bring it up more to make the point that I am glad a show is getting people to talk and debate topics like this. Although, if you do believe that come on get real. How often does an episode of CSI (insert city name here) or Law and Order (insert any three letters here) get you to think? Oh wait, are we to give props to NYPD blue for showing fat asses well...ass or saying a naughty word? Hell no, but I guess they are doing what they can do on basic TV. I would recommend the show to anyone...of course there is nudity and off color language that may turn people off, but unless you are really a holy roller (and if you are why are you watching Showtime) you will most likely instantly dislike the program.
I can't wait to crack into season two. Also, I have yet to look into it but TV.com has this listed as a returning series...is it?moreless
Great show, somewhat controversial, and definitely worth your time.
Sleeper Cell is one of those HBO series TV shows where they don't sensor out anything, which helps this series out a lot. Sleeper Cell is about a terrorist cell operating out of a US city with some members being homebrew and some from middle eastern countries it creates a diverse group all with the same objective but one. Micheal Ealy's character is a undercover agent trying to make his way into the cell to help alert the authorities whenever their leader tells the the target after he puts them through some tough tests. This season (one) was originally just planned to be a mini-series but was signed on for a second season. I'd recommend this show to people who enjoy shows like brotherhood or sopranos. Season one consists of only 9 episodes so if you get hooked at least you don't throw away 24 hours of your life like Lost or 24.moreless