Sleeper Cell

Showtime (ended 2006)





Sleeper Cell Fan Reviews (42)

Write A Review
out of 10
1,353 votes
  • 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.