Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sleeper Cell (2005)

Even the white football jock is great!

Drama Thriller Series

Starring: Michael Ealy (Barbershop), Oded Fehr (The Mummy; Resident Evil: Extinction)

Directed By: Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut), Guy Ferland ("The Shield"; Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), and others

Overview: The story of a Muslim FBI agent infiltrating a terrorist cell in Los Angeles.

Acting: The people involved are all terrific. Yeah, they're TV actors and directors but they really give it their all. You can really tell that Michael Ealy was picked very carefully. He's amazing, as is everyone else, even the tertiary characters, like the chemical plant loser and the trucker. Everyone's got a chance to make it big from this show, mark my words.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The budget doesn't account for helicopter and crane shots, and the audience isn't about sweeping panoramas, so I can't give it top billing, but it's as good as anything else.
Rating: 7

Script: The challenge with acting is you can do everything just right, but if your lines are garbage it comes out sounding weak. This is so well written that it's like you're there. With such lines as cops saying "Put the fucking gun down," and lots of other languages with subtitles, it's like the writers actually THOUGHT about the people they were writing about. Not fluff, though the whole love interest angle bothered me. That woman was my least favorite.
Rating: 8

Plot: The plot is what carries you though the whole series. Sure it has some real predictable moments, but it's TV, and they can't think TOO far out the box, or they'll CANCEL you. I'd give it top score, but the love interest was honestly stupid. Keep your FBI out of the pants of white trash single moms.
Rating: 9

Mood: The tension and the suspense is terrific. Even the scenes where you're just learning about people's resolve, or when there's a little thing learned about a character, it adds such weight to their zeal and purpose. The mood is so very believable, and though themes fluctuate as they must, the overall focus never wavers. Keep it up.
Rating: 8

"Hey Boss? Want me to hum the "Mission Impossible" theme while you do this?"

Overall Rating: 82% (A Sleeper Hit!)

Aftertaste: Sweet TMN On Demand. Watched the whole series in 2 weeks. That's the way television should be, commercial free. Not sure if this is going to a second season because the official website is for 'Americans only', which is pretty strange if you ask me. I got a nice kick out of this series right from Episode 1. Even the climax of the Season is honest and realistic without being preachy. Highly recommended.