Sleeper Cell : Season 1

  • Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 4, 2005
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 57
  2. Negative: 9 out of 57

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User Reviews

  1. JillK
    Mar 4, 2006
    10
    I can't think of any show more entertaining than this one. It's riveting, leaving me excitedly waiting for the next episode. A risky and gripping show.
  2. TomD
    Jan 4, 2006
    10
    Fantastic. Better than 24, sorry it is over.
  3. BradB
    Jan 4, 2006
    10
    Better than 24! Hope it comes on again.
  4. DWIGHTT
    Dec 15, 2005
    9
    great show..love the idea of this show..but at times is just drags on--want to see more action
  5. MarinaD
    Jan 15, 2006
    10
    I can't remember another show in which a non-Christian religion is taken seriously as part of the characters' motivation. This series builds and becomes more griipping wtih each episode. Wonderful acting from a talented ensemble, including especially the magnetic Mr. Fehr.
  6. JudyS
    Jan 1, 2006
    10
    outstanding, riveting drama, best mini series in recent memory on any channel
  7. TomT
    Mar 1, 2006
    8
    Yes the writing could be stronger and I have to suspend my disbelief each episode with how flagrantly indescrete these terrorists are...but then again truth being stranger than fiction the cell thought brought about 9/11 were just as indiscrete. However this is brave and challenging television. This show would NEVER last a millisecond on network TV without a huge public uproar.
  8. manisht
    Mar 18, 2006
    10
    Definately deserves a second season. Definately
  9. RobK
    Mar 19, 2006
    10
    loved the show, I want a second season!
  10. ByronA
    May 20, 2006
    10
    Hands down, this is the best show on TV. It's gut-wrenching and real.
  11. JasonK
    May 5, 2006
    10
    Absolutely fantastic! A gripping thriller with themes and characters that most networks are uncomfortable portraying in their shows such as jihad, Islam and the War on Terror. Bravo Showtime!
  12. MitchellK
    Sep 9, 2006
    10
    I haven't seen television written any better than this.
  13. CarnieH
    Dec 4, 2005
    10
    This show is awesome! Couldn't beleive I was actually hearing people discuss this topic in depth. I love Michael Ealy and hoipe and pray there's a Darwin out there somewhere.
  14. LawrenceR
    Dec 5, 2005
    10
    I'm with Carnie -- it's the next morning and I still can't believe they were actually dealing with so much REAL WORLD STUFF in a 1-hr TV show, not to mention dealing with it so well. If it stays this good it will be great.
  15. ClarkW
    Dec 6, 2005
    10
    Awesome!!! I just watched the 3rd episode, where they go to Mexico to fix money problems. This show is tight and taught but also is filled with thought! As far as showing terrorists "as if they are hypocrites in their practice of Islam" -- dude, do you think they are NOT hypocrites? And stoning as a means of carrying out the death penalty went on regularly in Taliban Afghanistan. The more Awesome!!! I just watched the 3rd episode, where they go to Mexico to fix money problems. This show is tight and taught but also is filled with thought! As far as showing terrorists "as if they are hypocrites in their practice of Islam" -- dude, do you think they are NOT hypocrites? And stoning as a means of carrying out the death penalty went on regularly in Taliban Afghanistan. The more we learn about the terror cell members the more real they are -- like Walker-Lindh, Jose Padilla, the German "Blonde Emir," etc. This show is like THE WIRE vs. terrorism... I LOVE IT! Expand
  16. NancyH
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    Extremely chilling, terrific acting and very realistic. Can't wait for 3rd season to see if Darwyn survives.
  17. JenniferW
    Jun 25, 2006
    10
    I would like to see this come back as a regular series.
  18. DeydelT
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    excellent must watch it little kiss from France
  19. amardeeps
    Dec 18, 2005
    10
    simply...amazing
  20. ah
    Dec 22, 2005
    10
    dont let the reviews fool you. this was a great show, from beginning to end. only complaint i have is there werent more episodes. definitely deserves a second season.
  21. DougM
    Dec 8, 2005
    9
    The show is really good past the first episode. Some hokeyness, but overall it's a fun ride to the end.
  22. SamehY
    Dec 8, 2005
    9
    Sleeper Cell is not only about entertainement. It reflects a reality that has been long mis-understood. It also exposes the stereotyping and islamophobia that have flooded the media since 9/11. It is a realistic, objective and honest show that also exposes the fight within the islamic faith on who really represent this faith.
  23. ShandraS
    Nov 11, 2006
    10
    This show was the best and I think that they should have a season 2! If that is possible because Michael Ealy is very hott!
  24. nickh
    Dec 11, 2006
    10
    Totally refreshing to see anything on tv that attempts to demonstrate why terrorists are willing to go to such extreme measures. Wish more americans were as focused and disciplined. We'd then truely be the strongest nation. But most americans just dont have anything to so strong to believe in. Were too obsessed with american idols and make-up products and plastic surgery and football Totally refreshing to see anything on tv that attempts to demonstrate why terrorists are willing to go to such extreme measures. Wish more americans were as focused and disciplined. We'd then truely be the strongest nation. But most americans just dont have anything to so strong to believe in. Were too obsessed with american idols and make-up products and plastic surgery and football and music with no worthwhile message Collapse
  25. Angel
    Apr 13, 2006
    9
    love it!! so real, it's scary! can't wait for season 2
  26. martins
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    excellent
  27. lucl
    Dec 12, 2005
    10
    it is an awesome picture of what the truth might be. If the truth is less than the movie, well I am sure the terrorist will use these ideas, if the reality is more... Be afraid.
  28. Dec 7, 2014
    8
    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 itIt 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.
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Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    58
    All of Sleeper Cell's didacticism would be forgiven if it were more entertaining. [2 Dec 2005, p.67]
  2. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    This engrossing and unnerving nail-biter is a rare treat: a thriller with a brain and a soul.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Despite laudable elements -- particularly the magnetic Oded Fehr as the cell leader -- [the] series is too uneven to dub this ambitious mission a complete success.