Thursday, January 25, 2007

sleeper cell: the second season

So... I recently found a website where I could see the first few episodes of Sleeper Cell's second season. In some ways, the second season seems to suffert from the same limitations as the first season which I've mentioned before (see sleeper cell (part 2)) but fewer of the positives. Little or no emphasis is put on the faith of the main character, Darwyn the African-American Muslim FBI agent (which is unfortunate since it provided some interesting contrast and tension in the first season). In a similar vein, the government characters are generally portrayed as less compassionate, competent and ethical than they were in the first season. Instead of being about a sincere Muslim who has to carefully negotiate and come to terms with various loyalties and identities (keeping his own faith and integrity, not blowing his cover, and fighting against those who would betray his nation and his ummah) in this season, both the government characters and the Muslim villans seem painted in broader strokes and so the story seems more cartoonish than before.

I'm not sure of whether this is a good thing or not but the cell members are being portrayed in a more diverse way (e.g. a female member, a Latino ex-gangbanger) I've read that there is also a gay Muslim member of the terror cell but that is not totally obvious from the episodes I've seen. (Although if the claim is true, it is definitely forshadowed). On the one hand this is good in the sense that it shows some of the diversity which exists in the Muslim community. On the other hand, it gives the impression that all Muslims could be terrorists.

Perhaps I'll be able to say more as I see more of the season.

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