The New York Times’ David Halbfinger on the would-be situation comedy, “The Cell”, a post-9/11 laff riot that shockingly, has not been picked up by any network.
Abu, Ahmed, Musab and Salar, a cell of Islamic terrorists sent to Chicago by a nefarious network resembling Al Qaeda, are getting chewed out by their murderous boss, just in from Afghanistan. (They have been spending the organization’s money like crazy but haven’t blown anything up.) Just then, two deliverymen knock on the apartment door, bearing a huge flat-screen TV.
¢ Ahmed, whose cover is a job as a bike messenger, falls in love with a neighborhood florist – who turns out to be Jewish – but can’t get up the nerve to ask her out. “You’re bright, you’re funny, you’re talented,” Musab says, urging his comrade on. “Who made the best nail bomb in training camp? You did!”
¢ Abu blends in by joining a bowling team, and becomes a fanatic: “We will dance in the blood of the losers from Hal’s Body and Paint Shop!” he vows. But he is a hapless terrorist. A fertilizer bomb in his trunk accidentally goes off outside when he is bowling for the league championship – toppling his last two pins and clinching victory
If that’s Casey Kasem on line one, please tell him I’m busy. But seriously, if Fox’s FX channel can find room on the schedule for something as witless as “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” (a self consciously nutty-young-pals program in the “Friends” tradition of featuring zero characters with any redeeming qualities whatsoever), “The Cell” deserves a shot. And Casey’s subsequent press conference should be tremendous.