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lioness-sleeper-cell.jpeg

'Special Ops: Lioness' Looks Like Taylor Sheridan's 'Sleeper Cell'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 8, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | June 8, 2023 |


lioness-sleeper-cell.jpeg

The back half of Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone is still on hiatus, but he’s proceeding ahead with Bass Reeves and Land Man, both of which are currently shooting. (It’s unclear if Taylor Sheridan is still writing or on strike with the WGA).

Meanwhile, his next series Special Ops: Lioness is due out in July and features Sheridan’s trademark “blunt, peremptory vernacular,” as Vulture called it. I like the Western side of Sheridan’s work—the Yellowstone universe—and even Tusla King and Mayor of Kingstown. I have never gotten into Sheridan’s military side—Sicario and Sicario: Day of the Soldado—and I have no idea if Lioness will be an indictment of the CIA or if it will be CIA copaganda. It’s about a “young Marine who is recruited by the CIA to befriend the daughter of a terrorist group in order to bring down the organization from within,” which sounds like Sleeper Cell, a solid but mostly forgotten Showtime series that I think was well ahead of its time.

Sleeper Cell starred Michael Ealy, and while Lioness doesn’t have his captivating sleepy eyes, it does have Zoe Saldana, Morgan Freeman, and Nicole Kidman. It also looks like it will not have the nuance of Sleeper Cell because Taylor Sheridan is about as subtle as a four-car pile-up.

Special Ops: Lioness arrives on Paramount+ on July 12th.