TV Review: Sense8
Sci-fi been in my parents’ blood, always in my blood and will be passed down my children’s blood. I haven’t quite had enough of really, really good science fiction on TV. Don’t get me wrong, I watch almost all supernatural and fantasy shows and enjoy them all. In fact, I am making subtitles for one of them. However, Netflix’s SENSE8 is the best show on television. Ever. Period.
Movies, TV and books are my passion; my biggest one. I am at the movies each week at least once, I have a list of shows I watch every day, I read a book a fortnight. Around the time Jupiter Ascending came out–a movie I had fun watching — I learned about this strange, matrix-like show called Sense8. I had no idea what the bizarre title meant so after reading the brief plot summary I knew what I was doing on June 5th.
Months and months went by, the first month of the summer was approaching and buzz started circling around this show. Once the first trailer hit, I watched it a quadrillion of times and, therefore, learned it by heart, sounds weird, but that is what I am like once I get obsessed. Then the next two dropped, though I only saw them a few times because I did not want to spoil myself. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The trailer gave away nothing but glimpses of what I would later find an exhilarating show. As much as negative hype there was surrounding Sense8, I had belief in it; even more so in the Wachowski siblings. The Matrix is one of my all-time favourite films and I have been entertained with their follow-ups. Before I knew it, June 5th came by and gave Netflix’s new project a try.
I had, to some extent, lowered my expectations of Sense8 due to the endless flow of mixed reviews about it. I knew the critics had seen just the first three episodes, but I still bought into their opinions. Gladly, I was pleased to find out they were horribly wrong about the show. Immensely wrong.
What critics make out to be a slow, convoluted mess was actually an incredible show with an engaging and fresh script. The creators’ concept of eight, completely different people, from all walks of life, turned out to have been developed and crafted to more than just that; it’s been brought to being as a masterpiece. The idea of eight individuals to be connected by a mental connection is not only ambitious, but also enticing. I have always wanted to know what some other human might be feeling or thinking at some point, but I have never imagined just that.
From episode one, you are on a rollercoaster that only goes up, building the tension right up until the vastly satisfying and exciting climax. The message that we are all the same, regardless of gender, race and sexuality is very well-conveyed. The first half of the season — or shall I say movie? — is about getting to know the characters, to find out who they really are and why they are doing what they are doing. You see them develop throughout the entire 13 hours of runtime. You feel for them, every moment of their life. Or you don’t. What do I know about you? Each character is well-rounded and yet complex. One is Wolfgang, the German guy who breaks into apartments, cracking safes, but has a teeny tiny heart of gold. Other is Nomi, a trans woman who is fighting her own demons and lives in San Francisco. Third is Riley, a DJ from Iceland, living in London, trying to find her place among the crowd. You also have Lito — the Mexican actor, who is pretending to be straight in front of the cameras and Sun, a Korean businesswoman at day and ass-kicker at night, literally. In addition, there are Kala, the Indian girl, which is forced into marrying a man she doesn’t know and Capheus an African bus driver, taking care for his mother. Will is a Chicago cop which has to take care of his sick father and put up with tough criminals.
As you can see, this is one of the most diverse shows out there. I will lie if I say there are no stereotypical characters, there are. However, as they develop, they get personalities and you become more invested in them. This is where the Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski shine — they have created not only characters that you, as a viewer, truly care about, but also a world so big and epic in scope, it feels wrong to watch on your laptop or even TV. The beautiful cinematography and intelligent storytelling deserve to be seen on the biggest screen possible, as well as with a great audio system. The soundtrack is both heart-pumping and heart-breaking when it needs to be. In a nutshell, Sense8 is Netflix’s best show to date and it does a stellar job combining many personal moments as well as innovative action scenes and great storytelling. Oh, and don’t believe that there is so much sexual content. There are four or five sex scenes at most. Yes, some are unconventional, but even these scenes are shot masterfully and with taste. So, where do you stand on this one? Have you seen Sense8? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Make sure to let me know in the comments section down below.
Now, Netflix, let Sense8 season 2 happen.