Not for Everyone, the show definitely seizes upon the changing attitudes of society.
“Sense8” is surprising television. I can also say that the Netflix show is exciting television, but I can’t decide whether it is great television. The show springs from the minds of Andy and Lana Wachowski who have confounded, and frustrated me, with everything they have ever made. They certainly continue the trend with this foray into television.
The first thing I should give notice too is that this show is deeply involved in the sexual nature of these characters. The LGBT community is heavily represented in the show and based on your comfort level will seriously affect your enjoyment. I can say there is a moment in episode 1 that even made me a bit uncomfortable. The film is light on the violence, but it is still present and bloody.
Now that I have those disclaimers out of the way, let’s talk about how awesome of a sci-fi show it is. The show follows a distinct set of characters (there are eight of them, hence the title) who are “sensates”; they are apparently the next step in human evolution. Sensates live all over the globe, are of all genders and sexualities and races and are psychically and physically connected. The characters also appear connected on an emotional level as well and often experience, share and can even help their fellow sensates in times of heightened stress.
Jamie Clayton is a transgender woman in peril, and there is closeted Mexican actor Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre) whose struggles with identity seem a little out of date, but in trying to balance his life at home and what he projects to the world; everything comes to a head. Brian J. Smith is trapped in a police-drama; that just seems to bounce around and deal with the shows “Yoda”, Naveen Andrews’ Jonas. There is Tina Desai’s Kala, who so far ( I admit to only being 4 episodes in) seems only to be a pretty face, stresses out over her family and participates in a killer Bollywood number (4 episodes in- two musical numbers, I like it!). These are the major plot threads as of the fourth episode, the other characters will hopefully expand in depth.
With the help of genre writer J. Michael Straczynski, I think the Wachowski’s have once again created something unique. The problem again, as with “Cloud Atlas”, “Speed Racer” among others (sorry but there was no excuse for “Jupiter Ascending”) they are amazing idea people but execution is still not their thing. This time, at least they had some help.
I do recommend “Sense8” with a bit of hesitation, because it is not going to be for everyone. It is for fans of the Wachowski’s other works, but is definitely for those whose sensibilities and see identity as something malleable across gender lines and sexual morays as something transitional and anything but traditional. As our country deals again and again with issues of identity, it is worthy of some serious water-cooler talk.
The photo above is a screen grab.