Posted: Aug-24-2015 at 1:26pm
First episode date: June 5, 2015
Program creator: J. Michael Straczynski
Writers: J. Michael Straczynski, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
I just finished watching the Netflix series Sense8. Overall, I enjoyed it, though I felt it would have benefited from some explanation, especially in regards to whole the whole sharing senses thing worked. I suppose for a first season, it did it's job in that it presented more questions than it answered, leaving (for me anyway) an intent to watch the second season to see if they are answered. Season one is more like and origin story, setting everything up for the heroes to tackle in the next installment.
I'm not going to offer an episode by episode breakdown. Suffice to say that some episodes pulled me along better than others, and that it seemed to me that the episodes got better as the season progressed. That might be because of the number of characters. Early on, I didn't have much connection to them, and as a consequence, not much investment. But as the screen time for each of them built up, and they became more individually indistinguishable and their stories more defined, I became more interested.
Don't look for a lot of sense here though (heh). Logic and explanation is a scare commodity in the Sense8 world. The characters have no idea what's really going on and neither will you, other than they are:
2. Being hunted
The different we know - they are able to connect and share completely with each other through a gift that's like ESP on steroids. But how they got that gift, why they have it, why they are seen as a threat and why they are hunted are never answered.
One of the challenges with such a large cast of main characters is to make them and all their stories interesting. In Sense8, I definitely found some of the characters more engaging than others. The side effect for me was much less interest in the show when the characters I'd become attached to weren't being followed. Considering there are eight characters with the "gift" and various other satellite characters, I was often left halfheartedly viewing scenes somewhat impatiently waiting for the characters I was interested in to reappear. There are a lot of balls in the air here, and some of them hit the floor.
I'm not sure Sense8 will be for everyone. A few things to consider are the sex and violence (as well as some explicit birth scenes) which peak at R-rated levels and are probably too intense and graphic for anyone younger than around 16 or 17.
It also takes some dedication to get through the first few episodes until the characters get more fleshed out and interesting.
Although billed as science-fiction, the abilities here are more akin to magic. Hard science fiction fans who like science and explanations might be frustrated. It ends up being much more about the people that the "tech".
Nevertheless, it's exciting to see Netflix taking chances with a series like this, a series to graphic and adult for network and cable, but too small to generate the type of profit an HBO or Showtime would want.
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