Sense8 – A Few Thoughts

A while back I vowed to watch everything the Wachowskis released.  While I love the Wachowskis’ vision and cinematography, their stories and dialogue are often challenged.  I hoped with a twelve episode series like Sense8, and with the help of writer J. Michael Straczynski, they would have enough time to really let their story unfold.

Sense8 is the epic adventure of eight people from around the globe who suddenly and unexpectedly become telepathically linked.  Sometimes they can purposefully link up with another, but more often than not it happens without warning or during moments of great duress.  The rules are a little fuzzy.  Sometimes they are simply there for only their fellow member to see, but other times they can actually take over the body of their partner.

Most of this first season delves into each characters’ personal story line and each one of the eight characters is very charismatic.  I never got bored with a single one of them.  They span the planet, and they are all dealing with complex story lines that are interesting to follow.  The series shines when it focuses on the personal stories, and it is very cool when they pop into another’s life in order to lend a hand.  Unfortunately, the overarching story, the plot somehow binding them all together, is less clear.  I assume that much will be revealed in subsequent seasons, but things felt a bit forced when the clandestine evil entity intent upon imprisoning them all came into play.

The Wachowskis excel at the visual.  They claim that each character’s story was shot in that character’s home environment, so we have beautiful locations such as Kenya, Iceland, India, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, Chicago, London, and San Francisco.  The scenery is breathtaking.  Frankly, this is a beautiful series to watch.

However, be aware that the Wachowskis strive to include characters that represent our real world.  Therefore we have heterosexual characters, homosexual characters, and transgender characters.  As a result, we have sometimes explicit sex scenes of all orientations.  You want to make sure the kids are in bed for this one.

And while each character’s plight is interesting, the old Wachowski issue of dialogue arises.  At times each character seems to have majored in philosophy.  Every single one of them delivers a lengthy speech at some point, and there were many, many moments when I expected each speech to end with “and that’s one to grow on.”

Sense8 is a beautiful, interesting first season with exquisite locations, likable characters, plenty of action, and a fascinating premise.  Though not perfect due to unnatural dialogue and far too many “deep” speeches, I am excited to see where the second season takes our cast of eight.

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