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In Review: Sense8



In the 90's there have been sci fi shows that have shared many aspects with each other from the look to several narrative troupes writers look out for now. Sense8 takes many cues from those shows like the X-Files and Millennium and cranks it up pass 10 and makes it cool to be you, Man whomever you are. Created by the Wachowskis (the Matrix Trilogy) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) it's hard not to hard not to expect these elements to be in their show, however it's hard to expect a product like this.

Sense8 is culmination of 90's high minded ideals of everyone has the right to be themselves as well as well as modern character based set pieces that gives the faint impression that it's pandering for the social media exposure, a common practice between shows of this generation. Such set pieces range from impromptu musical performances to obscene mass sexual acts. While those scenes are well shot, directed, and are great character moments, they are small reprieves from what is for the most part a monotonous show.

The general plot of Sense8 is a group of eight people, living in eight cities, with vastly different occupations around the world are telepathically, and possibly emotionally interconnected (a tired Wachowski theme) and they go about their lives experiences personal tragedies along the way when insert generic governmental group, run by a mysterious generic white man (a tired 90's idea) called the Whispers (snore) hunts them down. The group of eight has the ability to jump into each others' lives in the moment and help them out during times of great distress. My description of the plot is snarky, but it's snark with a purpose.

The premise has some promise: It's a sci fi plot that can lend itself to natural commentary on the human experience. However the Wachowski's can't help themselves at several points in the first season but to belabor the same point they've been touting for all out of their filmography: That we are all interconnected and we all need to be sensitive to one another's struggles. It's a perfectly fine gesture but it's a gesture not best served as ham fisted as is the rest of the writing on this. For example one of the characters is an African bus driver in Nairobi whom is trying to get medicine for his mother who was ousted from her village and has AIDS, while an Indian woman is going to marry a man she does not love. It's those many bad writing moments that plague what could have been a far smarter show. Credit where credit is due the actors sell characters to the best of their abilities so they don't come off as one dimensional as they could have because the dialogue also does them no favors. What could have been a major positive of the main cast being multi-cultural from having different races, genders, and sexual orientation is let down by the repetitiveness of the dialogue, weird shifts in pacing, and general poor writing.


Overall this is a show that has spurts of absolute spectacle, which is fun, but can hit a rut of sermonizing they like indulge in. Although I do think there are some fixable infrastructure problems with the show I do at least recommend people attempt to make it past the first three episodes because they are the most... laborious to get through. It's a fun show about equality and even though it's incredibly trite and sentimental at times there is some value in this entertainment. You can watch the entire first season on NetFlix.



  

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