Fangirls, one of my favorite genres ever since I was a child has been science fiction. To read, to write, and especially to watch. So when I first heard of this new Netflix series Sense8, I was intrigued.
Sense8 is about a group – or as the show calls it, a cluster – of eight people around the world who are advanced and can sense each other. Not only sense, but they can talk to each other, see each others’ memories, see each others’ homes and locations, and even, if the situation calls for it, take over each others’ bodies. It’s made by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski and only has twelves episodes so far. But these episodes have been great. First, let’s go over the many, many characters.
Will, a Chicago police officer who Jonas (more later) teaches about the sensates.
Riley, a woman from Iceland working as a DJ in London.
Capheus, a bus driver in Nairobi who is trying to take care of his dying mother any way he can.
Lito, an actor in Mexico City who hides the knowledge that he is gay in order to maintain his career.
Sun Bak, a woman in Seoul who by day helps run her father’s company and by night fights in the underground kickboxing world.
Nomi, a transgender woman living happily with her girlfriend, and she’s a pretty smart hacker.
Kala, a woman in Mumbai who is about to be married but is unsure of her future.
And finally Wolfgang, a locksmith and safe cracker in Berlin.
These are just the main eight characters. They are the current cluster, and within the cluster some of them are closer than others. This seems to be true for all clusters, as we’ve met a few from the previous cluster. Let’s go into the other important characters.
First, Jonas. He is a man from the previous cluster, seemingly one of the last alive. He appears to Will and Nomi and helps them begin to understand what’s happening to them. He is closely connected to, and in love with Angelica, a woman from the same cluster who opens the show by “birthing” the new sensates. Amanita is Nomi’s girlfriend who is amazing at helping and protecting Nomi. Hernando is Lito’s lover, and Daniella is Lito’s lover to the public. And then there’s Whispers, the antagonist. He is hunting the sensates, seemingly to experiment on them.
Ok, so that’s a lot of characters. But they’re all well written and well performed. The writing, the scenery, the concept, all of this I love. Each episode is at once funny, intense, philosophical, and gripping. Every character is appropriately cast and they’re all diverse and all amazing. It’s easy to become invested in the characters.
But there are some things that confuse me about the series. One is some scenes with Will. There’s a few moments where he is sensing someone, either Angelica or someone else involved – possibly a girl named Susan who he saw as a child after she went missing – and even though timeline-wise for the show he has to be an adult he’s shown as a child. I don’t understand why they chose to write that in, and it hasn’t been explained. If it’s an artistic feature to show that he feels like his child self, then ok I guess. But it doesn’t make sense. Every time we see any sensate as a child it’s in a flashback, and that makes sense. But these moments with Will aren’t – can’t be – flashbacks, so what’s the purpose?
The other thing that really bothers me is that aside from Will and Nomi and Riley a little bit, none of the sensates know what is going on and yet they all just accept that they can interact with these seven other people that no one else can see. Why do they all accept it? Why don’t they question what’s happening. They just accept that they can see each other, can sense each other’s thoughts and memories, can be in two places at once, and can help each other in dangerous situations. How can they just accept this so easily, no questions asked. They barely ever even seem confused by what’s happening. The only one who questions it is Nomi, and that’s only when she thinks the medicine she’s been forced has made her hallucinate. To me, this is the most unrealistic aspect of the show, that everyone just suddenly has this change and goes along with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love how they all interact with each other. I love seeing scenes where they just appear to each other and talk or seeing them all becoming friends and some even falling in love. Those scenes are fantastic, watching them all getting to know each other, getting to know everything. But I have a hard time believing basically none of them question why they can suddenly see and talk to someone on the other side of the world.
None of this should stop you from watching the show if you want to. It’s an incredible show, a little graphic at times and a lot of swearing at times. But overall it’s a really incredible show.
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