Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Are you watching Sense8? You should be.

I've said all along that Jupiter Ascending would be an amazing movie.... if it was a series on Netflix.

Well, the Wachowski's did just that in Sense8.

The show is about a group of people, all exactly the same age, that are linked on some cosmic psychic LAN network.

The Sensates are (with help from Wikipedia)

  • Capheus, a compassionate Matatu van driver in Nairobi 
  • Sun Bak, daughter of a powerful Seoul businessman. A burgeoning star in the underground kickboxing world
  • Nomi Marks, a trans woman and hacktivist living in San Francisco.
  • Kala Dandekar, a university-educated pharmacist and devout Hindu in Mumbai engaged to marry a man she does not love
  • Riley Blue, an Icelandic DJ with a troubled past that made her run away to London
  • Wolfgang Bogdanow, a Berlin locksmith and safe-cracker, who has unresolved issues with his late father and participates in organized crime
  • Lito Rodriguez, a closeted Spanish actor living in Mexico City
  • Will Gorski, a Chicago police officer

from the reacp of the last episode

The sensates are from all over the world, in a variety of genders, sexualities, with a variety of skills.

Why is this show awesome?

It's got the world-building that I love.  It's also beautifully shot.  When the characters access the neural network, they appear in each other's surroundings.  The conversation can start in London, then bounce to Seoul, then to Chicago. 

The story is rather slow to unfold.  Many people have mentioned that if this were a weekly show, it wouldn't have lasted.  That was many people's issue with Lost, it was too slow to unfold the plot.  The joy of Netflix, is that there is momentum.  We'd finish an episode and roll into the next, dying to know what went on next.
What I find so intriguing is how badly these people that are spread all over the globe need each other.  Multiples times during the back 4 episodes one character would be in a bind, and other would step in.  Need someone beat up?  Sun will do it.  Driving a get away car?  Capheus.  Need to sweet talk your way in somewhere?  Lito.  The sensates call on each other in times of triumph and tragedy.  They save each other's lives in a variety of ways.


Thankfully, the show had HUGE payoffs in later episodes, and enough of a resolution (with just enough unanswered questions) to leave me anxiously waiting for a season 2.

Should you be watching it?  Yes.  But give it a chance.  The premise is way out there, and the work is amazingly dense (like many of J. Michael Straczynski and the Wachowski's other works), but worth while.

It's one of those worlds that I wish I could live in.  

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