I have spent the last week bingeing on Netflix’s new offering du jour: Sense 8. Netflix has a good track record with me. I almost always end up enjoying their productions, occasionally even loving them. I’ve long been a House of Cards addict and Hemlock Grove held this weird sway over me for a while of which I sometimes still feel the pull. So I was prepared to at least enjoy Sense 8. I was not quite prepared for the ecstasies it sent my tv loving brain into.
That is more than enough of me- what is great about this show will be my focus from here on out. Sense 8 is, in brief, a show about a group of eight people across the world who can telepathically communicate with each other. This includes appearing in whatever spot one of their companions happens to be (without anyone else being able to see or hear them), randomly experiencing what another one of the eight is feeling, and being able to sort of replace one of the eight in a given situation while still appearing to everyone else that the original person is still there. That sounds complicated but it basically means that if Lito needs to punch someone but doesn’t really know how, Wolfgang will step into his body and do it for him.
Now for the great stuff. The eight main characters are living in Chicago, London, Nairobi, Seoul, San Francisco, India, Germany, and Mexico City. The show manages to juggle eight separate people, most of whom never meet in the flesh, and still form coherent storylines that connect them. They become an interconnected group that have specific relationships with different people within the cohort and also manage to have their own storylines. So over the course of twelve episodes we see eight different full storylines as well as one overarching storyline for the season. It is mindblowingly difficult to do that with half as many main characters.
You dip in and out of what amounts to a Bollywood romance, a german revenge tragedy, a cop drama, a South Korean version of Orange is the New Black, a gang warfare action movie…. etc etc etc. And they work together! Wolfgang the german safecracker who is out for revenge against his evil family will suddenly get pulled into Kala’s Bollywood wedding dramedy, altering both of their perspectives. And so on and so on. The characters grow and build upon each others’ growth to form a cohesive unit that I very much hope will continue to develop in season two. They certainly had me weeping with emotion and joy by the end. Pull up a couch and binge this one. DO IT.
The * The first few episodes struggle a bit with getting into a cohesive groove just because there are so many characters. Get to the episode “What’s Going On” and watch that scene (you will know it when you get to it) and then, if you aren’t hooked I will allow you to give up. But not until then 😉
Another * This show is TVMA for a reason. It can get intense in a number of ways, so be aware.
Ok now go!