Season 1 Review: Sense8

My mother told me to watch Sense8 on Netflix, because it reminded her of the show Heroes and how that was our family show when it was still on. I heard it will be returning to television soon.  Yes! However, in the mean time, I decided to give Sense8 a shot.

Sense8 is about eight people (Will, Kala, Capheus, Sun, Nomi, Riley, Wolfgang, and Lito) around the world referred to as sensates, who belong in a cluster, and their cluster can feel the emotions and surroundings their fellow sensates feel. However, there is an organization out there to destroy and lobotomize them and other sensates.

It definitely exceeded my expectations, which is a great thing. I like how there will always be a philosophical element in The Wachowskis’ work. I also appreciate how diverse and well rounded the characters are.

One critique, or what my mother preferred to call a “suggestion,” was the angle used in the first episode during Will Gorski’s segment as a cop. They talked about “us” verses “them” regarding the police verses gangs, which eventually turned into a scene where Will became a white savior for a black teen in a gang. And for a show trying to be diverse and be controversial in talking about society and politics, it was a missed opportunity to realistically talk about racial tension and police brutality. If a second season is confirmed, it would be great to flesh that out some more in Will Gorski’s story as a police officer. They tried to make up for it in a later episode for how Will always feels the need to save everyone, but that area of the first episode still could have been executed better.

Moreover, I wouldn’t call their cast a form of cosmetic diversity, since they do delve into certain global issues and how the characters connect through their senses in order to help one another out. Especially for Nomi, a white trans-woman hacktivist in San Francisco helped by Will in Chicago, and for Capheus, a black driver in Nairobi helped by Sun in Seoul. However, the need to choose a form of beauty standard for each area of the world for casting is a bit noticeable. That doesn’t make the casting horrible, the cast is all wonderful and they got the job done in their respective roles.

I never got bored when watching the sensates interact in their romantic and platonic relationships; their dialogue and actions were always engaging. I understand that Nomi’s relationship with Amanita, who is not in any cluster, and Lito’s relationship with Hernando, also not in any cluster, are fan favorites, and rightfully so. Strong LGBTQIA relationships are always nice to see on television, especially when delving into issues such as abuse and coming out. If there is a second season, I look forward to seeing how Sun’s relationships with people unfold in terms of violence and how Kala’s relationships, particularly with Wolfgang, unfold in her perspective of nonviolence.

Finally, it was shot beautifully, and they shot on location, which is a difficult but amazing plus.

If we’re doing a rating scale, I would give it a four out of five. Hopefully I get watch another season!

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