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!

Gay Marriage Legal in the U.S.

Many friends of mine back in Greenville celebrated yesterday’s decision at Limelight, a gay bar downtown. It was great to see many gay couples celebrating on Facebook as well as the LGBTQIA community in general celebrate on many forms of social media. Even WordPress has a rainbow on their site settings!

This is a huge step towards equality.

In this hetero-normative society, it has taken YEARS to make same-sex marriage legal.

And right now, there are still youth who are bullied for not being straight, there are still gender biased movements and products everywhere you look, transgender people (especially transgender people of color) are still persecuted physically and emotionally, it wasn’t until recently that intersex individuals have very little recognition in social awareness, and most importantly, there are people who still have to go through the process of “coming out” even though heterosexuals such as myself don’t have to.

Don’t get me wrong, this is such a positive amongst all of the negative that has been happening this summer and this year. And it is still something to celebrate.

I couldn’t be any happier for my friends in the gay community. I just have to remember, and we all have to remember, that there’s still work to do.

Womanhood

Many have read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, if not read it, then at least heard of it. Although Hester was stigmatized as a whore for the majority of her life, that is not the only struggle that people, particularly women, may face. There are those who get stigmatized as a prude.

Although men feel pressured just as much as women, in our society, women are the minority and not men. Often, men are easily forgiven for whichever path of sexuality they want to take in their lives, even praised for it, while women either have to be the object of sainthood or lust.

It is disappointing that women are faced by the double edged sword of sexuality constantly. Ally Sheed in The Breakfast Club has stated that if a woman says that she has had sex, she is a slut, and if she hasn’t she is a weirdo.

One’s personal life should not matter to others, yet it contains such importance for those others.

The media screams to the heavens that sex is the basis of everything. Whether it is pornography, what is meant to be “tasteful” in marketing, or even virtually every film and television show ever made that has to include a romantic relationship in the mix of the story.

Religion and tradition has the tendency to place sex into the question of what is moral in our every day lives and in our every day society. Religion and tradition want to promote purity despite how, most of the time, even if one is a virgin, one is still not pure.

At a party, for example, there are usually two types of people who must be judged so easily by unintentionally evil eyes.

You have the “Good Girl,” who is a young woman who can have fun sober and socializing with others. Men might find her as a challenge, for giving their blessings of flirtations and offers of “drinks,” become empty when their words are useless and water is a good enough drink for this girl. Due to peer pressure, she may cross her arms in defiance towards the setting she is in, or she may take a sip or more of Malibu to please the men and women around her. She may have the urge to leave, in order to remove the negative connotation of “good” she wears as a gaudy necklace tonight.

Then, you have the “Fast Girl,” a young woman confident in her body and enjoys the taste of alcohol while socializing with others and having fun. Men might find her as a challenge because of how other men may have catered to her and how women may be jealous or view her as narcissistic with the attention she receives. Due to peer pressure, she may stop drinking, or become more drunk than usual as she drowns her sorrows into other people through dance and isolation, or she may simply leave. “Slut” is not a great accessory to be strangled by tonight.

The fact that women must choose only one of these two archetypes that have such baneful and uncomfortable purposes, is wrong.

The word “good,” is obviously a positive term. However, when using it to insult women for choosing not to have sex or not to indulge so much in sex does not make it positive. And to describe a woman with high self esteem as “fast,” especially when she doesn’t cross the line between satiation and overindulgence, is hurtful and repulsive.

Everyone is entitled to use their bodies as they please. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or doing it out of hatred or insecurity, that truth still stands.