Sense 8 on Netflix (a love story)

This weekend I watched the new Wachowski series on Netflix called Sense 8. What follows are my barely edited thoughts…

Sense8 (Netflix – 12 episodes)


Created by The Wachowskis & J. Michael Straczynski

Written by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski

Directed by The Wachowskis, Tom TykwerJames McTeigue and Dan Glass

Starring Aml AmeenAlfonso HerreraDoona BaeJamie ClaytonTina DesaiTuppence MiddletonMax RiemeltMiguel Ángel SilvestreBrian J. SmithFreema AgyemanTerrence MannAnupam KherNaveen Andrews & Daryl Hannah

I loved everything about this show. Sense8 is straight drama with the slightest hint of sci-fi action adventure. But it is, at its core, a drama. After 12 episodes I can’t even count how many times this show almost made me cry. Yes. There are some fight scenes (at least one per episode) and there’s some shooting and action but that’s not where Sense8 shines. Sense8 shines when it’s breaking our hearts. And I loved it.

Sense8 photo 4

Sense8 is the story of eight distinct people. Eight people who are worlds apart and miles apart. One an actor in Mexico City. Two a business woman in Seoul. Three a DJ in London. A cop in Chicago. A trans woman in San Francisco. A van driver in Nairobi. A young scientist in India, and a criminal in Germany. And it is in our discovering of these characters that Sense8 is at its absolute phenomenal best. Us discovering them and them discovering each other.

Sense 8 photo

In Sense8, eight people share a connection that allows them to see, hear, feel, taste, smell, remember and share emotions and aspirations with the seven other people in their “cluster”. Although miles apart they are able to communicate and help each other as they’re hunted by a corporation and a mysterious man who also has the power to project himself into the minds of some of the Sense8.

I can’t really explain it, but what it is to me is a vehicle for absolutely outstanding character development and exciting and emotional and I loved this show so fucking much. But I have no words to describe it properly. So I’m just gonna say this…

Sense8 photo 3

You ever say that you’re going to re-watch something? I say it a lot. I watch a full season of a show and swear I’ll watch it again. I may even buy the DVDs or save it to my hard-drive. But I never really get around to it. There’s always already a backlog of things I need to watch (or do). Well, I’m watching this shit again. Probably this weekend. One of the most enjoyable fucking things I have seen in a long time. I’m gonna watch it several times probably. I loved this show so much I want to marry it.

The Actor

Sense8 is so many things at the same time. It is sexy as all hell. Interesting, entertaining. It is romantic and heartbreaking. It is frustrating and crowd-pleasing. Exciting. Did I mention that the S. Korean business woman is also a kick-ass bad-ass kick boxing martial artist? Or that the trans woman is a hacker? The criminal a psychotic mastermind? The group compliment each other but it is in the scenes where they combine their powers that it almost becomes a superhero program. “Our eight powers combine as one.” (NOT actual dialogue from the show)

Machete Sense8

My only problem with it, if I had to find one, is that every character has their own accent. They’re all decent actors but not all are the best English speakers. And all the characters are speaking English. Well not really. They’re speaking their native languages but we hear them as English with many different accents. Including British actors doing American accents and more. This is a little annoying at first for me because I can’t stand bad accents… I’m sorry. Except I guess that a whole mess of subtitles would have been even more messy. Plus they have to communicate with each other. So I’m nit-picking.

Sense8 Poster

Sense8 is damn near perfect. I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by a show featuring eight main characters, all in different cities and different countries, and every single one beautifully connected to the others. A fantastic show.

– Mel


7 thoughts on “Sense 8 on Netflix (a love story)

  1. There’s a matched pair of vignettes in episode 10 where an actor and a thief step into each others’ lives at similar crucial moments and replace the other’s limitations with victory. The second ending of the two almost tops the first, but that one’s got guns in it. If this sounds like something you’d watch then get to it because this series is lots better in story and acting than most of the other Netflix specials I’ve tried to watch.

    The story does a tough job quickly, introducing us to eight people in the midst of widely varying lives. After dropping us into so much new experience, the explanation of what we’re seeing begins to gel soon enough, but perhaps I say that only because I like to think about what I’m watching. If you do too, take time to savor.

    In addition to an experienced character who appears to each of them and explains their gift and its peril, the vehicle for narrating is to show characters dropping into each others’ lives, which is simplified by the eight being paired in what turns out to be the richest couplings for sketching the characters’ situations as well as their reasons, such as a remembered revelation of love and destiny that begins, “My heart is not a clock.” So naturally integrated are these moments that they reveal their characters more deeply at the same time.

    Like the events in each episode, these moments are by turns harrowing, sad, exciting, brutal, heroic, uplifting, ironic, moving, and, by the way, the music is worth hearing, too, and aptly chosen.

    Finally, let me assure you there’s too much interesting here to miss any of it by getting bothered over hangups. Allusion to vices as background for understanding certain characters is like the scenes of lovemaking, everyday integral parts of these lives, too heartfelt to be mere titillation. For those who feel bombarded because some of the characters aren’t heterosexual may I suggest doing what minorities have done forever, switch the genders or other differences to whatever you prefer. I’m not transgender or Asian, tall or handicapped, but I’d be pretty poor emotionally if I couldn’t imagine other people having their versions of things that I feel or, for that matter, imagine actors much better looking than me as everyday people.


  2. Pingback: Sense 8 Christmas Special (god bless us… every one) | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

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