Friday, June 12, 2015

Watch Sense8

I'm lousy at reviewing movies and music and books and stuff. I like what I like. To wit:

I probably should have developed an ability to review, but it just didn't matter that much. Still doesn't, really.

Anyway, last night I finished Sense8, the new Netflix original series created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski. Here's the best summary I've found from the show's Wikipedia entry:

The plot revolves around eight strangers from different parts of the world who suddenly become mentally and emotionally linked and it is set to explore subjects that its writers felt science fiction shows, at least ostensibly, tend to ignore[6] or skim through[7] such as politicsidentitysexualitygender and religion.[7][8]
Which I think will tell you whether or not you're going to like it. There are a lot of characters and the story deals with the things we, as society, tend to ignore or find offensive.

Of course it speaks to me.

Having grown up with Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Uncanny X-Men comics, I had no trouble keeping story lines and characters straight. The show is truly global in a way that reminds me of Warren Ellis' Planetary, too. Once the story lines begin to intersect, the show really takes off. I deliberately did not read anything, no reviews, nothing about the show before I started watching so there was no baggage carried with me. As I watched I began to think about individuality, how the individual functions in different ways in different situations without changing at the core.

There's action and sex and intrigue and romance and lots of long dialogue. If you're open to the ideas, the work is done very well. I've enjoyed a lot of what the Wachowskis are trying to do in film since the first Matrix. They're reaching out to make the audience really think about stuff. Even with Speed Racer. I give them credit for the efforts, especially with Cloud Atlas which was beautiful to look at and packed with design and feeling and meaning.

So if you like globe-hopping stories about people who are real in every single way but have extraordinary powers, I recommend Sense8. Very much so. There's a wonderful payoff at the end of the season that hopefully will lead into a second.

This is amazing, brave, ambitious work. The actors are top notch, the writing is unambiguous and I want more.

Hope you like it.

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