Created by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Starring: Doona Bae, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Jamie Clayton
Sense8 is a complex, melodramatic, innovative, overwrought, and fascinating experiment from the Wachowski’s. This television series does a lot of what you expect in the way of common Wachowski mistakes lately. The project nearly collapses at times under the strain of personal agendas foisted upon viewers through the melodramatic character development. With that said, when this series is on task, telling the truly unique story it is trying to tell, it’s exciting sometimes funny, and precisely complex.
The series tells the story what could be the next evolution of humanity. There are clusters of eight individuals spread across the world that are mentally connected. They see through each other’s eyes, they feel each other’s emotions, and they can share talents and abilities. Suddenly they can speak a new language because someone else in their cluster speaks that language. Early on a mysterious man is introduced as an enemy to these sense8’s but unfortunately it takes most of the first season for him to reappear.
When the cast of characters is so large it’s easy to assume there will be tons of character development within the first few episodes of the series. The problem is that the series gets buried neck deep in character melodrama, and some of the melodrama is so excessive it almost becomes laughable. Just when it seems like there’s too much of the wining going on something cool happens that makes the next episode a must watch. The way the characters interact, even in some of the unintentionally sillier moments, is truly innovative and really entertaining. I just wish the Wachowski’s could tell a story without getting so enamored of the mythology they’ve created. This has been a problem for the sense The Matrix Reloaded. There are some long sequences meant to be impactful that end up being tedious.
Sure I’m complaining a lot but I watched the whole season. The reason I stayed with it is because the nuggets of goodness grew, slowly. Three quarters of the way through the season the show found it’s footing and became really exciting. When one character seemed to be doomed to being beaten to death he managed to utilize the martial arts skills of another member of the cluster to save his own bacon. During the climactic sequences of the last several episodes the way one character utilized the mind and abilities of others in the cluster was truly exciting and from a filmmaking perspective was executed beautifully.
Had Sense8 been a film it would have been another epic failure from the Wachowski’s just a little passed Cloud Atlas but since this story was told over many hours the good stuff was able to rise to the top through all of the melodrama, hyperbole, and on the nose social commentary. There’s a lot of fun to be had with Sense8. Let’s just hope season two can lighten up on the weightiness of the melodrama and social commentary.