Michaela Peterson, Staff Writer
Image Courtesy of Netflix
Last year, Netflix unleashed one of the most complex Sci-Fi shows I’ve ever seen. But the thing is, the science isn’t the complex part–it’s the relationship between characters that makes the show so interesting to watch. Sense8 is about eight strangers, from all over the world, whose minds become interlinked with each others. Because of this connection, they are hunted. The plot sounds like any basic sci-fi movie, but once you get more into it, the show becomes captivating.
Just watching the characters interact through the plot is incredible. Each character has their own storyline, and while they are all reflective of each other, they are completely their own. The eight main characters are Will, a cop from Chicago, Nomi, a transgender hacker from San Francisco, Lito, an actor from Mexico, Sun, a business woman from Seoul, Riley, an Icelandic DJ, Wolfgang, a German thief, Capheus, a Nairobi bus driver, and Kala, an Indian pharmacist. Each character is different and strong and wonderful in their own right, and their flaws and strengths cover each others. No matter what the situation, one or more of the sensates has the skills to cover the other persons. One person’s ability to lie or fight can save another person’s life.
One of the strengths of Sense8 is that there are no archetypes in this show. Nomi’s story isn’t about her transition. Kala is deeply religious as well being a as scientist. Despite Wolfgang’s past, he still knows how to treat people. Capheus is always looking out for the silver lining, even though his situation is arguably the worse. Riley’s character is one of the few true representations of depression I’ve seen. Even though Will is a white cop from Chicago, he still goes out of his way to help people other cops wouldn’t. Lito, who spends his life playing the charming hero on screen, can’t admit the thing he loves most in real life. And physically, Sun is the strongest of the characters, yet she is the most controlled by her family.
Another strength is the balance of the characters. I’ve found that in most ensemble shows, there is almost always one character who you don’t want to focus on anymore. Not with Sense8. Even with Riley, who story takes the longest to become clear, you keep watching, wondering what exactly it is she is struggling with. Each character’s arc is complying and the chemistry between the cast is electic.
A word of warning: the show is pretty sexually explicit. There are often scenes with sex or nudity, but none of it is excessive or exploitative. Whether it is demonstrating the relationship between characters, setting up a backstory, or aspects of a character, its all done tastefully.
The main plot of the show, removed from all of the character’s individual plots, takes a little time to emerge. Because of the number of characters, and their complexity, the first episode and a half are mostly exposition. But once it gets started, it picks up quickly. Each sensate experiences a tragic death of a woman none of them have met, and, as they learn more about their connection, Jonas, who is sensate as well, tries to help them understand what is going on. All the while, they are being hunted by another sensate, only named Whispers, who uses his ability to connect with other sensates to hunt them, experiment on them, and eventually kill them.
Created by the same duo that made the Matrix, all the cinematography is gorgeous and the writing is fantastic. There are moments of comedic gold and incredible tension. The show is almost a perfect dramedy, with no episode being overly intense or comedic. They mix emotional content with humor, all while still making you want to know what will happen next. I recommend not binging like I did and spacing yourself out. Because the next season does not come out until next year, you will be left with with an unfulfilled desire to find out what will happen next.