Sense8: S1

sense8 s1

Spoiler alerts: I have two words to say about the Wachowski siblings new Netflix television series Sense8: guilty pleasure. Yes, I made it through all twelve episodes. Yes, much of the plot doesn’t make sense. And what does often feels awkward and sophomoric. The violence is too frequent and nauseating. But what’s everyone’s talking about? The orgy scene in Episode 6. Please. Yes, they show men kissing each other. Yes they show full frontal male nudity. But no one’s hard. It’s not porn. It’s crazy Wachowski sex with a lot of actors rolling around together. What we should be talking about are two other brave decisions. First, they show not once, but three times in two separate episodes straight-on full screen vaginal birth. Yes, they went there. Good for them. The other amazing risk taking moment is when the gay male character Lito talks about the first time he had sex with Hernando, the man he loves. He literally says the words, “I took him in my mouth.” And then Lito says it was like Holy Communion. And that’s when I screamed for joy, because I have often felt sex is the one experience in my life that makes me feel my humanity completely and when connected becomes a spiritual experience. So bravo to the Wachowskis for going there. Birth, creation, and life all mixed up together. I love the characters. Some of them are goofy and shallow: Lito at the top of that list. Some of them are dark and violent: Wolfgang. Some of them are sleuthy: Nomi and Amanita. Some of them are All-American: Will. Some of them are trying to make everyone else happy: Kala. Some of them are so devoted to their mother: Capheus. Some of them prove that women kick major ass: Sun. And some of them suffer from PTSD: Riley. The locations are stunning. Sense8 needs to be viewed on a big-ass hi-def screen to appreciate the exteriors on four continents spanning Chicago, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Seoul, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City and Nairobi. The music created by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) who also directed two episodes and Johnny Klimek becomes a ninth character. This is definitely a more successful collaboration for Twyker and the Wachowskis than Cloud Atlas. For someone who’s never played video games, Sense8 feels like a video game to me. Or maybe a graphic novel adapted for the screen might be a better description. So who is the audience for Sense8? I have no idea. Certainly there are elements in the series to turn on and turn off nearly every group of viewers imaginable. I love the risks they took. I love Nomi, the trans female character and her lesbian girlfriend Amanita. Their perils in San Francisco could easily be spun off into a modern-day Nancy Drew mystery. As I stated, the violence is way over the top for me and the plot is thin to put it mildly. I dismissed reality and simply sat back, relaxed and watched Sense8 like it was an amusement park ride full of sexy diverse characters from all over the world. And yes, I’m going to watch S2 when it arrives. I’m sure it will be more of the same – a mixed bag of mess and glitter. But I enjoyed many parts of it. I laughed, I screamed, I cried. I get if you couldn’t make it past an hour or two of the show. For all the reasons mentioned, Sense8 is my guilty pleasure for 2015. 3.5 out of 5.

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