Netflix’s Sense8 is the story of eight people whose lives are inexplicably and literally connected. These eight people interact with each other in near-hallucinatory sequences where a person in Chicago can see someone in Denmark as if they are in the same room. As they become more experienced multiple people can converge and even assist one another with skills and advice. Ultimately the people, termed Sense8s, can seamlessly communicate and even take over another’s body in a beneficial way.
Each character has their own subplot. While only a minority of these build the main plot, artisanal storytelling ties everything together and builds towards a meaningful climax, even if the story can sometimes seem nebulous throughout. What’s more, as there are so many characters this series is able to include martial arts, gunfights, Jason Bourne-type intrigue and love stories that are all distinct and engaging in their own right.
If this sounds like a far-fetched, cerebral and ambitious project then you should know that this springs from the minds of the Wachowskis, the brother and sister duo who gave the world the films The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. And it’s stories like these that the Wachowskis are unparalleled at telling. Again the Wachowskis bring a vision and scope that puts most every other project, film or television, to shame, and especially so because the characters are always grounded in true human emotion.
Besides the excellent plot and music, which has rarely capture the moment so perfectly, Sense8 is also notable for its disregard of heteronormativity. Only three of the eight characters are white and straight, with the rest of the group consists of a Korean woman, a religious Hindi woman, a black man, a gay Latino man and a transvestite M-to-F lesbian.
The story spans the globe from Kenya to Korea, from beautiful to bloody, and from deeply sad to uplifting. Sense8 is the vision of the Wachowskis meeting the funding and creative freedom that Netflix provides. And it is something that you should not miss.