Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pilot Review: Sense8

Sense8 (Netflix)
Premiered June 5

“The Matrix” is considered by many to be an excellent science fiction film, but it was also one of the most mind-boggling cinematic experiences back when it came out, and laid the groundwork for much far-out filmmaking for years to come. Now, the Wachowskis, who wrote and directed all the Matrix films, are back with a new Netflix drama that is the definition of a head trip. It’s near impossible to dissect anything about this show without at least visiting its Wikipedia page to make some sense of exactly what’s going on. Its hectic start with Daryl Hannah and Naveen Andrews made it clear that things are definitely out of whack with those two and the other eight around the world who are somehow connected and starting to realize that they know more than the average person around them. It’s hard to crack this show’s dense nature, especially because it’s so set on constantly jumping around the world to feature its eight characters and their backstories. Some are definitely more interesting and engaging, like Nomi and her girlfriend Amanita, while Capheus' budding taxi service feels like something out of “Heroes,” which is not a compliment. I’d be willing to give this show another try in my traditional one-per-week Netflix style, but I’m going to need a bit more clarity in episode two to be motivated to make it through the season.

How will it work as a series? I read the non-spoiler somewhere that these characters won’t actually meet during the first season, which means their interactions will be limited to the kind of bizarre moment shared by two of the eight at the end of the episode. I imagine that would be more infuriating than anything else, but maybe it can help with character development, as long as each story becomes equally involving.
How long will it last? Netflix metrics are measured in a different way than traditional network series, and so it’s impossible to know which one this will play. Generally intrigued reviews and a commitment to the creative forces behind this show should enable it to be renewed soon for a second season.

Pilot grade: C+

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