4 stars out of 5
In this Netflix series, there is no character who can jump 100 meters high, fly or run really fast. No one can read a stranger’s mind or travel in time. They are not fighting to save the world from evil spirits. However, there are groups of people who can sense each other without actual contact. They fight for their own lives, but it still conveys an important message.
Sense8 is an American science-fiction created by Lana and Lily Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski as one of the Netflix original series. The first season, consisting of 12 episodes, was released on June 5, 2015. It was about eight people, each from a different culture and country, who suddenly find themselves mentally and emotionally connected. They can share feelings, thoughts, knowledge, and can use each other’s skills and abilities. The first season focuses mainly on the characters’ stories, introducing the eight main characters of the show. The first eight episodes are about them trying to understand what has happened to them, at the same time explaining to the viewers how the premises in the show work.
The main characters in the series are called homo sensorium, meaning they can sense each other without actual contact. A group of them is called a cluster, and the members of cluster can sense each other even more than other sensoriums and can help each other by taking over each other’s bodies. For example, if one is a very good fighter and the other is not, the good fighter’s senses can go to the other and help him or her to win the fight. This way, sensoriums can use each other’s ability and knowledge. This concept was the reason I chose to watch this out of other many Netflix series. It was something that I have never seen before.
The cinematography of this series is amazing. It was nominated at the Emmys for outstanding cinematography. The changes between actors or actresses when one member of the cluster uses another’s body to help the character are absolutely seamless. This helped me to understand how the fiction works in the series and made it easier to work out who is doing what more clearly. The lighting and the sound were also impressive, never interrupting the mood of the series.
Since there are eight main characters each with different stories, the main plot is a bit slow. The series focuses more on the characters than the plot, which was still very interesting. Each character has a very unique character and some of them are quite unusual for mainstream media. There is a transgender character, a gay actor, a Kenyan from a small town, an Indian woman who is a pharmacist, a criminal, a police officer, a DJ, a woman who is a master in martial arts. Equal weight is given to all the characters’ stories so I was able to see many LGBT stories. I was never really exposed to sexual minorities, so I was happy to see LGBT stories that are neither dramatic or tragic.
One down side of the series for me was that there were too many sex scenes that were quite extreme and too much violence for me. The sex scenes of the series were very different from those in other series. As the main characters can sense each other, they also sense others having sex. This means a lot of nude actors and actresses clinging to each other in the sex scenes. Also, there were scenes where a doctor cuts a patient’s head to do something with his frontal lobe. However, except for this issue I loved the series and hoping to watch the upcoming finale as well.