Sense8: The Show for Humanity
This review is SPOILER FREE.
About 8 months ago, just
3 hours later, we could only stop watching after we were dragged away from the TV by a hungry and bemused mum. From the very first episode, we were hooked.
Sense8 is a show quite like any other. Made by the Wachowski’s, the same dynamic sibling duo who created the incredible Matrix films, this series is the philosophical, sensory, emotional smorgasbord the likes of which has never been seen on TV before. In my opinion, it is the pair’s best work yet. One of the first things which struck me was its
To give the briefest and most basic of story outlines (skip this paragraph if you prefer to go in without a synopsis), Sense8 follows a group of main characters (eight to be specific) who live all over the world, from Seoul to Los Angels, whom are mysteriously, telepathically and emotionally connected to one another after they all experience the same traumatic vision. Slowly coming to terms with their new situation and the visitations they
The show does not let up, each episode ending at a point which leaves you desperate to know more. Sense8 is far from being all action and no emotion however, and rarely, if ever, relies on cheap thrills. Packed with moving and complex personal stories, romances, heartbreaks, personal growth and heroic moments of courage in the face of both physical, emotional and social conflict, the show crafts a set of scenarios and character arcs which are somehow relatable even if you have never experienced anything like that character’s personal struggle. Sense8 does something amazing, which I believe no show has ever done before, in that it creates not just one incredible, relatable main character, but eight of them, all of whom I felt equally and delightfully connected to every time I watch the show, and for some time after. In some miraculous way, Sense8 makes you feel as if you yourself are the ninth member of this cluster of people, connected to them in the same way and at the same moment as they are connected to each other. Going back an rewatching this show is truly like going to see a group of your nearest and dearest friends. This is no small or unimportant feat; for these eight characters represent eight very different types of person, separated by sexuality, gender identity, race, religion, and morality. Yet whether you agree with their actions and choices in the beginning or not, by the time the show has you in its grasp you will realise that despite these differences, you will recognise them in yourself, because of the things that they share with you. In their flaws, strengths, dilemmas, emotions and desires you will find things you now, consciously or not, to be a part of you too. And even in those things to which you cannot relate, you will find yourself drawn in, like gravity, to the one thing which is greater than any number of differences between you and them; your shared humanity. I do not exaggerate when I say these are eight of the most gorgeously, tragically, hilariously, wholeheartedly human characters you will ever meet.
It is hard to describe every little thing which makes this show so great, in fact, I believe to do so I would need to write a short book. Instead, perhaps what is more effective is if I say what this show does for me. Sense8 is a pure and unadulterated celebration of life. Watching it I tasted a rich emotional banquet, a buffet of experiences so potent that at the end it almost feels like I have lived 8 other lives. While watching this show I have soared with joy and been shaken by loss, I have screamed with anger and indignation and shouted with relief and triumph. I have shed tears, I have laughed out loud, I have smiled like an idiot while walking down the street just thinking about events of the show after the fact. I have grown to love every one of these eight characters to the point where I don’t even have a favourite. If you let it, this
Watch the show, take the red pill, and see how far the rabbit hole takes you.