Tuesday, June 09, 2015


For your reading pleasure, here is a guest post from Mac about the Netflix original series, Sense8. I have heard a bit about it, but mostly I just sit around wondering how to pronounce the title. But after reading Mac's review, I don't think it's worth devoting any more brain power to this or any other question related to the show. --Maggie Cats

Sense8 is a Netflix Original directed by the Wachowskis (of The Matrix Trilogy fame). It's definitely the show for you if you like your social commentary like I like my pancakes... flat and chopped up into bite-sized pieces.

It's billed as a show about eight strangers forcibly connected mind to mind. None of this matters very much in the show. An honest billing would be, "this is a thin metaphor for the fact that life would be better if we were all in each other's heads."

The eight characters vacillate rapidly between three different states; the first is a nonchalance in the middle of what they assume to be incredibly vivid hallucinations of the lives of people around the planet. The second is panicking because they earlier experienced a hallucination. And the third is just kinda going about their business, completely ignoring the fact that they've been hallucinating on-and-off for days now.

The actual interaction between characters is incredibly minimal, and typically done more for a gag or a "hey isn't this a head trip" rather than anything which might advance what little story there is. We are flat-out told that there is some sort of shadowy organization that wants to chop up all of their brains, but that's most of what we know by now. Only one of the characters so far seems actually affected by this worldwide manhunt, even though another character should be on their radar. Seven of the eight have not the first idea what is happening to them; the last one has been told some stuff, but not very much, and how much he believes and understands is even less.

So in essence, it's eight different, pointless little stories being told all around the globe, filled with ham-fisted representations, like an entire police department that refers to one of their own number literally as a traitor for saving the life of a black kid. No joke, a black cop uses the actual word "traitor" to describe a patrol cop who found a wounded black teenager and brought him to a hospital.
 In their defense, the show IS set in Chicago.
With eight almost entirely unrelated stories to get through, very few of which have any impact on the tie-the-show-together story, no one story actually progresses very far during any particular episode. I have so far slogged through five episodes, and near as I can tell two whole days have passed on this planet. Beyond which, even inside each story, plot progresses at Dragon Ball Z pace. One young man lives in Nairobi. At one point he is walked at gunpoint from his own van to someone else's. No dialogue is spoken. No important clues are revealed in the background. Nothing happens but four men walking in a line. It takes five of his own scenes, cross-cut amongst scenes of the other seven main characters, for him to travel from van to van, so basically that's half an episode.
 His walking is over nine thousand.
I'm not myself a fan of letting shows play in the background while I do other things, but the literal only way I can recommend this show is if you simply need white noise to fill your home. I guess if you occasionally get calls from Rachel Maddow accusing you of being too liberal, you're prolly the target audience for their flagrantly masturbatory progressive propaganda, but I myself am left of center and I think they went way too far with their world of "everyone who disagrees with me is evil." 
I hesitate to say something is bad just because I don't like it, and I try to be tolerant of people who just want to sit there having their own beliefs reinforced. However, as far as I'm concerned there's a line, like the difference between Renaissance art and pornography, and you cross that line once you start demonizing your enemies. Saying "every gay person is wonderful" is a little flat, but technically not objectionable. Saying "literally every cop wants all black people dead" is too far.

And the Asian chick is a martial arts master. Because of course she is.

1 comment:

Ken said...

I can certainly empathize with wanting to support a show that caters the LGBT lifestyle choice but am unsure about whether a show that so blatantly expressed Christophobia via hate speech should go without criticism of its lack of tolerance in not celebrating diversity.