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by Jehuda Saar
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TV Review - Sense8: Season 1


Weirdly enough, there is a connection between my last entry here, the review of David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks, and Netflix' latest extravaganza, Sense8. Leaving aside the fact that some of the new show's creators, The Wachovskis (yes, them of Matrix fame) also directed the movie adaptation of Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, both works deal with the apparent connections between total strangers who seem to either live at different times or in different geographical locations, and while they don't know each other, appear to actually be part of something bigger that binds them together.

In Sense8 we are following eight individuals, in eight (actually, in total, nine) different locations, who over the span of a number of episodes discover that despite the distances, language barriers, time zones and cultural differences, they actually belong together and share a common bond. I will dispense with spoilers and will not engage in analysing each character and what their storyline entails, but suffice it to say that every person's story is told in a different style, with scenes shot on location, and that before long one realises that the logistical nightmare of organising shoots across the planet with eight actors whose storylines tend to "bleed" into each other (meaning at some stage the Chicago character had to have been in Seoul for his footage there whereas the Mumbai actress had to plan her takes in Berlin and vice versa) was handled with jaw-dropping precision and accuracy. Joining the Wachovskis in creating this gem of a show is none other than Babylon 5 show-runner J. Michael Straczynski. The writing is tight, the character development is handled deftly, and besides the metaphysical aspects of the project, what you have here is a story about people and what they do with their lives when they discover they are part of something unusual and, to them, new.

As is true with a great number of shows that are part of the recent renaissance of quality television series, the point with Sense8 is to take one's time. There's no need to rush things and it's best to let the story unfold itself slowly. Some reviewers who relied either on the first episode or, as in many cases, the first three they received for that purpose, and who didn't bother to take the time to finish the whole series before rendering their verdict, misjudged this little masterpiece and their reviews prove it. Personally I found this show to be captivating, making me care for these characters, and most of the high points hit their mark extremely well. I found it to be original and exciting and perfectly suited for Netflix-style binge-watching.

The series trailer should give you a "sense" of what it is you are about to embark on should you decide to take the plunge.

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