Bits of Everything: Sense8

Alright, welcome back everyone, I hope you've enjoyed listening to the work of Jon Hopkins and perhaps even better I hope you've checked out some of the rest of the recommended albums from the end of the previous article. Anyway, for now we're back for another adventure into the world of Everything. 

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I didn't want to do another article about music too quickly and I also wanted to make this second article about something that I think is particularly special. I wanted it to be about something that I think deserves more attention than it received. There's going to be a bit of a roundabout explanation to why we wound up where I finally decided to land. I really wanted to talk about a couple of different things. The first thing was Babylon 5, because boy howdy do I tire of asking people if they have watched B5 only to find not only that they haven't but they also haven't heard of it. And then I thought that I would talk about Rising Stars because, again, a seriously under-read comic that deserves far more attention. And then I realized that I was just wanting to talk about J. Michael Straczynski projects and then I remembered that very soon there is going to be the conclusion of another of my favorite of his projects, namely: Sense8.

Sense8 is a show that appears to be about a lot of things. One of the things that it appears to be about is a different species of humans that are known, colloquially, as "Sensates". These individuals are joined together into clusters. These clusters of individuals are joined in a sort of collective consciousness, where they can experience what the others are feeling and even share skills with one another. Which makes for some really cool scenes of like characters who have no idea what to do with themselves in a fight suddenly becoming bad-asses because one of the other members totally knows how to throw down. Also characters sometimes find themselves suddenly popping in to very private moments of other members of the cluster and often times as a result helping them in difficult moments and also giving themselves perspective on something that is going on in their own lives.

Honestly this show is a little difficult to encapsulate. And I think that is part of why it struggled to gain as big of an audience as it really deserved. Which is silly. Because the creators of the show, The Wachowskis, J. Michael Straczynski, and Tom Tykwer, approach the series much in the same way that they imagined the audience would, by treating it like a thing to be binged and not parceled out. Which created some issues for people who felt like they should have had a better idea of what was going on in the first episode. If they stuck around to episode 3 though the data proved out that they wound up watching the whole first season. For a lot of folks I think that what they really need is for someone to tell them that a thing is worth watching and that they won't have wasted their time if they stick with it. They need permission to be skeptical but to let the next episode start playing.

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This is that permission.  You won't regret watching this show. It's totally brilliant.

Because while this show claims to be about cool sci-fi concepts of people who are from another species of human, and while this show claims to be about being on the run from villains of both homo sapiens and homo sensorium alike it's not really about either of those things.

Sense8 is a show about all the wide varieties of love that we are all capable of experiencing. It's also about pain and suffering. It's also about happiness and joy. It's about meeting new people and about reconnecting with ones who have been a part of your life since the beginning. It's about diversity (the characters are from Chicago, San Francisco, Nairobi, Seoul, Mumbai, Rreykjavik, Berlin, and Mexico City; they are 4 men and 4 women; they are of many races, colors, and creeds; and they are straight, gay, and trans-gendered) and yet it's also about how similar we all are. It's about being terrified and about overcoming fears. It's about using even the most mundane of our skills to help each other out. It's about friendship. And it's about family.

And don't get me wrong. It's totally also about cool sci-fi stuff too.

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The show has a big ensemble cast as the "8" in the title connotes. And our 8 leads all live very different lives, Riley, the DJ from Reykjavik who lives in London, Matt the cop in Chicago, Capheus the matatu driver from Nairobi, Sun the business woman from Seoul, Kala the scientist from Mumbai, Wolfgang the thief from Berlin, Lito the actor from Mexico City, and Nomi the hacktivist from San Francisco. So we get all this wonderful exposure to different places all over the world and also different walks of life. But what is so endearing and incredible about the show is that even with a large central cast of 8 characters the supporting cast is so thoroughly wonderfully rendered that their plights and achievements become wholly engrossing. The characters who are on the side of our heroes are complex and wonderful and when we see them in danger we are genuinely concerned and when we see them succeed we are genuinely thrilled. And the villainous characters are complex as well, they clearly have their own motivations and, in many different ways, are the heroes of their own stories, or so you would imagine. 

However, as I mentioned at the top of the article I would be writing about Sense8 because it was ending. 

And it is ending because, as it turns out, it's incredibly expensive to shoot a show in like 9 different locations (since they actually shot on location in all of the different places where the stories take place). And despite the fact that they had very solid viewership for both seasons the show was so expensive that it wasn't sustainable. However 28 days after the show's cancellation was announced it was announced that they would, instead, be creating at least one more special that would air in 2018. June 8th, 2018... to be specific. And that the special was to, presumably, serve as a series finale.

However. Lana Wachowski has said that she believes so much in the fans to go out and create new fans and inspire the kind of passion that saved the show from a cliffhanger cancellation that she has already written a third season for when we, the incredible fans of the show, display to the executives at Netflix that they should give the show another season.

And with any luck I will have convinced some of you to check out this truly wonderful show as well. And perhaps, if enough people decide to dive in and get caught up we can make something truly magical happen. And even if that doesn't happen it will truly be a joy to watch a conclusion for the characters that I have grown to love over the 23 episodes.

Head over here to check it out: https://www.netflix.com/title/80025744