I am three episodes into the Wachowskis’ new Netflix series, Sense8, and I have no idea what’s going on.
Let me back up: Some of that is the point, I’m sure, because it’s a super-high-concept, super-huge-scale, globe-spanning funhouse that follows eight characters in eight countries who can live each other’s experiences telepathically. Making sense of all of it in three episodes is kind of impossible. Making sense of all of that in 100 episodes might be impossible, especially when you take into account the eight bonkers characters the show follows. Each of them has so much going on (each of them IS so much), and the show hops all over the place filling us in on their various backstories with bits of blinking neon action. So, like one minute, a blond Icelandic DJ is doing party drugs at a robbery gone bad, then the next two dozen people are doing a highly choreographed dance at a lavish Mumbai engagement party, then the next a transgender female hacktivist in San Francisco is getting vigorously penetrated with a rainbow strap-on by her partially purple-haired lesbian partner. There is a lot happening in the first three episodes of Sense8. There is
happening in the first three episodes of Sense8.
But there’s also nothing happening, somehow. Being that each of the characters has so very much going on, the show basically has to spend three entire hours introducing us to them. It’s kind of like watching the first half hour of pilots for eight different shows all at once. (Quote Netflix can use in promos for the show, if they want: “Sense8, it’s a lot of shows!”) Like, these are the characters: