Sunday, July 5, 2015

Latest Netflix Love: Sense8

Let me just start off by saying, Netflix is KILLING IT. They totally took the ineffective, outdated model of traditional television (i.e. making one episode at a time due to unsure network funding, etc etc) and flipped it on its head by shooting full seasons and making all the episodes available at once. They're essentially capitalizing off how much we love to binge watch, and they produce better quality content because of it.

The latest Netflix original series that caught my attention is Sense8. I'm a fan of sci-fi stuff like Orphan Black so I figured this would be right up my alley. It's basically about 8 individuals located around the world who can connect telepathically. They can communicate with one another and experience eachother's realities.

I watched the first episode and thought, meh. It felt like the show had a lot of convincing to do. It was a little overly dramatic and took long to get to the point. But as the episodes progressed, I got more involved. It hit me how crazy the production must be on this show. How can they possibly organize themselves to be able to shoot in worldwide locations every episode: London, Chicago, Mumbai, Reykjavik, Berlin, San Francisco, Seoul, Nairobi, and Mexico City? It's insane. Thinking about the level of production required to accomplish this is mindblowing to me. Like, even if it's not filmed on location (I'm not sure if it is), it's still incredibly complex to achieve the kind of authenticity Sense8 captures from each place.

There was one moment in particular that really convinced me that, yes, this is a fantastic show. (No spoilers here, don't worry.) It was a very simple moment, but so so powerful. All eight of the sensates become connected in their different parts of the world and sing along to "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes. 

It seriously felt like a spiritual experience when I watched it for the first time. I've embedded it below, but trust me, the impact is so much stronger in the actual episode. The scene comes after a really intense and emotionally-charged episode and it feels like a breath of fresh air. Each character experiences the song differently but the essential message is felt by all of them: "I wake in the morning and I step outside, I take a deep breath and I get real high and I scream from the top of my lungs, what's going on!" They're in this crazy experience together and they're not sure what to make of it but they're trying their best. It's amazing.

Another thing I love about the show is the incredible diversity and representation. You have a transgender woman in a mixed-race relationship, a gay man, a totally nonsexualized and strong Korean woman, an African man.. It's incredible. It goes to show how much more compelling storytelling is when you have diverse perspectives. 

Overall, I highly HIGHLY recommend this show for anyone that has a general appreciation for TV, and anyone who loves a good bit of sci-fi. 

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