Television Tuesdays: Sense8

Show Overview

I’m not going to lie, Sense8 is batshit crazy. It may not be for everyone, but for some, it’ll be the show they’ve been waiting for. If, like me, your weaknesses include: found families, beautifully built relationships, women who appear weak but can actually Fuck You Up, broken boys, confused girls, and are super into the idea of sharing brain space with strangers, this show is for you!!!

The show follows eight sensates (characters who are connected on a metaphysical level through a super cool mental walkie-talkie. Except instead of speaking telepathically they kind of astral project) as they begin to learn what they are, how/why they’re connected, and as they try to escape being lobotomized by a super scary corporation of Bad Guys.

Admittedly, the sci-fi-ness and in-show mythology can be daunting. The show doesn’t rely heavily on exposition of what is happening, rather it gives the audience time to figure out what is happening in time with the characters. That delay of information, gratification, explanation – whatever you’ll call it – can be off-putting. But the conflict, relationships, and action are all so beautifully crafted and entwined, that you should at least give the show a chance.

Characters

Sun Bak (South Korea): Sun Bak does not have time for your bullshit. Quiet and fierce, Sun can beat the ever-loving shit out of pretty much anyone, and has an amazing dog.

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Wolfgang Bogdanow (Germany): 😍  at Wolfie for daaaaaays. Someone needs to wrap him in a hug and never let go. Wolfgang is a thief that operates so mercilessly at times, you worry he may be a sociopath. A hot, badass sociopath.

Capheus (Kenya): 😍  at Capheus, too. He has a love for Jean-Claude Van Damme that is more adorable than you could anticipate, going so far as to name his transport van the Van Damn. Bad things keep happening to him, and yet he maintains a wonderful optimism.

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Kala Dandekar (India): Kala has a spirit so wonderfully pure, at times you may worry she is naive. Instead, she’s fleshed out into a kind, caring woman with a deep sense of faith and an obligation to do what is right.

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Riley Blue (London, via Iceland): Riley is lonely and profoundly sad. She’s a DJ who refuses to go back to Iceland and visit her father, despite that clearly being where she left her heart.

Will Gorski (Chicago): A Chicago cop and all around good guy. He’s brave and sweet, with a heart of gold; basically a puppy dog.

Nomi Marks (San Francisco): A hacker and social justice advocate, Nomi is a trans woman in a beautiful, loving relationship. She’s approximately five seconds from opening up her own hacking/detective agency with her girlfriend, Neets, at any given time.

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Lito Rodriguez (Mexico): Drama queen movie star. He’s in a closeted (yet fierce) relationship with his live-in boyfriend before his beard moves in with them. Then there’s even more drama.

Representation

This show actually has it!!! It is racially diverse! It has multiple sexualities being represented! In a positive way! It has a trans female character being played by a trans actress! There are monogamous couples and couples that participate in orgies and oh my word, so much is happening and it’s wonderful.

Canon Relationships

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When we’re introduced to the Sensates and their world, three of them are already in relationships. The best thing about this show is that all of the relationships (both platonic and romantic) are so dynamic and interesting. Some of the main characters never interact until the finale – believe me when I tell you that the payoff there is beyond great. Some characters only appear to one another in times of great emotional distress, while some sensates fall in love.

I’m not going to lie, I’m almost to the point where I just ship everyone on this show and polyamory. If nothing else, it would probably be easier. (And if you do go this route, well, episode 6 is for you!) There are a lot of couples to keep track of otherwise.

Lito, our Mexican movie star, is in a beautiful (but closeted) relationship with Hernando. Hernando is great and the most attractive and if you disagree you can just leave right now. They’re adorable, but their relationship hits some major turbulence over the course of the season, but it’s all handled intelligently. Also, their kisses are 🔥🔥🔥

Nomi, our amazing LGBT blogger/hacker extraordinaire is in a lesbian relationship with Neets. They are completely in sync and so delightfully supportive of one another and so, so in love.

Kala, our Indian pharmaceutical wiz, is engaged to Rajan at the beginning of the series. Despite the fact that it’s a love match, Kala is not so sure Rajan is the dude for her. He’s lovely and charming, but his father owns the pharmaceutical company Kala works for and also wants to tear down the temple at which she prays. But before long she meets Wolfgang, another sensate, and can’s stop looking at him. (Bless episode 5. Bless.) I honestly can’t blame her. That’s not even hitting the tip of the iceberg as to how perfect Kala and Wolfgang are for one another, so let’s have some evidence:

The other ship that’s out of the world between Sensates is the developing relationship between Riley and Will. Riley is the character that you will end the season yelling “someone HOLD HER” and Will is just the cutest little puppy dog that you just want to be happy. They’re stupidly cute together. Where Kala and Wolfgang had me yelling MAKE OUT at the screen, Will and Riley actually had me yelling “HOLD HANDS”.

So, it’s not just the bountiful shipping opportunities. It’s that your ships WILL ACTUALLY SAIL.

Batshit Craziness

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It’s hard to quantify something that’s insane or action-packed without simply reverting to a refrain of, “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” or simply yelling, “It’s so good????”. One of the things I found compelling about the show is that it’s actually really heartwarming and affirming.

Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of intrigue, drama, and consistent doses of “what the hell did I just watch?”. It is made by the Wachowski siblings, after all.

Last but not least: the cool fight sequences. Cool fight sequences that often rely on the sensates astral projecting (or whatever you want to call it) into each others’ lives and realities so that they can take part in the action.

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