Sense8: An Over-hyped Senseless Dilemma
Sense8 a widely acclaimed sci-fi drama premiered on 5th June 2015 before being prematurely canceled after 2 seasons in the same month 3 years later. The show follows the story of “people from around the world whose lives are suddenly and inexplicably connected in a fight for their own survival”. Created and written by the Wachowskis and Straczynski, the Netflix show was an Anarchos presentation. It stars a multinational ensemble cast, with Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, and Brian J. Smith.
The project was subject to mixed reviews. While some people love it, others despise manipulation of a brilliant concept. In reality, the concept is nothing close to brilliant. Sense8 does attempt to depict an emotional and mental linkage between several unrelated characters while boasting of its distinctiveness. Though, it is just a regrettably contemporary revitalization of shows like ‘Heroes’ or similar series that aired in the 2000s. The story does touch upon taboo subjects, but it is hard to keep track of the story. Even the show’s most loyal audience would agree with the fact that the show is hard to decode except for when it visibly and deliberately throws off embracing arcs to garner more sentimental connects
The visuals are distracting. From the opening to the credits to the jazzy Pyramid song- everything is eerily unsatisfying and to quite an extent psychologically frustrating. Because of the series’ tight budget and timeline, the production made the decision to do most of the effects, including the telepathy scenes, in-camera and only enhance them digitally where appropriate. And, this is something that could not escape our eyes either.
The show does not take its characters from renowned actors. Instead, it’s cast of various nationalities remains largely unknown even today. Just like their starry status, the performances are not something incredible either. Aml Ameen’s replacement in season 2 perforated the theatrical lacuna even further.
The mysteries, the interconnectedness, the physical and mental interactions, all do depart from the conventional sci-fi-ness. But different is not always necessarily good. And not good at all if the psychiatry makes no sense. The objective was to experience joy, sadness, pain, passion, love, courage, fear, and determination by watching the Sensates battle their way through every situation that they got mired into. But, they largely reciprocated sensations of confusion and perplexity- in short, refer to your newly found feelings when Trump was announced, President.
The series did not rely on blue or green curtains to showcase exotic locations from around the world. There was real-time traveling, and whatever we saw was purely authentic. The idea of globetrotting does sound captivating. But when scenes are confined to dimly lit rooms, despite the availability of broader horizons, things get extremely unsatisfactory. Kookiness, unease, and tension- characterized the early episodes for both the seasons. So even when there were attempts to soothe the forthcoming sequences, the first impression kept us pulled away.
The show was an epitome of slow burn. The sequences are a drag, and the parallel arcs gain more limelight than the central mystery. Even after three episodes we almost nothing about why these people suddenly have a psychic connection that allows them to share memories, experiences, and skills. When we compare ‘Lost’ to Sense8 sequences were harshly fast-tracked, every minute of airing counted and every scene was deeply enthralling. The pace of Sense8; however, remained uncomfortably slow motion. It put us in slumber between several sequences.
These expenses added up to roughly $9 million per episode and ultimately led to the show’s cancellation. Since the second season had not aired a proper culmination, there was an understandable outcry against the sheer senselessness. Netflix, hence, aired a two-hour finale finally putting a full stop to this creative anguish.