Sense8: Sexuality, Race, Gender, and 8 Strangers | Series Review

 

★★★★★/★★★★★  Sense8 created and written by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski.

So this is how I feel during and after watching the show: 

Because  I have no bloody idea what the hell is going on. Why were they chosen? Is it genetics? Some magical things? Why are the villains villains? How come Whispers has an ability no other sensate has? Do they visit each other via pocket universes? Or is there another scientific explanation to the whole “I take over your body” and “I am with you but not really”? How come they are not chosen when they are born but only after they are “born again”? I need answers!

This amazing series follows eight people from various countries, who are all connected to each other as “sensates,” which allows them to communicate with each other as well as taking over their bodies according to skill. They struggle with sexuality, identity, gender, and much more. Aside this, they are also having to escape from an evil sensate known as Whispers, who is trying to hunt them down.  Throughout all of their struggles, relationships are formed, rescue missions put in place, and skills shared. However, I was left with a desire to learn so much more, because many questions were left unanswered. 

One of them asks an older sensate if they are even human, he replies with this:

“What is human? An ability to reason? To imagine? To love or grieve? If so, we are more human than any human ever will be.”

Now onto the interesting things, the characters:

Capheus portrayed by Aml Ameen. He lives in Nairobi, is obsessed with Van Damme, he even named his van after him. His plot revolves around his need to get medicine from his mother, who is suffering from AIDS, while clashing with gangs and a powerful warlord, and at the same time, using whatever skills he has to save and help his cluster of sensates.
Sun Bak portrayed by Bae Doona. She is the daughter of a powerful businessman in Seoul, as well as the vice-president, with a masters in economics, who experiences misogyny at her work. What others don’t know, is that she is also a master fighter in the underground kickboxing world, which I assume, she uses as a way to vent her frustration over her relationship with father and brother, and sexism in the workplace. She is my favourite, the most useful out of her entire cluster.  “In this country, sometimes the only place you can find a brave and honest woman, is in prison.”
Nomi Marks portrayed by Jamie Clayton. She is a trans woman hacktivist/blogger, who lives with her girlfriend, Amanita, in San Francisco. Sadly, Nomi has a transphobic mother, and a lot of the problem she gets in has to do with her mother’s idiocy, and the laws allowing people to do such things to transgender people. But it is not just this, she is also in deep trouble because of her hacking abilities, and is the first to be tracked down by Whispers. This leads them both to go on the run, but they are not giving up.  
Kala Dandekar portrayed by Tina Desai. A pharmacist and devout Hindu in Mumbai, whose knowledge of science comes handy. Her side story evolves around her engagement to a man she does not love, but not because it is arranged marriage, but because she wants to make her family happy after they’ve sacrificed so much for her.And it is not as if her fiancé’s father is helping on the manner, he does not like her, and is also trying to get the government of India to enact a law that would make certain practices of Hinduism, and my guess, other religions, to become illegal.
Wolfgang Bogdanow portrayed by Max Riemelt. A Berliner locksmith who moonlights as a safe-cracker, and participates in organized crime. His father was a bad man, and as such he still has unresolved feelings about him. The only person he has cared for throughout the years is his best friend, Felix, whom he loves as a brother, and is also his partner in crime. Him and Kala are my power couple, they are perfect and no one can tell me otherwise.
Riley Blue portrayed by Tuppence Middleton. She is an Icelandic DJ living in England, whose past has made her run to England, but her past is not letting her go that easy. “Death doesn’t let you say goodbye. It just carves holes in your life, in your future, in your heart.” 
Will Gorski portrayed by Brian J. Smith.  He is a Chicago police officer, son of a police officer. His father’s career was ruined by an unsolved murder, the same murder Will witnessed, and is haunted by. The mystery of it is yet to be solved, and I cannot wait to see where they take it. 
Lito Rodriguez portrayed by  Miguel Ángel Silvestre. A Basque closeted man living in Mexico with his boyfriend. He then proceeds to continue to hide his sexuality by trying to date a co-star, who finds out about it, and becomes his beard. This will not end well.  “Look, love is not something we wind up, something we set or control. Love is just like art: a force that comes into our lives without any rules, expectations or limitations. Love like art, must always be free.”

The main antagonist, the supervillain, is Whispers. He is a sensate that for unknown reasons turned on sensates and now hunts down all those not on his side. That is all I know about him, there is so much not being told that I just want to throw things at the show writers until they tell me what and who the hell he truly is. 

I am watching him like a hawk:

I learned so many things with this show I cry every time I watch the ending, which I have done over ten times: “This is what life is: fear, rage, desire… love. To stop feeling emotions, to stop wanting to feel them, is to feel… death.”  

Gender and Sexuality:

If you didn’t notice by the previous mention of characters, a lot of them are very varied, not only in ethnic and cultural background, but in gender identification and sexuality. The show has a trans woman and a gay man, as well as two homosexual relationships with these same characters. We have a man very comfortable with sex, falling for a woman raised in a culture where things like that are not discussed. This same woman falls for him too, even though she is deeply religious and he is not. I appreciate that this show demonstrated that there is nothing wrong with this, there are only people that will be in the wrong side of history will voice their opposition to it. 

Religion:

  “My love for science doesn’t preclude my faith. For me, science is another language we use to talk about the same miracles faith talks about.” 

This is how Kala responds when asked about her faith and science, and this is exactly how I feel. There are people out there that will tell others that science is a lie (they for some reason decide to go with posters to my university, I hate it), and that if you have a religion you should not believe in such a thing. This is complete poppycock! Science and faith are not mutually exclusive. Whoever tells you otherwise has either a hidden agenda, or are complete idiots. 

Poverty:

There was a conversation between Capheus and Kala , in which Kala explains she once went to visit someone and they had a big TV but no bed, which she found astonishing, saying how could someone have such a luxury but not something so necessary as a bed, to which  Capheus replies: “The bed keeps you in the slum. The flat screen takes you out.”

The music, you’ve got to listen to it. 

One of the most beautiful soundtracks of all time, mostly written byTom Tykwer and Johnny Klimek, who also wrote soundtrack to Cloud Atlas, another wonderful one. Plus it has the “What’s Up?” song, and it is brilliant with it.

I will now end the review with Nomi’s quote about the Pride Parade:

“For a long time, I was afraid to be who I am because I was taught by my parents that there’s something wrong with someone like me. Something offensive, something you would avoid, maybe even pity. Something that you could never love. I was afraid of this parade because I wanted so badly to be a part of it. So today, I’m marching for that part of me that was once too afraid to march. And for all the people who can’t march… the people living lives like I did. Today, I march to remember that I’m not just a me. I’m also a we. And we march with pride.”

 

 

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