TV Review: Netflix’s Sense8 Is A Different Sort Of Sci-Fi

Billed as a sci-fi drama, Sense8 is the latest sci-fi offering from Netflix, and all episodes of the first season dropped June 5.

The premise of Sense8 is reminiscent of the Philip K Dick brand of sci-fi, where eight strangers from around the globe discover they are somehow connected. The connection is set off after a violent vision that results in each of them becoming aware of the ability to see and feel the others’ thoughts and actions. There’s also a malevolent force chasng the eight, seeking to take them out of commission.

As I’m writing this, I’ve managed to get through two of this series’ twelve episodes. I know that reads like a bad thing, and honestly, I’m not certain just wher I fall on Sense8. Created and co-written by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) with the Wachowskis directing and sharing that writing credit, Sense8 boild down to a problem with execution. If the description of the show’s premise sets you up to expect intense sci-fi action, you going to need to temper thos thoughts.

Sense8 takes it’s time getting to these elements, opting instead to embrace the global situation of its characters. Sense8 embraces the diversity that its concept allows, building sprawling and extended glimpses into each person’s life and backstory. It’s not unusual to watch an entire episode centering on the impending marriage of one of the characters, even as the sci-fi elements languishes in the background. Sense8 pays more attention to the politics, sexualities, and religions of its individual worlds. This sets Sense8 apart in the genre, making many moments thrilling. However, this can test the patience of the audience. The show has more in common with the Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas than The Matrix.

Acting wise, the sprawling cast does a great job with what they are given. The dialogue is often cringeworthy and clumsy at best, so if that’s a dealbreaker, you should skip this one. Still, there’s something intriguing about Sense8. I fully intended to finish out this season, however, this is definitely not the show for a binger.

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