Netflix started as the modern video store. With a monthly fee, viewers had access to hundreds of movies and tv shows and has become a staple in most families today. Never have TV series been more easily accessible to the masses and has created little monsters inside of all of us. The monster is called binge watching and the most common side effect is the “just one more”. Naturally one episode turns into 100 before a week of your life is gone and you realize you haven’t bathed or eaten during that whole period. Although Netflix begun as a video rental outlet, it has no come to offer Netflix original films and TV series. These films and TV series are beginning to create a name for themselves which is a great selling feature for Netflix.
Sense8 is a take on the word sensate. A group of 8 strangers from around the world can suddenly experience the senses of the others in their group, known as clusters. They are also able to communicate with each other in person, while being in completely different parts of the world. The first season consists of 12 episodes around one hour in length. As of August 8, 2015, Netflix has announced there will be a second season, much to the joy of it’s growing fan base.
Here is a brief breakdown of the main characters and the 8 sensates:
Angelica, played by Daryl Hannah, is a sensate who was from the same cluster as Jonas. Angelica sacrifices herself to escape the Whisper, but while doing so awakens the sensates who star in the series.
Capheus, played by Aml Ameen, is a driver in Nairobi. Capheus is also known as Van Damme, after his hero and bus theme. He drives a bus with pictures of Jean-Claude Van Damme all over it, and cleverly named, Van Damme. Capheus’ mother suffers from aids. The medicine to help her is very expensive. There are other ways to obtain the medicine, but they may come at an even steeper cost.
Sun Bak, played by Bae Doona, lives in Seoul and works for her father. She also trains for unground kickboxing matches which gives her an edge and helps some of the other sensates. Her father is a very powerful businessman, but due to the actions of her brother her life could change forever.
Nomi Marks, played by Jamie Clayton, is a transgender hacker and activist. She becomes one of the first targets of a dangerous group of people who threaten all sensates. Once they are able to gain access to one, they use it to track down the others in the group to destroy them. Nomi’s girlfriend Amanita is a faithful addition to the group as she is open to the strange things Nomi is experiencing and helps her, even when they both become fugitives on the run.
Kala Dandekar, played by Tina Desai, is a pharmacist who is engaged to a man she does not love. The other sensates can feel this and know this, but she is the closest with other sensate Wolfgang. While the sensates help and interact with each other as they learn of one another, there are those who have stronger connections and are often together.
Wolfgang Bogdanow, played by Max Riemelt, is a locksmith whose family has surrounded him in a life of crime. He was raised by his father, a cruel man who teaches him to fight to survive. Wolfgang and Kala live two separate lives but they have formed a connection despite some of their most obvious differences.
Riley Blue (Gunnarsdottir), played by Tuppence Middleton is an Icelandic DJ living in London. Her father, a famous pianist still lives in Iceland, but she is trying to escape her past that keeps her from him. Riley forms the closest bond with Will, a Chicago police officer. The two bond quickly and their feelings for each other escalate.
Will Gorski, played by Brian J. Smith, is a Chicago police officer. Following in the footsteps of his father, Will struggles to be a good person, as well as a good cop. Will is the first sensate to make contact with a sensate from another group, Jonas Maliki (Naveen Andrews). To others, Jonas is a wanted criminal, but Will knows the truth as to who is hunting Jonas.
Lito Rodriguez, played by Miguel Angel Sylvester is a famous mexican movie star. Lito, is also a closeted man who lives with his boyfriend, while keeping it a secret from the world.
Whispers, played by Terrence Mann, is a sensate who turned on his group and now heads an organization that specializes in hunting down and killing all other sensates.
The concept for the show is very complex and at times can be confusing. This is especially during the first few episodes, but once you grasp the concept it is easier to run with it. There is a lot of sexual scenes throughout the series which include nudity, both male and female. This is a courtesy warning that you should not watch this show if such scenes would upset those around you. Also be cautious of your neighbours as there are obvious vocal scenes.
One thing each episode tends to have in common is the build up to the climax. Each episode ends with a climax which makes you want to do nothing more than click that next button and release the “one more” monster.
Sense8 is a very unique series and I am excited to see how things go with the second season. With the above warnings said, Sense8 is something that should be high on your radar. Go in with an open mind and allow a handful of episodes before you completely give up on it. There are sensates that are your instant favourites, but then they all start to grow on you making it difficult to choose just one. With each character being in a different part of the world, the series takes us on a strange and exciting adventure around the world that invites us to experience so many different senses.