Monday, 6 July 2015

How to enjoy Sens8

A number of my friends have struggled with the new Netflix series Sens8, from the Wachowskis. I have to confess the original Matrix movie was one of my ten best ever, but I was a bit worried that the siblings were one hit wonders (think M Night Shyamalan). But despite some problems with their first TV series, they have achieved something interesting with Sens8.

So here we go.
  • Lie back and go with the flow. It will take some time. Not much happens in the first two episodes, but it does slowly build after that. Just let it wash over you. It's about the experience, man.
  • Accept the fact that about 90% of the script is essentially an extended therapy session for the main characters. They won't necessarily end up happier, but they will be more self aware. Be happy for them.
  • You are going to find flipping between eight main characters' storylines irritating, particularly when there is action in one of the locations and it gets engrossing. But over the season all the characters become genuinely interesting. 
  • Don't expect deep philosophy from science fiction. Essentially the argument seems to be that our heroes a) Feel things far more than ordinary humans and b) Believe that the solution to almost all problems is hitting people. This doesn't feel entirely logically, but remember the philosophy of the Matrix and all will become familiar.
  • Unlike a lot of US series writers, the Ws know the importance of ending on a positive note, even though there's clearly a lot more strife to come. So thankfully there isn't one of those really irritating season end cliffhangers, which I truly hate. (Especially when the series gets cancelled, so the cliffhanger is never resolved.)
  • There are a surprising number of good bits. Anything worthwhile is worth working for. Consider the rest of it the necessary work. You can always speed through the gratuitous sex scenes.

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