Summer Review: Sense8

Sense8 is Netflix’ new original series and it’s the perfect show to binge this summer! (Seriously, no human being would be capable of watching this on a weekly basis only!) Since it is pretty difficult to review an entire series without giving things away, beware of Spoilers.

Sense8 is about a cluster of people around the planet who are “Sensates”, which links them mentally and lets them share their feelings, skills and knowledge. To me, it’s very much a mix between the web series H+ (click here to watch it on YouTube!) and Joss Whedon‘s In Your Eyes, seen as H+ has this global touch and In Your Eyes is about sharing that special mental connection. Netflix has planned to force their program to become more important globally, which they definitely managed to do by including people from all continents in this show (… even if they still all speak English, at least they have specific accents according to their territory. I get that no one likes to watch shows with subtitles).

First, I want to make clear that I loved the show! I am more than happy that Netflix took a risk with it and really plunged into the genre here, but it’s also in no way perfect. One of the problems of the show is that it takes quite some time until you figure the whole “Sensates”-thing out. At the beginning that is fine, because you are just as clueless as the characters are, who mostly think they are going insane. But, if it weren’t for Naveen Andrews‘ character Jonas (who I had a hard time not calling Jafar) we probably wouldn’t know anything at all about the “Sensates”, since he’s the one explaining it to the audience as well as the characters.

Another thing I want to talk about is not really a problem, but a bit of an inconsistency throughout the Season: pacing. For one, there are scenes where characters literally sit down next to each other for 10 minutes and just talk. Don’t get me wrong, that can be just as emotional and beautiful as any other scene, but when it’s followed by an over-the-top and unrealistic action scene (and I’m not talking about Lito’s scenes for his movie), it just feels a little weird. In general, there can be a lot of over-exaggerated scenes that weren’t really my thing (e.g. “the orgy” (actually no, I take that back, that was pretty entertaining … and hot), the birthing scene, Wolfgang’s confrontation with his family, …).

But enough complaining, I started by saying that I loved the show and here’s why:

  • It tackles a lot of serious topics such as homosexuality, transgender relations, racial differences, feminism and many more without ever doing it in a tacky or pretentious way.
  • You feel connected with all the characters and share their emotions as if you were in the cluster with them. Often their connection is portrayed in a beautiful and poetic way, mostly underlined with great music which makes it a real feast to watch (and to sometimes sing along). Also, the I just loved all the different relationships and how the characters’ fates were intertwined!
  • Still, with everything I just mentioned, Sense8  also has some hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud for minutes.
  • Last but not least, the cast is simply amazing, varying from names such as Naveen Andrews, Brian J. Smith, Freema Agyeman, Tina Desai and Tuppence Middleton to Max Riemelt, Miguel Àngel Silvestre, Aml Ameen and many more.

So, even though it might not have been all it could’ve been, I like the cast, I like the ambition and direction of the show and most of all I really want to know what happens next. Netflix hasn’t yet decided on whether they’ll renew or cancel it, but I am hoping for a future for Sense8 and maybe an even more amazing Season 2. What are your thoughts?

P.S.: Have I mentioned how happy I am to see German actor Max Riemelt in this? That was seriously one of my personal highlights!

We Are The Night

we are the nightWe Are the Night is a vampire-thriller from Germany 2010. Since the market for vampire related movies and shows is pretty saturated, it is difficult to come up with something interesting yet still entertaining. We Are the Night has found a good balance between the emotional side of the story as well as the action-packed, cool side.

The movie revolves around a trio of female vampires on the one side and the relationship between a cop and a low-life criminal called Lena on the other side. When Lena unwillingly gets turned into a vampire as well, she has to deal with her new surroundings, powers and feelings.

I, personally, liked the story because it dealt with the different stages of lonliness and solitude every immortal being has to deal with, but didn’t just have the heavy emotional sides to it. Also, the dynamic between the actors is great, especially the one between Tom (Max Riemelt) and Lena (Karoline Herfurth). If you enjoy the general genre of vampire-stories, you should definitely check out We Are the Night. Further cast members are: Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich and Anna Fischer.

Do you know the movie? Did you think it was a good take on vampirism or just another lame story?