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!

New Fantasy TV Shows

So, another sequel on this year’s new fall season TV shows. If you haven’t read the previous posts, I will put the link to the others at the end of this entry.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Promo Poster 1

I already love the original show Once Upon a Time from ABC, even though I have to say, that I think it got a lot worse in the second season. Since the show was a huge success, I wasn’t surprised they made a spin-off, called Once Upon a Time in Wonderland focusing on Alice and her adventures. The show stars: Sophie Lowe, Michael Socha, Peter Gadiot, Emma Rigby, Naveen Andrews, John Lithgow and many more.

You don’t have to know the actual Once Upon a Time series to understand what’s going on in the Wonderland-version. Alice, who fell into a rabbit hole when she was little, tries to proove to her father that she wasn’t imagining her adventures. When she travels to Wonderland again, she falls in love with the genie Cyrus, but after he gets murdered by the Red Queen, she returns home and gets sent to an Asylum by her father. I don’t want to tell you more, because that would be the summary of the entire first episode, and I’d really like it to see it for yourself.

I still think that the visual effects look very computer animated … in a bad way (I’d almost say cheap), but that was the same in the regular Once Upon a Time. Other than that, I quite enjoyed the new take on Alice’s story and I especially liked the character of the Knave of Hearts.

Witches of East End

I am mostly very prejudiced concerning Lifetime-TV-shows, because I barely ever like them. The only one I actually tolerate is the Client List, but I wanted to at least check out the show Witches of East End.

The story is based on the novel of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz and revolves around the witch Joanna and her two adult daughters who don’t yet know about their powers. Things get complicated, when Joanna’s sister Wendy turns up to tell her that someone is trying to kill her family.

Although the show is sometimes ridiculously soapy-romantic, I actually find it quite entertaining. There is a certain level of mystery that fascinates me and I think I am going to keep watching it for a while to see how it continues. Another point that convinced me to check the show out were the actors and actresses. You’ll be able to see the following people: Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston, Eric Winter, Daniel Di Tomasso, Mädchen Amick, Kellee Stewart, Freddie Prinz Jr., Virginia Madsen, …

 

Here are, as promised, the links to the previous posts:

https://theimpossiblegirlblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/and-some-more-tv-shows/

https://theimpossiblegirlblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/tvs-fall-season-has-started/

 

Are there some shows you would like me to cover? If so, just leave a comment below!