Friday, February 16, 2018

NETFLIX'S SENSE8 A DIVERSE SF WONDER


For someone whose business is the future, I can be a bit of a Luddite, slow to adopt new technologies until they’ve proven their usefulness. I resisted Facebook and Twitter until dragged kicking and screaming onboard. I still carry a flip phone. And I had tried and given up Netflix a few years back, before binge watching was a thing.

But just recently I had a chance to rethink Netflix,and I was pleasantly surprised. For one thing the streaming service came without the fits and starts I expected here in my rural area. Anything I watch from my satellite on-demand service must always be downloaded, recorded and watched later because of buffering problems, but not so Netflix. All was smooth sailing, so I immediately became a binging fiend for the show I selected as my first Netflix affliction: Sense8

This SF series, created by Babylon 5 producer J. Michael Straczynski and The Wachowskis (THE MATRIX), and starring Naveen Andrews (Lost) and Daryl Hannah (yes, that Daryl Hannah), follows eight characters in different parts of the world who are psychically linked. Before they can figure out why they are suddenly in each other’s heads, they find themselves pursued by an evil scientist and his corporate sponsors, who want only to exploit or destroy them.


In addition to the overall arc, each of the characters has his or her own fully-developed story—the gay actor in Robert Rodriguez-style action films in Mexico City; the German gangster in Berlin; the Indian biochemist in an arranged marriage to her boss in Mumbai; the Icelandic rock DJ grieving the loss of her husband and stillborn child in London; the Chicago cop who sees “ghosts;” the Nairobi bus driver who loves Jean-Claude Van Damme; the transgender computer whiz in San Francisco; the martial artist going to prison for her brother’s crimes in Seoul. Story segments are filmed separately in each of the key cities, giving the show a color and diversity not seen in many series. And an openness, too. This is not a series for viewers who may be shy about sex.

In one episode, a character is listening to an author speak at a book signing. He argues that today’s generation has access to information about the lives of hundreds of people around the world, whereas our parents knew about only a fraction of that number. Sense8 is a perfect example of the author’s point. Here are eight characters, living in eight completely different parts of the world, and I am able to follow their fictional lives in dramatic detail in my living room every night. What a wonder! Yes, the show itself is science fiction—these eight people can “head-hop” to visit each other wherever they live—but so can I! That’s what I love about it.

There is a scientific explanation for what is going on that allows these characters to be connected. I’m not sure yet whether I think it’s a good one or not. But I won’t spoil things for you if you plan to watch the series. I would only recommend that you do watch. It’s well worth giving up your Luddite ways to get this kind of return.

Cheers, Donna


No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments set on moderation - all spammers will be exterminated!

About Spacefreighters Lounge

Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.