Series Premiere: Sense 8 Review

Series Premiere: Sense 8 Review

After sifting through all the superhero franchises and family sitcoms premiering this fall, it’s easy to claim that there are no new ideas being made. Well, that complaint cannot be leveled at Sense 8.

The newest project from the Wachowskis (The Matrix Trilogy), Sense 8 tells the story of eight people from around the world who suddenly find themselves mentally linked and must try to evade those hunting them.

Unfortunately, Sense 8 might not inspire many shows to follow in its original footsteps. For all the shootouts and stylistic montages of shared senses, the pilot came off, well… boring. Granted, all pilots have the rough task of introducing the viewers to the world and the characters and in the case of Sense 8, that’s eight different worlds and eight different, unconnected characters. But it could have been done better. If they had just cut down on the repetitiveness of all these shared senses (we get it, they can hear what’s happening other places. Got it. In the first 10 minutes, actually) they probably would have had time to actually define at least one of the main characters.

But, the end result is that these characters were painted in the broadest (and sometimes clichéd) ways. There’s the transgender lesbian living it up during pride weekend; the safe cracking German trying to come out from his domineering father’s shadow; the drugged out DJ; the Chicago cop with a heart of gold; the Indian woman set to marry a man she doesn’t love; the African man driving a Van Damme bus; the Spanish movie star and the Asian woman stuck playing the subservient to her brother. And all those sound like interesting enough starts to a story, but after more than hour with them, I can’t say I care about any single one all that much.

The pilot’s job is to invest the audience in the story so they continue to tune in. At least it used to be. As more and more shows go this Netflix route, it becomes less clear how much needs to be revealed in the first episode. You don’t need to hook a viewer and make sure they still want to watch a week later, you need to hook them just enough that they’ll devote another hour to watching. Then maybe another.

So, maybe subsequent episodes of Sense 8 will flesh out these characters a bit more on the road to explaining the actual plot. Maybe not. The only way to know is to watch. But I’m old school. If its not a decent pilot, I can’t trust that the next 12 hours of my life won’t be wasted if I invest in watching it.

Final Verdict: If you’ve seriously got nothing else to do or watch, well, one ask me for some suggestions, but two, maybe give it a watch. But, as far as binge worthy shows go, this ain’t it.

*Season one of Sense 8 is available now on Netflix.

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