The first I’d ever heard of Sense8 was when a very dear friend insisted I watch the first season, which had premiered several months ago on Netflix, with her. I had absolutely no clue what the show was about, or who was starring in it. All I know was that the show was a fusion of sci-fi, and present-day issues plaguing the LGBTQIA community, and it was created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the trans women formerly known as the Wachowski Brothers, and the brains behind The Matrix franchise. This was good enough for me! I dove into the series, and recently finished the second (and sadly, last) season, and I’m fairly certain that this will go down as one of the best shows I’ve ever watched.
Sense8 predominantly revolves around the idea that another link in the evolutionary chain, Homo sensorium, came to be after Homo sapien, and (like all more evolved groups) were in terrible danger from Homo sapien, who misunderstood and feared them. Homo sensoriums have the ability, once they are “birthed” into a cluster of eight by another sensorium, or “sensate”, telepathically share memories, abilities, knowledge, and emotions with members of their cluster. Being “birthed” brings eight strangers from all across the world who usually have no more in common than being born at the exact same moment, into what is quite possibly the most intimate relationship that a group of people could ever possibly experience. They can also communicate telepathically and “visit” with all other sensates on the planet. Homo sensorium have been silently hunted by various Homo sapien organizations for centuries, and the show brings us into the lives of a truly diverse cluster as they navigate with learning about each other, and themselves, all while trying to stay alive.
As we watch an Indian chemist (Tina Desai), a German thief (Max Riemelt), a gay Mexican actor (Miguel Angel Silvestre), a Korean banker and martial artist (Doona Bae), a Kenyan bus driver (Aml Ameen, season 1/Toby Onwumere, season 2), an American hacker and trans activist (Jamie Clayton), an Icelandic DJ (Tuppence Middleton), and an American cop (Brian J. Smith) grapple with their incredible, and incredibly dangerous, new reality, we see how being connected shifts their perspectives, in ways great and small, how they lean on another, come through for one another, and even when they are most alone, are no longer subject to the loneliness that is normal for our species.
In addition to watching the cluster grow closer to one another, we see how profoundly their connection also impacts their relationships with the Homo sapiens in their lives. Sense8 has hands-down one of the best supporting casts I’ve ever seen. Whether it’s in the best friends who refuse to give up on them, lovers who would move mountains to be with them, parents who support them, or cell mates who become like family, this cluster is gifted in more ways than one. While trying to stay one step ahead of both the agency hunting them, and sensate who’s leading the hunt against his own kind, this incredible cluster gives us a series overflowing with humanity, diversity, warmth, laughter, conspiracy theories, friendship, romance, love, and self-acceptance. Filled with incredible dialogue, a riveting, original subject, characters that feel more like personal friends with each episode, and one of the best overall soundtracks any show has every had, I was hooked until that very last episode, and still crave more.
I give this one 5 stars.
Edit: It has recently been announced that the Wachowskis will be bringing Sense8 back for one final episode. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s time to catch up!