Sense8 Episodes 7-12 Review


Sense8 is exactly the kind of experience that the phrase “not bad” was invented for. The show has an interesting set up, a pretty good cast and is helmed by an interesting if inconstant directing duo. With all that combined “Sense8” should be a lot better than it is. But After all I can say after finishing the first season was “it wasn’t bad”.
I said in my review for the first half of the season that too little was happening. The villain was introduced and forgotten about, there was a little set up about an evil global corporation but it was no more than whispers, most likely unheard by those not listening for them. Well, it seemed like the Wachowski siblings agreed, making the second half of the season is dedicated to plot. While this change of pace was nice it comes far to late and I wouldn’t be surprised if a large part of the viewership lost interest by the time the shit hits the fan. And even for those that stick around, with 6 episodes to go, each around an hour long, there is a lot of time to fill. Unfortunately this isn’t done with the best of grace either. After learning that each member of the group was born at the same time we get a five minute or so long montage of each of the eight main characters being borne. This was so boring and needless I ended up just opening steam and playing a bit of “The Binding of Issac” while waiting for it too finish. Ultimately I think this series would have worked better as a movie or maybe even a trilogy of movies, where the 90 minute to 2 hour time limit for each would have forced the Wachowski’s to cut the superfluous crap.
My other main issue is with the ending. A few characters got a resolution of their story lines, and those I have no issue with, but the ending over all just felt empty. It set’s up what could be an interesting team dynamic next season, but it is exacted in a way that feels like either the time or money had run out. T.S. Eliot may have had a point when writing “The Hollow Men”, but I prefer my tv show ending to have a little more “bang” that this one offered.
I still hold that a large part of the pacing problems come from having too large a cast. If this was Sense4 instead of Sense8 I honestly think a lot of the shows issues could have been fixed, but then the Wachowski’s would have had to find a better name and couldn’t use that “cool-in-the-90’s” number in the title. Fewer characters with the same run time would have meant more time getting to know each one, more time establishing the rules to this universe and, if done correctly, less time with Brian J. Smith’s boring Will “The Only Good Cop” Gorski character. Worst character in the show. Smith isn’t bad, the character is.
Speaking of the characters lets take another look at that topic from last time. You know the one.
One of the biggest complaints I read about the show was that it relayed on too many racial stereotypes, and I argued that they were not so much stereotypes, but archetypes. As the show when on the line began to blur for me. Part of why I argues for archetypes was that this wasn’t done only to the cast who were People of color. The fact Capheus, the Nigerian buss driver, had an AIDS ridden mother and that Sun form Seoul South Korea had an overbearing father figure seem to be the issues that bothered people the most, but again, the use of our preconceptions didn’t stop with them. Riley was based in the “drug using DJ” mindset, Wolfgang was based on the idea that “a bad childhood/daddy issues will mean you end up being a violent criminal” and Will was based on the idea that anyone who want to be a cop must be an incredibly boring person. So it wasn’t just the fact the cast members who were people of color the Sense8 is exactly the kind of experience that the phrase “not bad” was invented for. The show has an interesting set up, a pretty good cast and is helmed by an interesting if inconstant directing duo. With all that combined “Sense8” should be a lot better than it is. But After all I can say after finishing the first season was “it wasn’t bad”.
I said in my review for the first half of the season that too little was happening. The villain was introduced and forgotten about, there was a little set up about an evil global corporation but it was no more than whispers, most likely unheard by those not listening for them. Well, it seemed like the Wachowski siblings agreed, making the second half of the season is dedicated to plot. While this change of pace was nice it comes far to late and I wouldn’t be surprised if a large part of the viewership lost interest by the time the shit hits the fan. And even for those that stick around, with 6 episodes to go, each around an hour long, there is a lot of time to fill. Unfortunately this isn’t done with the best of grace either. After learning that each member of the group was born at the same time we get a five minute or so long montage of each of the eight main characters being borne. This was so boring and needless I ended up just opening steam and playing a bit of “The Binding of Issac” while waiting for it too finish. Ultimately I think this series would have worked better as a movie or maybe even a trilogy of movies, where the 90 minute to 2 hour time limit for each would have forced the Wachowski’s to cut the superfluous crap.
My other main issue is with the ending. A few characters got a resolution of their story lines, and those I have no issue with, but the ending over all just felt empty. It set’s up what could be an interesting team dynamic next season, but it is exacted in a way that feels like either the time or money had run out. T.S. Eliot may have had a point when writing “The Hollow Men”, but I prefer my tv show ending to have a little more “bang” that this one offered.
I still hold that a large part of the pacing problems come from having too large a cast. If this was Sense4 instead of Sense8 I honestly think a lot of the shows issues could have been fixed, but then the Wachowski’s would have had to find a better name and couldn’t use that “cool-in-the-90’s” number in the title. Fewer characters with the same run time would have meant more time getting to know each one, more time establishing the rules to this universe and, if done correctly, less time with Brian J. Smith’s boring Will “The Only Good Cop” Gorski character. Worst character in the show. Smith isn’t bad, the character is.
Speaking of the characters lets take another look at that topic from last time. You know the one.
One of the biggest complaints I read about the show was that it relayed on too many racial stereotypes, and I argued that they were not so much stereotypes, but archetypes. As the show when on the line began to blur for me. Part of why I argues for archetypes was that this wasn’t done only to the cast who were People of color. The fact Capheus, the Nigerian buss driver, had an AIDS ridden mother and that Sun form Seoul South Korea had an overbearing father figure seem to be the issues that bothered people the most, but again, the use of our preconceptions didn’t stop with them. Riley was based in the “drug using DJ” mindset, Wolfgang was based on the idea that “a bad childhood/daddy issues will mean you end up being a violent criminal” and Will was based on the idea that anyone who want to be a cop must be an incredibly boring person. So it wasn’t just the fact the cast members who were people of color the Wachowski’s did this too, making me want too believe they were using these archetypes to get us into the more interesting parts of the story. But no one ever expands out of this role. Capheus brings down the ruling gang as his big arch ender, Sun goes to prison for her brother, after freaking out and throwing away her drugs Riley still ends up giving her dad and some of his musician friends some extacy and Will is boring even when he is clrealy being set up as the focus point for next season. If the Wachowski’s were aiming for archetypes their inability to deliver on anything more makes this harder to see. I’m still pretty sure that is what they were going for, but you know what they say about hell and good intentions, right?
With all of that said though, I didn’t hate the show. I wanted more from it, I was expecting better and it failed to meet those expectations, but for what it was it was enjoyable enough. I think you will probably like it more if you spread out you’re viewings instead of marathoner through it (you know, like how we did in the before time, in the long long ago). Watch a few episodes, forget the series exists then see it in your queue and think “wow, I should finish this” and repeat until you finish the series. ‘s did this too, making me want too believe they were using these archetypes to get us into the more interesting parts of the story. But no one ever expands out of this role. Capheus brings down the ruling gang as his big arch ender, Sun goes to prison for her brother, after freaking out and throwing away her drugs Riley still ends up giving her dad and some of his musician friends some extacy and Will is boring even when he is clrealy being set up as the focus point for next season. If the Wachowski’s were aiming for archetypes their inability to deliver on anything more makes this harder to see. I’m still pretty sure that is what they were going for, but you know what they say about hell and good intentions, right?
With all of that said though, I didn’t hate the show. I wanted more from it, I was expecting better and it failed to meet those expectations, but for what it was it was enjoyable enough. I think you will probably like it more if you spread out you’re viewings instead of marathoner through it (you know, like how we did in the before time, in the long long ago). Watch a few episodes, forget the series exists then see it in your queue and think “wow, I should finish this” and repeat until you finish the series.

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