Martial arts and frigid climates in Sense8

“Jean-Claude is the Fred Astaire of martial arts.” – Capheus

The first 12 episodes of Sense8 was released on Friday, June 5, for binge-watching sci-fi loving Netflix subscribers. This series should appease the cinematic palate of a wide range of nerds from German filmophiles to thrill-seeking action addicts and the entire first season is available for streaming.

Shot on locale

After watching the trailer, I figured the director brought all of these actors to the same location to shoot, and when I saw the intro, I thought it was compilation of stock footage, but now I’m thinking it’s just leftover from what they couldn’t use to advance the story.

Sense8 was shot in Iceland, Mexico City, Germany, India, Kenya, South Korea, and the United States, and with the mind-blowing scenery, along comes different languages spoken by the main characters.

It’s amazing how one can quickly become adapted to the hodgepodge of locales, accents, and even full strings of foreign tongue. In being able to share experiences with seven other people across the globe, the characters understand each other’s native language, and viewers are given the treat of hearing the occasional Swahili phrase.

This could easily be a hit in other countries that offer Netflix. The subscription service is, as of now, available in Jamaica, Mexico, and the Netherlands to name a few.

netflixThe cast of characters consist of little-known actors from all over the world. The casting crew somehow managed to nab German actor Max Riemelt who starred in German films Die Welle and Freier Fall, alongside Joe Pantoliano of Matrix fame, and Daryll Hannah (Splash and Kill Bill.) 

Seemless pacing

Sun stifles all of her emotions so she can see situations logically, and Riley acts with instinct. Each character brings a rhythm of their own to the overall pacing of the show, and the writers nailed the most momentous lines to deliver an overarching feeling of suspense and inevitability through their individual monologues. The way they talk to each other, they take their time and listen. When they have a point to get across, they use an anecdote or an analogy to introduce the theme, then bring that story full circle with in relation to their feelings in summation of each episode’s main lesson.

“You know that feeling when everyone’s laughing in a movie theater and you just don’t get it, I feel like that right now,” Nomi says to Amanita, as the camera pans across the New York skyline. Then the scene transitions from the rooftop to a bunch of people laughing in a movie theater in India.

First season is satisfying

There’s something so satisfying about them all tapping in to help one another; it’s not everyday you hear of people risking their lives for another of their “cluster”.

Capheus takes the reins to help Nomi escape a gruesome fate.

Of course the musical archivist of the group, DJ Riles, would bring a 90s pop hit from 4 Non Blondes into the fray. “Perfect soundtrack to a lobotomy,” Amanita says as she whisks Nomi away from the hospital. The song triggers something in everyone on the show and sure to bring back memories for those old enough to remember an experience associated with that song (“What’s going on?”).

Another aspect of the series that I find highly cathartic, and I admit I cringed when I saw movie prop artwork explode in clouds of dust and ricocheting gun shells, but the destruction of the environment is fun to watch. We see the actor, Lito, shoot up a museum in his film Amore Muetre, then Wolfgang, the safe cracking street fighter, punches holes in the ornate wood-paneled walls of an old German house using a semi-automatic assault rifle.

“… the show has a five-year plan…” – Indiewire

*spoilers* Seems like they’ve about wrapped up the mystery and solved most characters’ problems by the end of the first season, so will there be a second season? Co-creators Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski say, “Yes,” and I look forward seeing how the rest of the Sense8 story plays out.

Featured image via NewsLocker

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  1. Tom Tykwer, who directed Run Lola Run, directed a few eps this season! Woo!

    Definitely seems like the creators had a goal in mind to challenge and change television norms from the get-go. I will admit I felt second-hand cringe-itude with all the same-sex on-screen lovin’ that I wish was more commonplace (“Is this too much for some people? Are they trying too hard?”), but after awhile I was completely desensitized to it that I didn’t even notice I was no longer noticing. I furiously hope other viewers felt the same way and other show creators follow suit.

    I adore all the characters and all their flaws, strengths, problems, relationships. All very unique and loveable in their own way.

    Can’t wait for season two.


    • My goodness, Run Lola Run is one of my favorite movies of all time! I don’t know if I’m enough of an expert to guess which ones Tykwer directed, but if there were symbols about time or events enhanced by certain colors, I bet he was behind it!

      As for some scenes, I was a little surprised, but I think that goes with the whole “when you love someone in your cluster, it’s more intense than any other love…” or something to that effect. And how did Wolfgang just sit in the pool when all this was going on, like everything’s groovy?

      I, too, can’t wait for season 2! Thanks for the comment!


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