Sense8 Netflix review: a sci-fi thriller rom-com mash-up

Netflix’s Sense8 breaks taboos and pushes boundaries in every magnificent episode…

Will (Brian J Smith), Nomi (Jamie Clayton and Sun (Dona Bae) work together with their minds.

Sense8 is transcendent. It’s about human beings with superhuman abilities. It takes concepts and ideas that are above what people are capable of and it runs with them and expands them. But it’s also transcendent in the sense that it’s just better. Whatever show you’re currently binging, Sense8 is probably better.

The concept isn’t too complicated: eight twenty-somethings from all over the world become mentally connected after a suicide and a series of migraines. But what ensues is almost 12 hours of some of the most complex shit you’ve ever seen. It’s a drama, a thriller, and a rom-com rolled into one, with J Michael Straczynski’s sci-fi serial roots and The Wachowskis’ bizarre imagination.

‘Pushing boundaries’ is a phrase that is thrown around a lot when referring to TV, but it rarely applies more than it does to Sense8. “I can’t believe someone has made this” and “I can’t believe someone has been allowed to make this” become recurring thoughts. It’s like nothing is too taboo, and it works magnificently.

There’s at least one scene in each of the 12 episodes that has the potential to bowl you over if you weren’t already sitting down, whether it be because it pushes boundaries you didn’t know existed, it pulls plot twists you never saw coming or because you identify with a character or a storyline so intensely that you need to take a moment to regroup so you can pretend you haven’t been crying if someone interrupts at the wrong moment. Weak episodes don’t exist here.

It makes sense to think that the Wachowskis’ last project, Jupiter Ascending, was a bit shaky because most of their energy was going into this. Sense8 is just so detailed, well-developed and loved in a way that Jupiter wasn’t. If Jupiter was the fall, Sense8 is the bounce-back.

Maybe it’s too early to get excited for Season Two, but the first feels like the set-up. We’re still getting to know the characters and the characters are still discovering each other. But even though the first season’s plot is complex and complete on its own, there’s so, so much that could still be done. These aren’t stories you just forget about.

Check out the video of our hangout with the cast of Sense8 here.