Sense8: Season 1
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Sense8: Season 1

There is a myriad of aspects psychological and emotional components of a person that contributes to rivers the personality will be well-adjusted or an aberration. Collectively these are usually referred to as ‘The Self,' how individual regards himself, actually it defines individuality at its most fundamental level. One of the most detrimental things a person can undergo is the disintegration of their sense of identity, the uniqueness in the world. The basic training of every military organization that has a dehumanizing procedure to have regular people, farmers, clerks and other commonplace members of society kill another human being because the country people from an individual country or system of belief are less than human and deserve to die. The critical importance of identity to a person places it in an ideal position to drive a plethora of interesting stories throughout time. Psychological conditions such as ‘Multiple Personality Disorders’ been the subject of debate by the psychiatric community for many years regardless of whether it can be included in the DSM-5 still makes for an intense driving theme for the story. In recent years the streaming video service, Netflix, has been producing an increasing number of original movies and television series. One of the latest, Sensate, takes the concept of individuality infusing it with one of the most intriguing variations seen in years. The foundation of the series is that there are groups of people interconnected to a psychic bond. These eight individuals typically share nothing in common, but there is such an overlap in their psychological and emotional states. At times of stress and an otherwise peaceful member of the community will have access to the extreme martial arts skills another in their group. It is not like a hive mind that is so common in science fiction with the best-known example ‘The Borg,' being almost universally understood throughout lovers of the genre. They have no individuality, no goals other than that that benefits the hive existing solely for the common goals of their common goal of the collective community. Members of the’Sense8’ groups do not surrender their individual hopes, dreams strengths and weaknesses. They share themselves on a uniquely intimate mode.

Hailed as one of the different examples of original programming that Netflix has provided to date, Sensate is not the kind of series that you watch casually in the background. It demands your complete attention as you collect mental notes about each of the eight individuals and their similar back stories. This is not a surprise considering the heritage behind the series. The driving forces are compiling the incredible talent of. Michael Straczynski deeply entwined stories as ‘Babylon 5’ and ‘Jeremiah.' Joining him repair her sisters have been a major force in some of the most compelling television and movie projects in recent years, Lana and older sibling Lilly Wachowski, who created the ‘Matrix Saga.' One of the most prominent aspects of this series, the contributing element that would typically prevent from being shown on broadcast television, is the infusion of a substantial number of LGBT community members. The Wachowski siblings have undergone gender transition and understandably have been exceptionally vocal the social and legal acceptance of the transgender. This series contains individuals who are straight, homosexual, bisexual and transsexual which makes their public personalities not only more interesting from a narrative point of view but exceptionally socially relevance. Naturally, representing such widely encompassing modes of sexual identity abound to become targets of a degree of controversy. This is a perennial use for science fiction, to confront social attitudes in the context of fictional stories whose fundamental tenants lie beyond what is considered to be a reality. It is intrinsically the same using Overture androids to explore some of the subtle points of what it means to be human.

Considering the real reputation of the creators of the series should come as no surprise that the audience does not have to wait very long for the action to begin to escalate. It starts with the introduction of the character Angelica Turing (Daryl Hannah), being held a prisoner in a deserted warehouse. As we learn over the course of the first few episodes, Angelica is also Sensate although from a different group, referred to as clusters, one that the main protagonists are a part. When Angelica has first seen it appears that her life is in danger, there is somebody who is determined to capture her and eventually does manage to murder her. Confinement to the warehouse and her subsequent suicide is the first event experienced by the cluster known as August 8, after the date of Sensate rebirth and date of the actual births. This introduces us to the eight main characters, allowing the audience to realize that this is a global phenomenon and members of each cluster may be intimately bound together, but they can be physically thousands of miles apart. Another member of Angelica’s cluster and a formal lover, Jonas Maliki (Naveen Andrews) assumes the responsibility of contacting the members of the August 8 cluster and guide through the disorientation inherent in the changes.

Looking back at the literally thousands of reason television shows that I have encountered over the years I have never encountered such a diverse assortment of characters in any story. Will Gorski (Brian J. Smith), is an officer for the Chicago Police Department driven by what many refer to as a savior complex, compulsion to come to the aid of the defenseless. Eventually, he is drawn emotionally to another of his cluster; Riley Blue (Tuppence Middleton) was quickly gaining fame in London as a disc jockey. Unconventional with a bleach platinum hair with a blue streak, Riley tries to dull the pain of life by abusing several forms of drugs. Because of this most person that she tries to tell about her visions dismisses them as drug-induced fantasies rather than her connection to the members of her cluster and Angelica. Lito Rodriguez (Miguel Silvestre) resides in Mexico City where he is a leading character in a popular telenovela. His macho image that is the foundation of his career would be destroyed completely if his fans ever discovered that he was homosexual.

His public image as a macho leading man would evaporate if the truth of his sexuality were revealed. The resulting need to conceal his homosexuality and the identity of his boyfriend, Hernando (Alfonso Herrera), drives his character’s arc. Lito is actively pursued by his very handsome costar, Daniela Velázquez (Erendira Ibarra), which eventually leads to experimentation with bisexuality with Lito and Hernando.

Nomi Marks (Jamie Clayton) is a political blogger and hacktivist residing in San Francisco. Nomi is a trans-woman in a stable relationship with her lesbian girlfriend, Amanita Caplan (Freema Agyeman), who works in a bookstore and is exceptionally active in LGBT rights. Wolfgang Bogdanow (Max Riemelt) is a master thief, and safe cracker lives in Germany although he’s Russian ancestry. Halfway across the world and in the other meet the next member of the cluster, Kala Dandekar (Tina Desai) who is a devout Hindu working at a pharmaceutical company in Mumba. She’s about to enter an arranged marriage with Rajan Rasal (Purab Kohli), the song of the CEO of the enterprise. Her character affords the opportunity to showcase the remarkable mix of cultural influences inherent in the story of such global proportions. As part of the celebration leading up to the wedding the groom to be, Rajan prepares an elaborate Bollywood song and dance number with his friends and groomsmen. Music is a crucial aspect of the series highlighting the cultural differences of each of the people involved in the cluster demonstrating the bond they share. A particularly touching moment each member of the cluster begin singing the same song which depending upon the individual circumstances assumes completely different emotional meaning.

One of the more dramatic characters in the cluster is Sun Bak (Bae Doona). Sun is the daughter of a deceased Korean entrepreneur who despite the fact that you knows more about the business that her younger brother, Joong-Ki Bak (Lee Ki-chan), is dismissed as having any ability because of a cultural bias against women in positions of authority. She ultimately takes responsibility for crimes committed by her brother landing her in prison. Fortunately, she can survive and even thrive in such a hostile environment because of her exceptional abilities in various forms of martial arts. One of the advantages of having her in the cluster is that at times of danger of the members can assume those abilities are saving their lives. The last member of the cluster is Capheus Onyango (Aml Ameen), who lives in Nairobi. There he worked as a bus driver, a vehicle locally known as a matatu. This is a highly competitive field with rivals not about the use of lethal force to dominate the limited pool of potential riders. It is common for each of us to have a unique name identifying it. He is called ‘Claude Van Van.' One of his main concerns is to regularly obtain sufficient funds to buy his mother the medicine she needs to stay alive.

As previously mentioned this is not a series intended for casual viewing. It is however, highly conducive for been watching. The main characters are each fully developed as individuals as well as being interconnected on a very subtle basis. The revelation of their cooperative association as a cluster is revealed rather slowly allowing the audience substantial opportunity to become emotionally invested with each character better enabling them to accept that several of them become entwined romantically. There is also an arch nemesis introduced into the series, Whispers (Terrence Mann). He is a Sensate woman of the cluster belongs to an organization that hunts down Sensates around the world. By making eye contact, he can experience what his targets can see and hear using that knowledge to track them down. You can also control the bodies of Sensates that have had their minds lobotomized. An enemy that shares the advantages of belonging to a cluster yet driven to their destruction adds the necessary degree of danger, adversity, and mystery to the proceeding required to retain the attention of the audience. You are pulled into the story through the familiarity of many of the trials faced by the individuals, but it is only after that is cultivated expertly into an emotional bond between the characters and the viewers are solidly crafted are the concepts involving the cluster revealed and expounded.

Posted 03/22/2017

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