film fatales #68: detroit (kathryn bigelow, 2017)
in defense of fucking off

tv in the 2010s: sense8

Sense8 (#84 in the AV Club's "The 100 best TV shows of the 2010s"). Sense8 was as ambitious as any series, ever. It was also fairly costly for Netflix, which felt the size of the audience didn't warrant the expenditures. That audience was vocal enough to get an extra, movie-length episode to wrap things up. Some of the expense came from location shooting ... Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi, San Francisco, Seoul, and Reykjavík. The concept, of eight people linked psychically ("sensates"), was often confusing, although the commitment of creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski was remarkable, and even when the plot didn't make sense, you could luxuriate in those diverse eight, which included a closeted actor in Mexico, a female Hindu pharmacist, an African bus driver, a trans woman and her girlfriend, and a kickboxing woman from Korea. The series emerged from its fumbling in its fourth episode, one of many times Sense8 featured set pieces of the sensates interacting:

It made no sense, but it felt right, and we understood for the first time what the eight were living through. Of course, their connection made it possible for plenty of sex scenes with multiple participants ... if you don't have to actually be in the same place geographically, you can have some great group sex in your heads. The feeling of community among the sensates was extraordinary.

Part of being a member of a sensate "cluster" was that you all had the same birthday:

And somehow, you could help each other:

I loved this show. I honestly never really cared about the underlying plot, didn't care what sensates were or why they had enemies. I just loved the characters and the way they were presented. And when Netflix agreed to give one last episode:

I'm not usually impressed by fan attempts to bring back cancelled series. But there was something about the nature of Sense8 and its celebration of difficult positivity in hard times that made the show matter more to me than most others, and made its one-more-episode return special.

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