Tracey: The Wachowskis! Do you dare take their magic pills of progressive truth once again? Your very synapses will be blown away by the heart-pounding tale of eight people who can tap into each other’s senses, even though they’re scattered all over the world. There’s a Jean-Claude Van Damme fan from Nairobi who drives a bus to…gather the tear-napkins…help his mother who has AIDS! There’s an ass-kicking kick-boxing girl from Seoul! There’s Kala from Mumbai, who wants to STUDY and not be forced into an arranged marriage because GROSS- ALTHOUGH who are to impose our Western notions of how marriages should be conducted on them? I digress. There’s Riley, who’s my favorite, and I think she’s some sort of Nordic DJ because those are the places where being a DJ is an art and not, you know, a title you can claim just because you have Spotify Premium. There’s Wolfgang, the hunky safe-cracker from Berlin- the Mozart of safe-cracking, you could say! There’s Lito, the hunky closeted telenovela star from Mexico. There’s Will, the hunky, free-willed cop from Chi-raq; and then of course there’s the transgender activist Nomi, who’s chosen that name for herself because, see, this show is about getting to KNOW who we are, about opening our hearts and our minds wide enough to see that we’re all one. How is this not the perfect show? It’s diverse, it’s ambitious, it’s full of EMPATHY, it’s-
Trent: It’s a f*****g mess.
Beatricia: TRENT! But agree. Mess. I get a migraine watching this. There’s like, 50 shades of cliches flashing on screen at the same time.
Trent: It’s 8, but it FEELS like 50 because they hop between storylines every five seconds. Is this Netflix, or frikking Vine?
Tracey: Hold on, ok, YES, sure, it STARTS a little incoherent, but you have to stick to it because once you get used to the fact that it’s experimenting with narrative, and you adjust yourself to some of its quirkier aspects, you appreciate what it’s trying to do because-
Hank: Now, now, there’s some cool Matrixy things here as the show goes on. Say what you will about the Wachowskis, they’re great directors. Or, wait, is it directoresses now?
Tracey: UGH! DAAAAAD!
Hank: Hey, they’re swell gals, is what I’m saying! I more than approve of anybody who appreciates the Muscles from Brussels and makes up a character who drives a van that is a VAN Damme. Ha! A VAN Damme! Cracks me up!
Grandpa Felicius: Wit worthy of Noel Coward. I’m sorry, Tracey, I concur with your brother. D. W. Griffith, whatever his sins may have been, knew that one cuts between scenes to accentuate suspense, not to extinguish it altogether. One needs a cervical collar to recover from this whiplash of a show.
Cousin Franz: Well, I sense ambition here, and that alone deserves praise. It’s the Wachowski’s trademark to overreach, but it’s in ways that their audience has learned to forgive. This is an expansive show, in that it amuses one moment, and baffles the next, and then jumps to another situation you’ve already begun to forget about. But the disjointed nature is the whole POINT: this is about a world of disorienting sensations where these individuals are all looking for connection, just as the viewers search for connection in the disparate plotlines. That’s reality as perceived by most of us, we who are eternally bombarded by information from all sorts of sources and through all sorts of channels. J. Michael Straczynski is a co-creator: he proved he knows multi-episode storylines with “Babylon 5,” and I have faith he has the long-range vision to keep “Sense8” increasingly sensational for years to come.
Tracey: THANK YOU!
Cousin Franz: Still, kinda messy though.
Blurbarella: “Incoherent — Matrixy — mess — of — Cervical — Empathy.”
3 Cherries out of Six