Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sense8 - Limbic Resonance

At this point I think we can stop refering to the Wachowskis as talented filmmakers who have lost their way and consider The Matrix may instead be the exception to their otherwise mediocre filmmography. Created and produced along with J. Michael Straczynski (last seen doing anything interesting in the Third Season of Babylon 5), the pair's latest is a Netflix series surrounding an assorted group of people from all walks of life who, at least based on this first episode, seem placed on-screen as walking plot points for the show discuss various themes such as racism, inequality, crime, sexual identity and relationships, drug use, politics, and a sense of being lost and alone in the world. It's like Crash was made into a series by the people responsible for The Matrix Revolutions and Ninja Assassin. Oh, wait, that's exactly what happened.

After the suicide of a disturbed woman (Daryl Hannah) on the run from some super-secret organization eight strangers from around the world find themselves psychically and emotionally linked together. The group consists of an almost cliched good-guy police officer (Brian J. Smith) in Chicago, a finance executive and kickboxer (Bae Doona) in South Korea, a DJ (Tuppence Middleton) in Iceland, a Spanish actor (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), a pharmacist (Tina Desai) in India, a struggling bus driver (Aml Ameen) in Kenya, a transgender blogger (Jamie Clayton) in San Fransisco, and a safecracker (Max Riemelt) in Germany with daddy issues.

After the odd opening sequence involving the death of the unknown woman in a seedy warehouse the opening episode cuts back and forth introducing the various eight main characters who each begin seeing hallucinations of the dead woman and each others otherwise complicated and humdrum lives. While Lost fans may get a kick out of seeing Naveen Andrews in a very short appearance, the highlight for Doctor Who fans will likely be the supporting role of Freema Agyeman (who I wanted far more of) as the blogger's girlfriend in the show's most interesting (and obviously most personal to at least one of the show's creators) plot thread to this point.

Sense8's premise is odd but despite more than an hour the first episode can't find a way to develop it into more than just a kinda cool premise on the page and into something truly interesting to watch. There's simply too much happening in this drawn-out opening episode (in a series that seems to promise much more of the same in each successive episode) that keeps audiences at arms length from all of its characters while also failing to explore the one unique aspect of the show. Despite ending in a bloody cliffhanger that begins to force the stories to intersect, "Limbic Resonance" fails in selling me on the show. The lack of currently airing new summer programming may lead me to view one or two more episodes, but unless the show quickly finds a way to hook me into any of these storylines its unlikely I'll stick around for any length of time.

1 comment:

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I am extremely picky these days as to the shows I will invest in. Even a dozen episodes of crap seems like too much for me. I will give this one a chance but I have my doubts like you do.