Passing on Neflix’s Original Series “sense8”
August 3, 2015
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Okay, I’m not going to pour out my wrath on this one. I am a sucker for exactly this sort of thing. It’s basically a blend of ABC’s Lost and NBC’s Heroes… which both managed to hook me when they came out. Furthermore, I’ve basically already paid for this one because we already subscribe to Netflix. And good grief, this one has the Wachowski Brothers putting it together, too. So I’ve got a lot of reasons to give this one a chance. Never mind that it’s all about telepathy and stuff, too. It wasn’t enough to save it, though… which is too bad.
Anyway, here’s where they lost me:
- The opening scene has Naveen Andrews in it. — Now… I like this guy; he’s a great actor, sure. But putting him in a key role in the opening scene? After the sixth season of Lost that sort of thing makes a statement. It’s like telling me upfront that the writers have no idea how to pay off everything they’re going to set up. Is that unfair? Yes, but it’s how it is. George Reeves and his fellow cast members couldn’t really be anything other than Superman characters after their TV show… and everyone on Lost have taken on a particularly unfortunate stigma of their own. That’s just how it is.
- “No one ever defended me.” — Okay, the whole Pride sequence. Yeah, this sort of thing had to be drug into nearly every Doctor Who episode at some point. And now that Game of Thrones is a thing, we have to get it good a graphic, too. But whatever. The scene where the mean girl in effect kicked sand on the butch girl’s girly girl girlfriend? It didn’t ring true to me. And you know, I’m no expert. I only have a few people that I’ve known that I could generalize from for processing this scene. But it came off to me like there was this standard comic book love story script that these characters were just arbitrarily dropped into– one that people spend a great deal of time complaining about if it involves a dude and a girl. Hey, you know… maybe it happens like that in real life, I dunno. Nevertheless, I got cognitive dissonance from the whole thing.
- “Just one thing, God. I’m not in love with him.” — Okay, a religious character shown in a good light for a change. This thread had some promise. But again, this doesn’t match up at all with the people I’ve known. I’ve ended up working with a few Indians over the years and they almost always get asked about the whole arranged marriage thing. If you tease them about it, they don’t get miffed at all. (One guy simply asked to compare the divorce rates of our too countries.) Again, maybe I can’t really generalize from just a few people I’ve met… but this whole “I’m not in love with him” thing seems a little bit outside of the scope of what I’d imagine a real life Indian to frame all this. I mean, maybe it’s the case that marrying for love just doesn’t have quite the same priority over there, right? Also… having her talk to the elephant god idol like she was doing was similarly off. Now… I know I don’t know much about the many religious beliefs of the big subcontinent. But I do expect it to be different from what I’m used to. And the tone of her monologue is very much in line with a middle school aged American country girl having one of those “are you there, God?” moments that used to be a thing in Young Adult novels. It’s the same thing as the Pride sequence. They have this standard plot element and they’re dropping something in which doesn’t really fit at all. I can see what they’re trying to do, sure. But I expect more cogency than what I’m getting here.
Now it wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed the scenes with the British musician-girl and the Chicago cop and how they came together. I especially liked the whole heist sequence. But “good in parts” is not going to fly with this many hours of investment at stake. As such, I’m all the more willing to assume that the story just isn’t going to go anywhere by the end. So I’ll happily pass and instead read a novel from before 1980 that gives me a complete standalone story without any of the mess.