Sense8-tional

OK, I'm a little late to the party. The 12-episode sci-fi drama Sense8 created and written by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) along with siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix) has already debuted June 5 on Netflix. The beauty of Netflix, of course, is any time, any place... So that makes me one of the 'clusters' -- explanation of sorts forthcoming -- who wants this ambitious, offbeat, and brazen show renewed for a second season.

To drastically simplify the complex plot line (there are eight to follow based on the eight characters in the series, as well as the master story they all become a part of), human evolution has taken a quiet, important, critical turn -- in the true Darwinian sense -- whereby clusters of eight babies are born into the world (same time, different places). These Sense8 are quintessentially human, except that they have evolved the extraordinary ability to be psychically (they can read each others thoughts; feel each others emotions) and physically connected when called upon (a variation on "Beam me up, Scotty"). Of course, there is a bad guy out to destroy them; if the Sense8 look into his eyes, they don't turn to stone in the Medusa-n sense, but can be controlled by his mind. But this obvious source of conflict is almost secondary to all the conflicts the Sense8s experience in their very-human daily lives. This rough recap is very tip of the iceberg.

Many reviews I've read talk about the LGBT and left-leaning politics of the show, but to me, there's so much more going on. I ought to add here that the series is sexually explicit, violent at times, contains drug use, and is explicitly not for children.

The eight actors, who progressively awaken into becoming the Sense8, are literally from all over the globe: Aml Ameen, Doonae Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith, Tuppence Middleton, Freema Agyeman, Daryl Hannah, and Naveen Andrews (Lost). The actual film was shot on location in Nairobi, Reykjavik, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City, Seoul, Chicago, London, and San Francisco.

As the story flits around the world, the consummate story telling and masterful editing/splicing make for a mind-boggling experience. At one point, Jonas, Naveen Andrews's character, shares his confusion about where he is from (immigrated to London from India and then moved to the States) but what he does know is that he is a Sense8.

If we could be an iota as evolved a human as a Sense8, the world would truly be a better place. These eight flawed characters are somehow transformed into better, stronger, more complete beings when they think and act together. Their newfound ability to empathize and be kind surprises them, as well as the audience, and shows us how one day perhaps we can become a better species after all.

With Sense8, I laughed, I cried, I fumed, I experienced sorrow and joy, and even though I sometimes lost track of the nuances of exactly what was going on (I'm already jonesing for episode one again), I always knew What's Up, one of the songs by 4 Non Blondes in the series soundtrack.

I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this Brotherhood of man
For whatever that means.

Just saying, watch it. I for one want a second season yesterday.