In Memory of Sense8

Netflix users from all over the world are facing shock and disappointment over the cancellation of one of our favorite shows to binge watch, Sense8. The multilayered story of eight individuals around the world who find themselves mentally intertwined had fans ready for more from the first to the last episode. But what was it exactly about the show’s early end that left us feeling so senseless?

Above all else, I’d say the characters were the best aspect of this series. Eight people with such different lives and skills consistently managed to contribute beneficial content to the whole of the group. I loved watching Nomi Marks use her tech skills to hack our sensate cluster out of risky situations, Will Gorski’s cop intuition was a handy asset, and Sun Bak’s fight scenes were nothing short of a treat. Each character had unique narratives that at times we got to see them work through on their own, or with another member of the cluster, or all eight together. Every time one of the group was facing a problem you would wonder who would team up next. They all worked so well together that no matter if it was a heated battle or just a heart-to-heart conversation the scene was amazing.

Not to be lumped in with any old science fiction or drama series, there were quite a few of those heated battles. At times, Sense8 seemed more like an action show, but then there was also the romance, the suspense, the comedy. It really was a gorgeous blend of genres. And with so many different storylines, I can’t remember it feeling slow at any point.

Sense8 also addressed some important societal issues during its twenty-three episodes. It can be surprisingly difficult to find diversity in the media these days. Sense8 was a show that dealt with characters living in so many different countries, and so they easily knocked the ethnic diversity issue out of the park. Corruption was another issue we saw in different forms during the show’s two seasons. Capheus was on the path to fighting corruption in politics, while Kala struggled with the corruption in the pharmaceutical company where she and her husband worked. Gender and sexuality issues got some representation when the creative team gave us two queer relationships, one of which involved a trans woman. How many shows out there have a lead transgender character played by a transgender individual? It’s unfortunate that the LGBTQ+ community is losing the potential of such quality characters.

One of the saddest parts about the show’s cancellation after just two seasons is all the unresolved loose ends. Sense8 ended just before we got to see Lito playing in his new role, Capheus winning the election, Wolfgang and Kala finally being together, and so much more. It’s not every day you happen upon a show that makes you think about the interconnectivity of the human experience, how beautiful the world is, and the importance of both learning from and helping each other. Having a series you like get cut is never fun, but Sense8 clearly had much more to offer. Like many other shows cancelled too soon, the only way to remember it is to rewatch it in the years to come, and hope for a movie to tie it all together.

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