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REVIEW: ‘SENSE8’

(Netflix, episodes began streaming June 5) 6/08/2015 8:00 AM Eastern

NETFLIX DELVES into the supernatural and science-fiction genres with its 12-episode drama Sense8. Executive produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski, known for The Matrix trilogy and 2012’s Cloud Atlas, Sense8 certainly takes on some of the unique and often frustrating characteristics of the latter fantastical movie drama.

 

The series follows eight individuals located in cities around the world who are psychically connected, although the first few episodes only give small clues as to how and why. What’s clear is that these individuals — who range from a cop to an underground martial artist to a transgender activist — have been targeted by an unknown force looking to permanently break the connection.

 

 

 

The pilot begins with Daryl Hannah as Angel, who appears disheveled in an abandoned church talking to a character named Jonas (Naveen Andrews), whose identity and mission are not clearly defined in the early episodes provided for review. Angel seems to be the entity responsible for the psychic link, but it’s unclear for what purpose. Each character has little in common with the others, but at times they can virtually step into one another’s bodies or psyches and see flashes of what’s going on in their lives.

 

As the episodes unwind, the circumstances facing each character become clear — the bride-to-be in Mumbai who doesn’t love her fiancé; the Chicago cop who is trying to make a difference in a violent city; an actor in Mexico trying to make it big; and the London-based DJ trying to find herself — but viewers will have to gut out the 12 episodes to get a (hopefully) clearer picture of how each of these disparate plots eventually weave themselves together to make a complete story.

 

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