Brow Beat

The Wachowskis’ New Netflix Series, Sense8, May Signal a Return to Form

Daryl Hannah is just one member of Sense8’s sprawling cast.

 

© 2015 Netflix

 

The Wachowskis’ filmography is littered with underrated masterpieces like Speed Racer, but their often bloated ambitions—and the sight of Channing Tatum whizzing around in jet boots—led to just-plain-bad results in Jupiter Ascending. Still, I have high hopes for Sense8, the duo’s forthcoming Netflix series, which was co-conceived by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

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The show will follow eight strangers scattered across the globe, who in the aftermath of a sudden death find themselves “linked to each other mentally and emotionally.” That premise seems somewhere between Heroes’ special-people-around-the-world conceit and Cloud Atlas’ vaguely spiritual narrative, but the idea, as Straczynski puts it, is to use the “literal form of empathy” that comes with telepathy to explore how eight very different individuals from eight very different cultures react to each other. The episodic format should allow the Wachowskis plenty of latitude to do justice to that theme. All 12 Sense8 episodes are out June 5.

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