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TV Review: Netflix’s ‘Sense8’

Netflix’s latest drama series is created, written and executive produced by The Matrix trilogy creators Andy and Lana Wachowski and Babylon 5’s J. Michael Straczynski. In Sense8, eight strangers are connected by an unknown force. All 12 episodes of the science fiction series will premiere on Netflix Friday. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

Sense8 is a show that could only exist on Netflix (or another streaming service like it), because no human would have the patience to watch it weekly. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.”
Alan Sepinwall,HitFix

“Maybe Sense8 gets there. Maybe it's an instance of the Wachowski imagination done right, and it simply requires patience beyond the first three episodes. Depending on how you feel about The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, and other woo-woo universe shows like Lost or Heroes, the amount of patience and enthusiasm you have left for Sense8 will vary.”
Margaret Lyons, Vulture

“Beautifully shot and sublimely silly, Sense8 is slower than The Matrix and not nearly as thrilling. [...] The Matrix was a furnace blast of stylized cyber-violence and adrenaline. As its title suggests, Sense8 is a slower dip into dreamy conspiracies and chimerical fellowship.”
Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“In Netflix’s Sense8 (debuts June 5), the Wachowskis (the Matrix films, Speed Racer) and writer J. Michael Straczynski have ported that ambition over to binge-watch TV, with a globe-spanning series that offers in ambition, action and visual panache what it lacks in coherence, fleshed-out characters and plausible dialogue.”
James Poniewozik, Time

“A dense sci-fi construct that’s poorly explained through three episodes, Sense8 bears some resemblance to Fox’s short-lived Touch, infusing a sense of global interconnectedness with mystical mumbo-jumbo. But the main problem, simply, is that the show doesn’t make much sense.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

“This is a show that has the most lofty objective of all—getting people around the world to care about one another—and yet it struggles with the much simpler goal of making viewers care about the characters. It’s ambitious and passionate and very deeply flawed. So maybe it captures what it means to be human after all.”
Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly

“It’s typically been easier to root for the Wachowskis in theory. They bring a much-needed progressive perspective to the science fiction and fantasy genres (the forward-thinking empathy of Sense8 makes for an especially fascinating contrast with the reactionary cynicism of Netflix’s own Daredevil). Yet the siblings have frequently struggled to fully realize their ideas, too often failing to find the exact right balance between the silly and the sublime (multi-culti dance party in Matrix Reloaded, I’m looking at you). With Sense8, they finally achieve that harmony.”
Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“The first episode of the Wachowskis’ new drama for Netflix will leave you unhinged. The second episode will only confuse you. By the third, you may very well think the sci-fi drama is either madness, genius or both.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle