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Kalbear

Sense8: why...so...sensitive (spoilers)

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From the prior thread:

Also, i see a lot of comments about positiveness of this show, but isn't it just as much a show about hate and intolerance? I mean, it's like the movie Jumper, and X-Men and any other movie where a mutated gene causes "x" and regular humans and a collaborator or two wants to exterminate them for not being "normal"? I get it that the main cast or "heroes" are all about tolerance but even some of them are criminals or do some really shady stuff. I mean Sun's intentions were to kill her brother(yes he deserves to be punished but it's not her right to hurt/kill him),  and Wofie was all for it. It took the others to pull them back from that. Kala, cheated on her husband and now is planning to use the Paris hideaway as a love nest for her affair. Do we only overlook this because she is a hero? From what we have seen her husband absolutely adores and worships her and yet she wants no part of him even though she married him. If Kala was a male role would we all feel the same way toward her or would we view him as a pig? 

It's not about the 'us vs. them' attitude at all. Most of the positivism has nothing to do with that. 

For me, the positivity comes from how everyone - or at least most everyone - has these inherently upbeat relationships with other humans. With their family, their friends, the people around them. The show isn't just about the intense bond the sensates have - it's about Will and his dad, Kala and her dad, Wolfie and his best friend, Nomi and Neets and Neet's family, Riley and her dad, Sun and  various inmates she meets, and even Capheus and Superpower. They're not just tolerant - there's no sign that Wolfie's buddy is particularly tolerant, as an example, or Will's dad - it's that they genuinely love and care about each other. 

So it's very different than X-Men, in that X-Men only has that kind of bond between each other, and even then only barely. This is about humanity. You see it in the sensates, in their relationships outside their cluster, heck you even see it in the opening credits where you see people around the world dancing and celebrating and loving and living together.

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

From the prior thread:

It's not about the 'us vs. them' attitude at all. Most of the positivism has nothing to do with that. 

For me, the positivity comes from how everyone - or at least most everyone - has these inherently upbeat relationships with other humans. With their family, their friends, the people around them. The show isn't just about the intense bond the sensates have - it's about Will and his dad, Kala and her dad, Wolfie and his best friend, Nomi and Neets and Neet's family, Riley and her dad, Sun and  various inmates she meets, and even Capheus and Superpower. They're not just tolerant - there's no sign that Wolfie's buddy is particularly tolerant, as an example, or Will's dad - it's that they genuinely love and care about each other. 

So it's very different than X-Men, in that X-Men only has that kind of bond between each other, and even then only barely. This is about humanity. You see it in the sensates, in their relationships outside their cluster, heck you even see it in the opening credits where you see people around the world dancing and celebrating and loving and living together.

Skipped the horrifically brutal relationship between  Nomi and her parents. I mean her mom was getting her lobotomized!

Sun and her fathers relationship, she didn't exist to him until it was too late

Sun and her brother, enough said on that one!

Wolfgang and his father. 

Wolfgang and Felix is not a good relationship, it's a co dependency that is bad for both of them. Felix is a liability to Wolfgang and he knows it, that's why he has never trusted him with his secret.

Will and his father had a pretty strained one, his dad shut him down when he tried talking about the little girl and the scenes of them playing catch in the finale shows how Will felt when his dad would leave. I got the feeling last season like Will was only a cop to make his dad happy.

Even Kala's father seems to have pushed her to marry her husband, although I would not think of theirs as a bad relationship

Whispers, we saw some interaction between him and his family in the safe house, where he refers to his daughter as "her". Obviously not the first time he has been like this based on his wifes' reaction.

 

To me where this show differs is it actually shows and highlights the good things well. How people can impact each other in a positive way without even knowing it. Most shows don't do as good of a job getting you to feel the good stuff, if that makes sense. A lot of shows come off as corny, like the wedding scene did in this season, kind of fake and cringe worthy, whereas this show mostly pulls it off very well.

 

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I agree with Kalbear. And as someone else said in the other thread, it's refreshing that the relationships between the main characters and their immediate families and friends, with the (plot-driven) exception of Sun and her brother, are not filled with unnecessary angst. I'll probably do a very bad job of explaining what I mean but I'll try, anyway. With Wolfgang and Nomi, their issues with their respective families are more tangible than is often the case with most TV shows. Wolfgang's dad drank excessively and was abusive; I can't fathom any type of father-son relationship other than a toxic one. Nomi's parents are bigots, and their daughter is trans, so a toxic relationship is the only logical type that can be born from this. It's not all vague, never-fully-explored things where writers manufacture "false" conflict between characters to give the illusion of the plot going forward, as is often the case in shows like Grey's Anatomy. In GA, often times the conflicts can be solved by five lines of dialogue like:

Sister 1: "You know that guy you're sleeping with, I have a huge crush on him."

Sister 2: "I'm sorry about that. I didn't know. Do you want me to stop sleeping with him?"

Sister 1: "No. That would be selfish of me. I just wanted you to know that you did an un-cool thing. I'm a little mad, but I'll get over it."

Sister 2: "Cool. Just let me know when you stop being un-mad."

Sister 1: "Coolio."

...but instead you get a whole season of unnecessary angst that ends with a patient's care being severely compromised, because the 2 sisters never talked to one another, and when they did they both brought up some petty crap like how the other one always finishes the milk in their house but never replaces it. That kind of stuff is absent in Sense8; and when the conflict does happen, I personally feel it is "necessary." Nomi's parents are bigots so the relationship she has with them seems realistic to me. Also, since we already have Lito's, Amanita's and the photographer's parents being tolerant, it makes sense to me for the show to have at least one of their LGTB+ characters be rejected by their family, because I think it's important for the show to highlight that a large percentage of the community still faces rejection from family. And on a whole, the sensates have good relationships with homo sapiens characters: Kala/her dad/her mom; Sun/the prisoners/her teacher/the handsome detective man; Wolfgang/Felix; Capheus/Jela/his mom/Zakia; Will/his old partner; Riley/her dad/her stoner friends; Nomi/Neets and family/Bug; Lito/Dani/Hernando. The only sensates who seem to have purposefully removed themselves from the homo sapiens world are the older ones who sometimes pop in to guide "our cluster."

Moreover, continuing from my GA weirdness, thus far, the people of "our cluster" do not go out of their way to isolate themselves (yet) because it makes them "dark and mysterious" and therefore more "interesting", a trope I personally feel is somewhat lazy and overused. [This, of course, with the understandable exception of Wolfgang].

Will specifically told someone that on the day he graduated (is that what cops do) he was reminded that the main reason he wanted to become a cop was to save people like Sarah (I think that was the missing girl's name).

I'll agree that without realising it or intending to do so, Kala's father may have pushed her to marry Rajan. But I would hardly see their relationship as troubling.

Count me in as one of those who didn't think that Kala cheated.:blush: I mean, does it count if the sex was in the sensate state? I'm honestly lost here.

Someone mentioned that this season they were supposed to have heightened powers; one thing that stood out with the Lila-Wolfgang interactions was that Wolfgang spoke about how real it felt when Lila touched him [in the sensate state]. He then asked if it was because she was sitting on the other side of the table and therefore geographically closer than his cluster had ever been. I can't quite remember the answer but after she gave it, he was able to replicate/reciprocate the heightened feeling when he touched her. That's one of the reasons I don't think Kala and Wolfgang's coitus counts because I'm not sure Kala can achieve this degree of "realness" yet. The emotional cheating is the bit that, IMHO, should raise the question of morality and such. I honestly don't know if I'd be (more) appalled if Kala were a male character emotionally cheating on a female character; I'd like to think I wouldn't be.

From the previous thread: I agree that Sun felt unconditional love from her mother. However, I feel that much like Kala and her dad, there was a sense of unintended obligation and that's why I felt that the first time Sun felt completely free was in prison because there, nothing was expected of her. For example, when she lost one of her matches, she misunderstood the cause of her mother's tears; and being the elder child, a girl child, I expect she must have always felt a sense of duty towards her mother that wasn't present with her prisoner friends. She blames herself for Joong-Ki's villainy, especially because she promised her mother that she would take care of her brother; there's a burden that comes with that. And I personally feel parents shouldn't make those kinds of dying wishes, it arrests the (burdened) child's development IMHO. But I get your point, Helena, and I concede.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post. :blush:

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@dbunting I want to address a couple of things you mentioned in the other thread, mostly the darker acts of the group (Wolfgang, Kala cheating in her husband, Sun trying to kill her brother)

I don't think these things ruin the positive vibe of the show, or really suggest some great problem.

Starting with Kala's emotional infidelity (I'd have difficulty classing it as sexual infidelity, but emotional infidelity sure I can accept), it's not that she wants to hurt her husband. In fact, I'd argue the very reason she married him was to avoid hurting him. Certainly she didn't seem to care for him in a particularly romantic way. And while she was planning to stay with Wolfgang in Paris, her intention was to speak to her husband first about their issues. That's important imo. She doesn't mean him ill and I find the dynamic very interesting. She's not a bad person because she doesn't reciprocate her husband's feelings. My opinion would change if she never told him this, so I guess we will see what happens there.

For Sun, I think the important point was that the others (barring Wolfgang) acted as a conscience for her. They told her it was ill-advised, and to let the law work. It was only when her brother shot the detective that they told her take matters into her own hands. And ultimately she doesn't kill him when she can. Because of her Sensate connections, and the relationships she built with her fellow inmates. It's really a touching story that deconstructs the typical revenge tale, with Sun deciding to preserve that caring, loving part of her by sparing her brother's life.

Aside from that, I think the positivity comes from the overall tone and theme of inclusion, equality etc. It shouldn't be us vs them, it should be a case of looking for what's unites us. Not for nothing is the antagonist here a corporation that (over time) has decided Sensates are "other" and need to be controlled or eliminated. 

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A show doesn't need to be 100% positive to be positive. If anything it's the positivity shining through the dark aspects of intolerance (which covers virtually all of the darker aspects) highlights the positivity.

It's also hard to shake the very basic concept of this is a show that involves nations across the world with characters that have been deliberately chosen to highlight common/current problems with identity and responses to it eg transgender, homosexuality and religion. Although the religion via Kala has been shied away from - especially in season 2. It might be a case of the creators not feeling they could handle it well the LGBT aspects are something the creators are knowledgable about. I think that could round things off really well if they added some religion into the mix. Although imagine the controversy of Jesus and the apostles being a (surprisingly) local cluster? It would make the spreading of the word a lot easier after Jesus' death and would help with the speaking of different languages.

I agree that Kala's relationship with her husband is a complicated one but I'd tend to slide with her cheating in terms of SF. It's not that she dreams these things or is taking part in sharing a sensate orgy. She's choosing to have virtually sex with one of them. It's not like a dream as Wolfgang is an active participant. But that doesn't derail the positivity of the show, it just shows people are real and flawed. But it's nice to see that people appear to be inherently good as opposed to inherently weak.

This show does seem to generate the longest posts!

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2 hours ago, red snow said:

This show does seem to generate the longest posts!

Lol. That seems to always be the case.

I read an article that suggested that Capheus running for political office was ridiculous. I don't know if it's because there has never been mention of the character receiving formal tertiary education, or what. But the one thing I definitely connected to this season was the water struggle. I live in the City of Cape Town, a fairly affluent region in the context Africa, yet we are currently facing a severe water crisis, to the point where there are currently water warnings and restrictions. Couple that with the really low standards we generally have for political leaders, I find the Capheus story line believable. Just google our president, that should give you some idea of how little we've required from our leaders. Capheus is actually sincere in his quest for good, which would go a long way for a lot of people.

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15 hours ago, Kyoshi said:

Count me in as one of those who didn't think that Kala cheated.:blush: I mean, does it count if the sex was in the sensate state? I'm honestly lost here.

 

I couldn't disagree more. If we are to believe and accept that Sensates exist and that they feel each other more than "sapiens" then there has to be some morality or rules to their behaviors. Riley and Will have tremendous feel for each other that she missed when he was on blockers. They have said before that sex and feelings between sensates was more intense? So for two sensates to use what they are to have sex, to me has to be cheating. I mean, if Kala came home to catch her husband doing online sex with someone would she consider that cheating, wouldn't she be hurt just the same? Remember that sensates can actually feel each other, it's not just virtual. Then add in that she and Wolfgang were planning to stay in Paris together.

Now don't get me wrong, this show clearly highlights positive more than negative, no doubt about it. I just have a tendency to show counter points, it's a character flaw!  

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3 hours ago, dbunting said:

I couldn't disagree more. If we are to believe and accept that Sensates exist and that they feel each other more than "sapiens" then there has to be some morality or rules to their behaviors. Riley and Will have tremendous feel for each other that she missed when he was on blockers. They have said before that sex and feelings between sensates was more intense? So for two sensates to use what they are to have sex, to me has to be cheating. I mean, if Kala came home to catch her husband doing online sex with someone would she consider that cheating, wouldn't she be hurt just the same? Remember that sensates can actually feel each other, it's not just virtual. Then add in that she and Wolfgang were planning to stay in Paris together.

Now don't get me wrong, this show clearly highlights positive more than negative, no doubt about it. I just have a tendency to show counter points, it's a character flaw!  

Riley and Will aren't exactly comparable to Kala and Wolfgang.  Riley and Will physically live together for nearly a year.

The general positivity of the show doesn't negate anything negative.  These characters are only lovable because they are flawed.  

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1 hour ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Riley and Will aren't exactly comparable to Kala and Wolfgang.  Riley and Will physically live together for nearly a year.

The general positivity of the show doesn't negate anything negative.  These characters are only lovable because they are flawed.  

Riley and Will aren't cheating on anybody either. Kala is cheating on her husband just via SF. They are two conscious and willing participants and given the sensate interaction is supposed to be the same as being real - she's cheating on her husband.

 

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22 hours ago, Kyoshi said:

It's not all vague, never-fully-explored things where writers manufacture "false" conflict between characters to give the illusion of the plot going forward, as is often the case in shows like Grey's Anatomy. In GA, often times the conflicts can be solved by five lines of dialogue like:

OK... Let's talk "Grey's anatomy" :D 

The issue with Grey's is that it completely lost its focus. It's like watching a drunk stumbling through the dark. Of the last 3 seasons, there were probably 2 good episodes. The one Denzel Wasghington directed and probably, the only real conflict in the past seasons: Amelia/Meredith. And the problem is that it never got fully resolved or brought to any sort of meaningful end. And I hate that because I loved Amelia's "I didn't get to say goodbye because of you" speech in, IIRC, S11E24.

I would agree that in comparison, Sense8 does family conflicts much better. And even though sometimes those conflicts can be a bit staged. Sometimes there is a feeling that conflict is there for the sole purpose of a character having that long speech about the issue writers want to tackle. Nomi is the prime example of that. As someone said on the last thread, after the rehearsal speech, one had to wonder whether her mother was right about her being attention seeker. And I am not familiarized with the American wedding speeches and things related to it, but that speech was totally out of place. So, even in Sense8 we sometimes see drama where it is not warranted. 

What I like the most is how this show gets us unexpected reactions that we would say are culturally in opposition with what we know. San Francisco is probably the most open-minded city in the world, and yet Nomi's parents are bigots. On the other hand, Lito's mother, a Catholic Mexican, accepts him with all the love a mother can have for her son. You would also expect Kala's father to be overall ignorant about her sentiments, but the show masterfully portrays people who are not defined by where they live or what deity they prey to. In many aspects, it is very humanist notion and one has to respect it.

21 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Aside from that, I think the positivity comes from the overall tone and theme of inclusion, equality etc. It shouldn't be us vs them, it should be a case of looking for what's unites us. Not for nothing is the antagonist here a corporation that (over time) has decided Sensates are "other" and need to be controlled or eliminated. 

The way I see it is that we can see us through them. Yes, positivity of the show comes from many things, including the themes of equality, love etc, but above everything, at least for me, this is a show about connections between people. Connection with your sexual partner, connection with your family, connection with strangers. This deep notion that 8 strangers can become more than family despite the obvious differences and worlds they live in, is a reassuring thought for all the lonely hearts out there. 

 

10 hours ago, red snow said:

A show doesn't need to be 100% positive to be positive. If anything it's the positivity shining through the dark aspects of intolerance (which covers virtually all of the darker aspects) highlights the positivity.

This reminds of me the Unkiss scene in "Game of Thrones"... Despite all the killings, despite all the horror, one thing is certain, He won't hurt her. It was probably GRRM's best change to his original work.

As for Kala/Wolfgang, yeah, I am sorry, but that's cheating. I simply can't see it any other way.

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Oh yeah, Kala and Wolfgang are cheating. At the very least both of them consider it cheating. Kala considers it a betrayal of Rajan and her vows. Wolfgang tries to talk her out of it. 

People doing bad things does not mean it is particularly negative. Heck, this is another good example of the positivity in the show - how Kala and Wolfie's relationship develops is entirely because of the deep connection they have with each other in spite of what society says is the right thing to do. It is wrong from hurting other people - and it doesn't shy away from this at all; it could easily make Rajan an Evil Horrible Guy who lets Kala off the hook, but the show goes well out of its way to make this an actually hard decision because Rajan is genuinely fairly decent. 

It doesn't shy away from making Will's dad a huge dick for a good chunk of his life, either. Or even Nomi's horrible parents (especially her mom). But here's the positive part: despite these people being bad at some level, there is always some good there - and that good often overcomes. Even with Whispers we get glimpses of what he's fighting for and why, and they aren't bad ideas, even if he's a monster. Superpower even ends up saving the day at one point!

Yeah, the show isn't always sunshine and rainbows all the time. That's true. What it does show is that even when things suck and even when people suck, they are still human, and they have their own stories and own foibles and own mistakes - and yes, they have their good parts. The show shines a light on the good in almost everyone while not hiding from the bad, and that's unique from virtually everything save perhaps Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. 

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Starting with Kala's emotional infidelity (I'd have difficulty classing it as sexual infidelity, but emotional infidelity sure I can accept), it's not that she wants to hurt her husband. In fact, I'd argue the very reason she married him was to avoid hurting him. Certainly she didn't seem to care for him in a particularly romantic way. And while she was planning to stay with Wolfgang in Paris, her intention was to speak to her husband first about their issues. That's important imo. She doesn't mean him ill and I find the dynamic very interesting. She's not a bad person because she doesn't reciprocate her husband's feelings. My opinion would change if she never told him this, so I guess we will see what happens there.

Kala's husband also did some very bad things by allowing defective medicine to be sent to Africa. That's actually a really interesting, powerful moment, when Kala realises the sensate bond trumps any artificial national borders (the same point is made when it's suggested that the governments fear the sensates because they have more loyalty to one another than their countries) and Caphaeus and his friends and family could be hurt by her husband's uncaring actions. His rather unconvincing apology (seemingly generated when he realises how much of an issue this for her than any internal realisation) backs that up further.

I think at that moment Kala realises it will be very difficult to replicate the sensate bond with anyone outside of the cluster. It's not impossible, with Nomi and Neets managing it by them being completely upfront about, and Lito and his lover and friend forming their own cluster of shared interests, but still an issue for Kala.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Kala's husband also did some very bad things by allowing defective medicine to be sent to Africa. That's actually a really interesting, powerful moment, when Kala realises the sensate bond trumps any artificial national borders (the same point is made when it's suggested that the governments fear the sensates because they have more loyalty to one another than their countries) and Caphaeus and his friends and family could be hurt by her husband's uncaring actions. His rather unconvincing apology (seemingly generated when he realises how much of an issue this for her than any internal realisation) backs that up further.

 

To be fair, the show states the exact opposite. He says that her reaction made him take a good hard look at himself and he didn't like what he saw. He wasn't just changing because it made her unhappy.

Now whether you believe that was his real motivation or not is a whole different question. (Personally, I accept it on face value as the truth - as it aligns with what we've seen of his personality throughout the entire show. But I certainly acknowledge that I could be wrong there.)

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4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

 It is wrong from hurting other people - and it doesn't shy away from this at all; it could easily make Rajan an Evil Horrible Guy who lets Kala off the hook, but the show goes well out of its way to make this an actually hard decision because Rajan is genuinely fairly decent. 

I've been impressed with how they've resisted this so far. It really annoys me in TV where an affair is made out to be ok because it turns out the one who's been cheated on is evil. Even though this wasn't the case before the cheating event. It's lazy and after the fact excusing.

But they do tease us into thinking, especially in season 1, that he might be bad. While the show often has straight up cheesy moments they also toy with our expectations of a cheesy plot.

His part in the drugs scandal seemed more a case of him continuing to do things the way his dad did and having a weird justification for it eg making sure "his" people got the best drugs. It's dubious behavior but he did stand up and change things when made to confront it.

I still wonder what's going on with him and the guy with the gift. I assume that's who Rajan was shouting at on the phone?

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28 minutes ago, red snow said:

I still wonder what's going on with him and the guy with the gift. I assume that's who Rajan was shouting at on the phone?

I was thinking that his friend was more involved in the peddling of the tainted medicine overseas and Rajan's new  desire to stop that practice may be costing his friend a lot of money.   Not sure if the investigation Rajan is helping with is also tied to the selling of defective drugs.

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8 hours ago, Werthead said:

I think at that moment Kala realises it will be very difficult to replicate the sensate bond with anyone outside of the cluster. It's not impossible, with Nomi and Neets managing it by them being completely upfront about, and Lito and his lover and friend forming their own cluster of shared interests, but still an issue for Kala.

I read this very differently. I think that through Capheus and the case of his mother, it all became too personal. Yes, she would have objected even without being involved with Capheus, but through him, the victims got the face, the family. It becomes far more real than it was.

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10 hours ago, Risto said:

I read this very differently. I think that through Capheus and the case of his mother, it all became too personal. Yes, she would have objected even without being involved with Capheus, but through him, the victims got the face, the family. It becomes far more real than it was.

That's exactly how I read it too - she now knows (and kind of is) a person directly affected by this, and she realizes how bad it is. It's a nice tie in to the monkeysphere concept.

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16 hours ago, Leofric said:

I was thinking that his friend was more involved in the peddling of the tainted medicine overseas and Rajan's new  desire to stop that practice may be costing his friend a lot of money.   Not sure if the investigation Rajan is helping with is also tied to the selling of defective drugs.

Shit, I forgot about him being tied up in a big investigation. Downside of a binge is that some info gets forgotten in the flood.

I'd still be very surprised if Rajan's company isn't making the blockers - seems too good a TV trope to pass on. I sometimes think there's framework for them to do some kind of corporations as clusters storyline. It's sort of lurking there with Rajan, Sun's company and BPO.

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I am speechless... This was among my favorites on Netflix. Dammit. 

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