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  #61  
Old 12-23-2016, 01:46 PM
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Right! Finished watching after some Xmas drinks with friends.

Admittedly, it's a mixed bag. To say it's two hours long it seems awfully light on plot and storytelling. It feels more like a series of vignettes edited together in a somewhat haphazard fashion, with a thin strand of continuous plot. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. Some of the extended 'celebration / birthday' sequences felt like a life insurance ad. On the flip side, the orgy was beautifully shot, but felt like it was harkening back to S1 as opposed to doing anything new, or furthering the story in any way.

The strongest material (for me) was Will and Whispers. The rest didn't do that much for me. Curious to see how the 2nd season pans out. I found this a bit disjointed and confused. I felt it could have been far more coherent for a 2 hour episode. Perhaps a result of the ensemble cast, and trying to give each character equal attention made it feel a bit scattershot.

As Sense8ional says, equally, I think it's a 3/5. Does the job, but feels strangely fragmented. There's plenty to chew on for S2, but hope they cut to the chase a bit more and get a little less ponderous. The show has great points to make, but I sometimes feel it would be ten times more powerful if it weren't all delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
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  #62  
Old 12-23-2016, 02:10 PM
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I guess I wasn't expecting as much as some others (here and elsewhere). Knowing that it was going to be covering several months in two hours I knew it was going to be disjointed and was expecting 'messy' (as I think one of the first reviews said) from the outset.

I mentioned the way the passage of time seemed unclear. The only other thing I was slightly unhappy about was that Kala doesn't seem to have started working on something to keep Will hidden from Whispers (and maybe Jonas). But she seemed to indicate that she may be less connected to the whole cluster. Would it be from her being absorbed with her own troubles? That doesn't seem to bother Lito or Sun. At least now we know about 'blockers' that Whispers takes when *he* wants privacy.
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  #63  
Old 12-23-2016, 02:37 PM
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I guess I wasn't expecting as much as some others (here and elsewhere). Knowing that it was going to be covering several months in two hours I knew it was going to be disjointed and was expecting 'messy' (as I think one of the first reviews said) from the outset.

I mentioned the way the passage of time seemed unclear. The only other thing I was slightly unhappy about was that Kala doesn't seem to have started working on something to keep Will hidden from Whispers (and maybe Jonas). But she seemed to indicate that she may be less connected to the whole cluster. Would it be from her being absorbed with her own troubles? That doesn't seem to bother Lito or Sun. At least now we know about 'blockers' that Whispers takes when *he* wants privacy.
Yes, good point about Kala. Her role still seems a bit superfluous at present. I must admit to not being too interested in her character as yet. It was the same throughout S1 for me too.

The blockers are sure to play a major role later on.
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  #64  
Old 12-23-2016, 04:59 PM
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Yes, good point about Kala. Her role still seems a bit superfluous at present. I must admit to not being too interested in her character as yet. It was the same throughout S1 for me too.
My feeling is that Rajan's father's company is going to be key to the pharmaceutical link. That wasn't touched on at all in the special.
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  #65  
Old 12-23-2016, 07:04 PM
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Haha, notice the very visible 04-20-2016 date, when it should be late 2015. Which is of course because they filmed in Mexico City in April 2016 - it's the real date. Not sure how they missed it. Oh well, let's just pretend Mr. Sicaro didn't care to correct the date

edit As a matter of fact, look what I posted on 04-20-2016: http://jmsnews.com/forums/showpost.p...&postcount=177



Filming that very scene
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Last edited by sense8ional; 12-24-2016 at 01:50 AM.
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  #66  
Old 12-23-2016, 10:02 PM
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Just finished watching the second time. Anybody else notice how many mirrors there were reflecting the cluster members? Were there that many in the first season?
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  #67  
Old 12-24-2016, 09:25 AM
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Just finished watching the second time. Anybody else notice how many mirrors there were reflecting the cluster members? Were there that many in the first season?
Nope, didn't spot it.

Was definitely a heavy feature in S1. I may watch the special again, but the first viewing didn't make me want to re-visit. It all still felt a bit 'off' to me. Like it was rushed a little bit perhaps, and edited together out of many small snippets that seemed to be part of something larger.

Maybe when I've seen S2 I may re-visit it to see if it offers up more than it might first appear to. The more I think about the Xmas special, the more I realise I am still not very invested in these characters yet. This can take time though, and B5 (for example) only really started to fire on all cylinders during S2. Same with Person of Interest, that I just finished watching. By S3 & 4, I was truly emotionally involved, but it took time for it to really build to that.

I am waiting for the characters in Sense8 to become more than just the cultural tropes / sub cultures / sexual orientation that they strongly embody right now. Don't get me wrong, that's good in itself, it's something very much needed on TV, but I still want more meat on the bones of these characters to make me really care.

I was thinking today how great the overall premise of Sense8 is, and I still think that the premise itself, the real nitty gritty of the cluster and what it couild mean, remains very unexplored. I almost feel like this is being sidelined by more soap opera type elements. Maybe I want more high Sci-fi in my soap opera.

Hopefully S2 will deliver on those things!
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Last edited by Ubik; 12-24-2016 at 03:31 PM.
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  #68  
Old 12-24-2016, 05:42 PM
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JMS said exactly what I expected about the remaining episodes: https://twitter.com/straczynski/stat...70745863290880

Quote:
Very happy to see all the positive responses to our Christmas Special. Best to everyone out there. #sense8

@straczynski I love your work Joe but there was just too much dramatic emotional scenes 4 me and not enough of the main story moving forward

@anakin1138 That's because this was really meant as a catch-up on the story and a celebration of the season; S2 has massive story movement.
edit An interesting thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Sense8/comm...n_the_credits/

I checked it myself. Season 1's episodes end with a copyright notice of: "2015 Reliance Entertainment Production 2 Ltd". The Christmas Special ends with "2016 Netflix Studios, LLC".

If that means that Netflix now fully owns Sense8 and also, that before Season 2 they didn't, I don't know. Or it could simply be that "Netflix Studios" didn't exist in 2015. http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/n...102756.article
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Last edited by sense8ional; 12-24-2016 at 06:03 PM.
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  #69  
Old 12-25-2016, 03:53 AM
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@anakin1138 That's because this was really meant as a catch-up on the story and a celebration of the season; S2 has massive story movement.
I suspected as much, but good to hear it from the man himself!
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  #70  
Old 12-26-2016, 03:35 PM
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I think it's pretty much perfect. Visionary work that will someday be recognized as being centuries ahead of its time. The only show that I can think of that's currently working at this level of quality is The Leftovers.

I'd strongly suggest focusing on the characters, not the "plot" as such. It's not that the plot doesn't matter, but - as with Lost - I think it's entirely possible to get lost (no pun intended) in the mechanics and miss the miraculous joy of these people and their connection to each other.
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  #71  
Old 12-26-2016, 03:59 PM
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I'd strongly suggest focusing on the characters, not the "plot" as such. It's not that the plot doesn't matter, but - as with Lost - I think it's entirely possible to get lost (no pun intended) in the mechanics and miss the miraculous joy of these people and their connection to each other.
I adore the character focus and I trust the writers. I'd've been perfectly happy if they'd included a tiny line that Kala's last suggestion hadn't worked so they were back to using heroin because that was really my only plot-related complaint.
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  #72  
Old 12-27-2016, 05:11 AM
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I think it's pretty much perfect. Visionary work that will someday be recognized as being centuries ahead of its time. The only show that I can think of that's currently working at this level of quality is The Leftovers.

I'd strongly suggest focusing on the characters, not the "plot" as such. It's not that the plot doesn't matter, but - as with Lost - I think it's entirely possible to get lost (no pun intended) in the mechanics and miss the miraculous joy of these people and their connection to each other.
I still think the Xmas special is very far from perfect, for the reasons I already outlined above.

Totally with you on character focus, you need good characters to drive a show. But I don't find all the characters very deeply developed yet. Currently they can sometimes seem to be too heavily in the service of driving home a point, as opposed to being good characters in themselves. I wouldn't be too broken up about any one of them getting killed off right now, so there's clearly more work to be done. Again, with the ensemble cast it's difficult to give everyone equal screen time. It's perhaps hard to build depth of character when you're flitting between 8 different narratives. Kala is a good example, her narrative still feels strangely superfluous to me. But this could all change over time.

I'm still having trouble buying into most of the characters on an emotional level, so that might suggest some issues. Might just be me... I dunno. I feel the show still needs a good plot to drive it forward. There's only so many long beautiful montages, or orgys you can do before it becomes dull and over used. It has to be in the service of telling a story, otherwise what's the point?

I feel this will all be sorted out once S2 gets up and running. We have the groundwork in S1 and the Xmas special was a nice bonus. I hope they can work out the kinks.

It's quite hard to clearly enunciate what didn't click for me with the Xmas special, so I've ended up thinking more deeply about what didn't work for me in general with the show. But equally, there's plenty that DID work very well too! I think i need to go back and re-visit S1 again.
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Last edited by Ubik; 12-27-2016 at 07:03 AM.
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  #73  
Old 12-27-2016, 09:01 AM
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I watched it a second time and I liked it a lot more than the first time! I just had to accept how little the plot advances in it and let myself enjoy the emotional parts (plenty of those). I think it's best to treat the Special as something.. special. Out of the ordinary, only once(?) happening, type of thing.

It also had to deal with the forced cutting of Ameen's scenes in Berlin for New Year's and the fact all they had in Positano was a stand in and they couldn't film any talking scenes with Capheus there. Some plot lines might had been sacrificed and montages created to fill the void. (Even if not, it resulted to the New Year's Eve celebration being completely unmemorable). Fortunately most of the trouble caused by Ameen's departure is over after this episode.
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Last edited by sense8ional; 12-27-2016 at 09:09 AM.
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  #74  
Old 12-27-2016, 10:40 AM
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I watched it a second time and I liked it a lot more than the first time! I just had to accept how little the plot advances in it and let myself enjoy the emotional parts (plenty of those). I think it's best to treat the Special as something.. special. Out of the ordinary, only once(?) happening, type of thing.

It also had to deal with the forced cutting of Ameen's scenes in Berlin for New Year's and the fact all they had in Positano was a stand in and they couldn't film any talking scenes with Capheus there. Some plot lines might had been sacrificed and montages created to fill the void. (Even if not, it resulted to the New Year's Eve celebration being completely unmemorable). Fortunately most of the trouble caused by Ameen's departure is over after this episode.
I hadn't considered the potential impact of Ameen's departure. Good point.
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  #75  
Old 01-02-2017, 04:41 PM
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For those wondering if the shots of two clustermates fighting at the same time at the end of the special was an editing error:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMS
No, the sensates can't project their bodies elsewhere. There's something else going on that ties into S2.
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