Review: Sense8 Christmas Special

The Details

Netflix original Sense8 returns for a 2-hour Christmas special on December 23. The episode picks up shortly after the end of the first season, following the eight, their allies, and their biggest threats–both old and new–as they celebrate their birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

The Good

The long episode opens with a slow cover of a classic song, a popular theme this year, and immediately reminds the viewer of the one unquestionable quality of this series: the stunning cinematography. Love or hate its themes or plot points, you have to admit the show is one of the best shot shows currently being produced. If you loved the first season of the show, then nothing in the special is going to change your mind. The character of Capheus has been recast, but I honestly didn’t notice until I looked up the show to confirm a character’s name. But now a comment about his hair changing makes a lot more sense.

Sun and Wolfgang get to have their kick-ass moments. Hernando teaches one hell of an art class. And everyone–I mean everyone–gets naked and gets down. This is easily the most sexually graphic Christmas special you’ll ever see (unless Ron Jeremy’s done a show I’m unaware of).

The Bad

What Will’s been up to bothers me on two levels. First, the drug use is disgusting, and I’m not sure how we jumped to that point. A cop with an alcoholic father now doing drugs–not for fun, mind you, but to keep the Big Bad guys in check. Where was the conversation that led to that decision? Also, plot-wise, it gives the show a Harry Potter sort of feel, where Will gets flashes of the villain’s thoughts just when the pacing calls for it.

The Judgement Call

The show, as always, is beautiful. Watch it. Love it. Just don’t let the kids in the room while it’s on. And don’t be fooled: If this feels like a long commercial for season 2, it’s because it is. Ten new episodes have been slotted for the show and will be released in May 2017.