The Weekly Nerd expands! We will be reviewing shows that we believe will have an impact or are enjoyed by our community at large.
These pieces were originally intended to be included in TWN, but given how many comic/nerd type shows there are out there I figured it would be best to review them in a separate piece. So this week, we will be giving commentary on two shows that are out currently. As discussed in previous episodes of TWN, we are going to be reviewing Sense8 (available on Netflix). I will also review a new show airing on Space HD and Syfy called Killjoys. I will be reviewing the first two episodes of each show this week. Next week I will give Dark Matter a shot, I have not finished watching the pilot yet and I want to give it a proper viewing before I put pen to paper. Since I am dropping this into a new article that people may not have seen before, I will not be putting any spoilers in my reviews this week. I will, however be including story commentary for starting next week, so catch up and talk with me!
So, First up is Sense8.
Sense8 is curious right from the beginning. The casting choices are – for the most part – relatively unknown actors. Netflix took a bit of jump casting that many unknowns, however given the fact that the show seems like it will be an ensemble piece based on the trailer, I think it makes sense.
At the onset, you get flashes of each of the “Sensates” in the show doing something within their own lives to give you a glimpse of who they might be. The pilot then proceeds to explain each character separately, only showing their link by subtle means. From an outside perspective (and in text) this seems like a great idea. In delivery, it was somewhat confusing. This is not to say that it was bad, and I understand that they need to bring this cast together fairly quickly given the timelines of a netflix season, but it got a little bit muddled.
In the web they are weaving, they did manage to show you that even though all of these people are from extremely different walks of life they share some form of connection with each other, even if was somewhat fleeting. I thought they did a decent job showing you each character’s motivation. Their drive to be who they are, what they are. The WHY. This gets missed with a lot of series on television. They continue to develop the connections between the “sensates” and their own motivation in the second episode, showing how unconcious the connections are at times, or how vibrant and direct the connection can be as well.
What they really haven’t done is start to explain (or even hint) at the motivation for the antagonist for the season, whom I personally believe you meet very early on. You are told early in the episode (and in the trailer) that they will be hunted, but we have no idea WHY. This bugs me for some reason, I know that it is early in the story but I feel like I should at least have an inkling from the plotline and story details why this might happen.
Overall, I enjoyed the first two episodes. It is definitely a show that you need to set the time aside to watch uninterrupted when you do view it, mostly so the story doesn’t wrap around you. I think everyone with a Netflix subscription should give this a watch.
I personally really enjoy Canadian-developed sci-fi shows. To name a few, Andromeda, Continuum, Mutant X — and who can forget the Stargate franchise? Aside from SG, these titles were (and are) quite cheesed up, but that might be what I love about them. Killjoys is about a group of bounty hunters in space. Given that this is a smaller series, it makes sense that there are some unknowns in the cast. Probably the best-known cast member is Aaron Ashmore, from his time on shows like Smallville, Warehouse 13 and Lost Girl. Don’t confuse him with his twin brother Shawn (who plays Iceman in the X-Men movies).
The pilot episode is about what I expected from the show. Small character development and a baseline of what the show is going to aspire towards. What was it missing? I believe it was missing “The Why” that I alluded to earlier. We spend the majority of the pilot meeting the characters, and you get to understand some personality traits of at least one of the primary cast. However, I am missing their motivation. The second episode does a decent job of starting to hint at the drive. There are definitely hinted secrets and personalities torn asunder in the mix and this is something the story writers are using as a hook to keep viewers wanting to know who the characters really are.
Now like I said, I have a soft spot for these types of shows so it is very hard for me to give it a fully impartial vote. What I will say is that if you liked shows like Farscape, Stargate, or Andromeda, you will probably enjoy this. If nothing else it’s great for cheese.
That’s it for now! Remember, story commentary (the dreaded spoiler) will start next week! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, If you have a show that you want us to review, please let me know in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
David Alberto is a Contributing Editor for aybonline.com. You can often find him making people cry in Counter-Strike. Roll percentile dice to see if his opinions change, your chances are slim.