Surviving the loss of Sense8

Perhaps you’ve noticed I haven’t written in a while. That’s unlikely, but let’s go with it. 

Literally two or so weeks ago, I rediscovered Sense8. The first time I watched it I was sitting beside my Dad in that slightly uncomfortable bubble of wanting to be his little girl but also wanting to be treated like a grown-up. So I scoffed at the TV-MA rating and we started to watch Sense8 together. It’s all fun and games til someone pulls a well lubricated strap-on out of a trans-woman’s body and drops it on the floor with a professionally soundmixed “sssuulplunk”. My Dad turned off the TV immediately and we both blushed awkwardly. 

It had been some time since that first experience. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say over a year. In my own private TV-MA moment, I was pursuing a porn site on Tumblr and came across one of the Sensate orgies. The part of me that’s still embarrassed to admit I kinda like porn focused on the beautiful lighting and obvious production value. The other part of me that knew exactly what I was doing was immediately taken with a pair of wide, blue eyes belonging to Max Riemelt–known as Wolfgang on the show. If there is a Hell, it is guarded by a blue-eyed demon and people go to him willingly. 

So I digitally ran over to Netflix as fast as I could log in and found the full orgy plus a few more tingle-inducing scenes. I did this a lot over the next few days, I’ll admit, primarily focused on Wolfgang (my new fictional man-crush). Though my mind was at first gridlocked in a gutter, I kept finding myself watching bits that had nothing to do with sex–Nomi hacking, Sun fighting, Capheus protecting at all costs. Kala was and is my favorite character. Maybe I just relate to her the most–a good girl with a darkness in her and more than a few secrets. Maybe I’m living vicariously through all her kisses with Wolfgang (all the heart-eyes). Whatever it was about her, Kala got me to officially watch the show in the proper order. 

As most Netflix binges go, I had finished the entire series in about a week. I was just coming to the second to last episode of the second season when Netflix announced they were cancelling their distribution of the show. 

My heart broke.

The show was no longer free softcore porn. I was devastatingly invested in these characters. I remain fully supportive of the most important message it presents: that we are all connected. The diversity of the cast and locations, the beauty of the writing and directing, and the intricate story lines inspired me as an artist and as a person. When I got to the finale knowing there might never be more to the story, I bawled as only a writer invested in an unfinished masterpiece could. I called my best friends and I cried and cried. I mourned my beloved characters. I couldn’t feel satisfied watching anything other than Sense8 over and over for days. If I’m being honest, I’m still in this stage of mourning. Nothing else seems good enough. 

The petitions came out and I signed them all, got my friends to sign them even. I watched Max Riemelt in anything I could find. I watched an entire film in German with no subtitles just to see his face. He almost looked like Wolfgang, but his beard wasn’t long enough. It could only ever be second best. I know I sound mad, but I hope that’s a testament to how truly brilliant this series was, not only to how crazy I can be. I spent all last week unable to enjoy other forms of media and self-expression in my life because I was worried about my characters. In that weird place between conscious thought that shows us what we really care about, I was constantly brought back to Sense8. 

My Dad suggested I write some fan fiction to soothe me. I’ve never done that before, but I wrote a story outline and was surprised to see how right he had been. I just needed their story to end right. My writing isn’t as developed as the writing for the show, so it’s only a bandaid on the wound, but I felt a little less obsessed. Berlin Syndrome came out this week, but I couldn’t watch it. Too many triggers, but also it helped me to finally be able to separate the actor from the beloved character. This week Netflix also officially said no amount of efforts would get them to change their mind. 

I’m still hopeful, I guess. The creators have said they’re not willing to give up on the show. The fanbase is definitely there. Maybe Hulu will take the show. Maybe they’ll force me to finally get a YouTube Red account. Maybe it’ll be a little indie film one day. I don’t know. I wrote my little outline. That was all I could do. Writing has always been a cathartic release for me. 

In my story, they all live happily ever after. All of them. Especially Wolfgang and Kala.

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