Sense8: Episodes Seven and Eight: Amazing Stuff

Warning: HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. So here’s what I’ve come down to when talking to people about this show. It’s an amazing six-hour movie, full of heartwarming, heartwrenching, funny, tragic, thoughtful, action-packed suspense and romance, but you have to sit through six hours of chaotic mess with moments of brilliance to get to the good stuff. Think of it as the price of admission. There’s an interesting Salon article about True Detective that pretty much says the same thing I’ve been saying here: You can experiment with story but you can’t make things so chaotic a viewer has no idea of what’s going on. But in Sense8, once you reach Episode Seven, there’s more shape to the narrative, and even though it’s self-indulgent at times, great story happens. Those last six hours are must-see TV. Actually, that’s underselling it: this stuff is easily cinema worthy, better than most movies out there. Continue reading

Sense8: Episodes Five and Six: Demons Everywhere

Warning: HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. n37o1d First, the good news: Sense8 was renewed for a second season yesterday, August 8, which is the day all eight of the cluster were born. Yeah, they don’t all look the same age to me, either, but I’m not quibbling. Second, Stracynski has walked back his comment about having a five-year plan, possibly because people kept pointing out that having a five-year plan was worthless if people quit watching after the first episode. I’m pretty sure they still have a five-year plan, I’m just hoping they also have a second season plan because they kinda didn’t have one for the first season. Third, sorry this is late. But I did get you a nice protagonist analysis for all eight, so that’s something. Yeah, I was still late. Here’s Five and Six. Continue reading

Sense8: Bright Shapes, No Container

Warning: HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. This is supposed to be about Episodes 5 & 6, but I got so caught up in trying to figure out what the overall plan is here that I didn’t take notes when I watched them again. So you get my thoughts on 5 & 6 tomorrow or Sunday. Here’s what I think about the plotting: What I am coming to realize, as I watch these episodes for the third and fourth time, is that there’s no structure here. It’s not just that there’s no classic linear structure–protagonist is thrown out of a stable life, battles the antagonist, wins or loses–it’s that there’s no structure, period. Taking the first half (six episodes) of the series as an anthology that sets up the Eight vs. Whispers in the back end, you still have eight stories that are bleeding plot. Continue reading

Sense8: Episodes Three and Four: Stability Lost, Joy Regained

Warning: HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS POST. One way to look at a story is that the protagonist moves from stability to stability. That is, he or she is living in a world that he or she understands how to negotiate and feels safe in because of that, even if it’s a miserable world to live in. The story starts when something happens that shatters that stability, and the protagonist battles the antagonist (and the cause of the instability) until one of them wins, the story ends, and the world becomes stable again, albeit a new kind of stability that reflects who the protagonist has evolved into during the struggle of the story. Continue reading

Cherry Saturday 8 – 1 – 2015

Today is National Mustard Day. Look, they can’t all be winners. Mustard-forms And in an addendum to yesterday’s post about my famous cousin, Russ Parsons, here’s proof we’re related: Jenny, Boo, and Rusty, Russ Parsons Jennifer Crusie I’m not sure what year that was, but I’m guessing mid sixties. Neither of us has changed at all. (That’s his little sister, Boo, on my lap.)

Why, Yes, Russ Parsons Is My Cousin

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I know, I name drop him all the time, but I’m very proud that Russ Parsons, internationally known writer, IS MY COUSIN. And he has a great weekly e-mail newsletter, In the Kitchen, that you should subscribe to if you like food. Sign up here because Russ is possibly the only person who has gone out drinking with Julia Child, the Clash, and Muddy Waters, although (he says) not at the same time. Also me. Because he’s my cousin. And he’s BRILLIANT about food and music and he’s a good, good guy. Also, did I mention he’s my cousin? I’m very proud.