So, if you know about those things and decide to not watch is basically a show about eight strangers — a white cop from Chicago named Will, a white lesbian trans woman/former hacker from San Francisco named Nomi, a Korean martial artist and daughter of a super powerful businessman named Sun, a Kenyan bus driver named Capheus, an Indian pharmacist and bride-to-be named Kala, a German safecracker named Wolfgang, an Icelandic DJ named Riley and a Mexican actor named Lito — who all start to develop a psychic connection. Like, it wasn’t just one character of each race or ethnicity, they each had supporting casts around them.They start to get hunted down by this mysterious guy named Whispers who seems to have lots of money and lots of international power and who really doesn’t like the Sensates (that’s what they’re called). I especially loved Lito’s supporting cast and definitely Nomi’s.
It’s a show created by a trans woman and her brother and another guy; it features a really diverse cast of mostly people of color; and it even has a lesbian couple made up of a trans woman and a black cis woman (Jamie Clayton and Freema Agyeman). But that trans woman who created it and wrote it, Lana Wachowski, comes with a lot of baggage, and by baggage, I mean “racist behaviors and actions.” Before we talk about the actual show, I do want to spend some time talking about why I was initially reluctant to watch it.
Like I said, Lana Wachowski (and her brother) have done some pretty racist things in the past.
First, when they made their epic sci-fi film , where each actor plays multiple roles throughout time and space, they made the shockingly racist decision to use makeup to put actors Jim Sturgess and Hugo Weaving in yellowface.
Seriously, it’s painful to look at pictures of the makeup from this movie. Then, at this year’s Trans 100 event, Lana was the keynote speaker.
Right away we see Nomi and Amanita having sex, I don’t think I have to tell you how revolutionary it is to show an interracial lesbian couple, where one of the women is trans, fucking on a mainstream TV show.
A couple other early scenes with Nomi are pretty powerful as well.
When Amanita defends her at Pride in the flashback scene and when she gives her own speech about her feelings about Pride, I was genuinely moved.
Her speech started on a rocky foot when she talked about how, when filming this very show, she was in India and people stared at her hair (which is a brightly-colored version of dread locks).
Trans POC attending the event started to get uncomfortable at this point.