Netflix original series queue

Tyler Mead, Print Arcade Editor

Sense8 (3.5 stars)

Transgender lesbian hacktivists, Korean kickboxing CEOs, closeted telenovela actors and Van Damme-loving bus drivers are more than just buzzwords for 2015. No, these aren’t just the demographics who won’t be voting for Donald Trump — it’s also the cast of Netflix’s newest action series “Sense8.”  

“Sense8” takes place in eight cities, eight countries and four continents with eight main characters. The show is a fittingly massive undertaking by the Wachowski siblings who are known for creating “The Matrix” trilogy.

The core concept of the show is the function of Sensates, the next stage of human evolution. Each Sensate is part of a cluster of eight whose minds are telepathically linked. As the Sensates discover their connection, they must deal with their new sensory overload and a mysterious organization trying to hunt them down, along with issues in their personal lives.

“Sense8’s” biggest issue lies in the overly busy plot. Along with having to grasp the concepts behind their connections, viewers must also believe that all eight characters are dealing with constant life-threatening peril in cities as cushy as San Francisco and Central London.

The show has some of the most beautiful cinematography to date for a Netflix series, and explores some deeply emotional elements of the human condition. Despite its flaws, “Sense8” is a show with the same intense fighting you’d expect from the Wachowskis.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (4 Stars)

It took 14 years, but David Wain and Michael Showalter are taking us all back to camp for the best summer to date.

The long-awaited prequel to the 2001 cult classic “Wet Hot American Summer” hit Netflix this summer, and “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” takes viewers right back to the good old Camp Firewood.

The original film, which is available to stream, is mandatory viewing material for anyone interested in the show. Otherwise, the quirky referential humor just seems like a crazy stoner mess. Understanding the weird of Wain helps viewers understand his extremely specific jokes that are constantly playing with tropes, and jabbing fun at the show’s own ’80s summer camp premise.

The cast sounds like a big-budget Judd Appatow film with Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd reprising roles that helped launched their careers a decade-and-a-half ago. Wain also did a masterful job cutting the series since filming took place wherever his actors were, not in a single location.

“First Day of Camp” is a must-see for any comedy nerd, or any fan of the uniquely bizarre.

Grace and Frankie (3.5 Stars)

Anyone who doesn’t want to see Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin drink peyote on a beach while they talk about their husbands doesn’t deserve Netflix.

To clarify, in the new Netflix Original series “Grace and Frankie,” Fonda and Tomlin play two women in their 70’s, Grace and Frankie, whose husbands leave them for each other. As a way of seeking refuge after the earth-shattering news, both flee to their beach house, which the families own together. Grace’s waspy sensibility immediately clashes with Frankie’s flower child vibe, and hilarity ensues.

They slowly build an unlikely friendship as they learn to cope with being newly single in their golden years. The two tackle issues with dating and loneliness. Their husbands Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Tom Waterson) are also prominently featured as only a moderately convincing gay couple.

“Grace and Frankie” evenly balances the lighthearted humor with its more serious topics. Some of the episodes teeter on the silly side, and the cartoonish depictions of wasp versus hippie culture can be a bit much. The show proves itself, however, as a cute, witty comedy that could rival HGTV. It’s definitely worth a watch.

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