A Finale, But Not the Final Word

As an avid viewer of Sense8, my excitement for the finale kept me up last night until I realized I had to work in the morning. So, I was forced to wait until this evening to watch the conclusion of the psychedelic, confusing, groundbreaking, condensed final chapter of the beloved Netflix original series. It’s probably a good thing I waited though considering the amount of screaming and clapping I did while watching…

this is the best gif

SO, obviously, if you haven’t had a chance to watch the finale yet and you plan to, be warned that there are spoilers ahead!

First things first: I’m upset the finale had to be pared down to a 151 minute feature-length film style piece. One of the best things about the series is the carefully constructed plots in the short term episodes and their eventual piecing together to create a seasonal story arc. While attention was still given in this manner, the shorter story arcs were forced to develop and resolve themselves in a much more condensed time frame. I’m certain many avenues would have been developed over the standard hour long episodes if that were an option.

gimme more

That being said, “Amor Vincit Omnia” managed to include the staples of the first 2 seasons: Sun’s daybreak tai chi sessions on the roof, flashbacks through the cluster’s pasts, international jumps, and the manifestation of remarkable shared skills and the accompanying body swapping. Oh, and how could I forget the ORGY???? Girl, buckle up, the finale sexy-time scene rivals season one’s “Demons.” And by rivals, I mean takes to a whole new level of taking standard Hollywood taboos and doing literally the opposite. It is. SO. GOOD.

More in the realm of what watchers expect to see: BPO attacks, double crossing, rooftop chases, plots and counter plots, and random video game style new skill acquisition. That sounds bad, like all they did was reuse old scenes from the past seasons (coughStarWarscough), but Lana Wachowski and her co-writers kept the action fresh and the characters grew throughout the….episode? Still not sure what to call it besides finale.

Wachowski

The queer-friendly scenes and boundary pushing logic (for standard Hollywood at least) did not disappoint either. That’s really what Sense8 is all about, how people relate to each other. And relationships abound in the latest installment; heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and polyamorous partners all make an appearance within the cluster. Some of them we already know, like Hernando and Lito or Amanita and Nomi, but others are new, like the (not-so) surprise twist in Kala’s love interests Wolfgang and Rajan. It’s so important to see non-heterosexual couples represented in mainstream media, and trans people too!

To the Sense8 team’s credit, they represent the queer community in a way that doesn’t add to the litany of ‘inclusive’ pieces that use the bury your gays trope over and over again. Remember the episode in season two, where Lito comes out in a big way at Sao Paulo Pride? Between the near death experiences with BPO, the show continues to impress with conversations like the ones in that episode among the cluster and their friends and family. They focus on accepting yourself as you are, and not being ashamed of what you want. Sense8’s quiet acceptance and inclusion of ‘alternative lifestyles’ juxtaposed to and folded into its radical (sexual) scenes is a step in the right direction and a model that other mainstream media outlets would do well to follow.

sense8 pride

The aural, visual and thematic plaudits given to the first two seasons of Sense8 remain applicable to the finale, perhaps even more so due to the shortened length. Best of all, “Amor Vincit Omnia” was released in Pride month and celebrates what it is all about: Love.

pride flag sense8

Re-Inspiration 101

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing without doing much of my own. I found myself stuck in the same kind of loop, writing about the same things and mostly complaining about my life. I took some time away from the blog to get re-inspired, and I found a few really helpful things that I want to share. These tips don’t just apply to blogging either, they apply to anything you may need inspiration for!

Take a Break
From MHFA blog

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break!

Though this may seem a bit self-ingratiating, taking a break from what you’re doing can give your brain time to recharge those creative juices! This post from Huffpost US Edition talks about how taking breaks actually helps productivity. If it can help people with boring desk jobs, imagine how much taking breaks can help us do our creative tasks like writing and painting and thinking of new ideas for content!

2. Look at the Other Kids’ Work

Now, this doesn’t mean to copy other people’s ideas. However, using others’ ideas as creative inspiration for your own ideas can help get through a creative content dry spell. I mentioned that I’ve been reading a lot lately, this is why. For writing purposes, I find that reading helps jumpstart my own ideas. Not just other blogs, but novels and news stories as well. This article from Psychology Today talks specifically about the benefits on creativity of reading fiction. My thoughts are that reading other people’s work gets your mind out of the loop it’s stuck in with your own work.

Perspective

3. Revisit Old Ideas

If you have a topic you really love that you’ve already worked on, look at a new side of it. If there’s something you’ve developed a new opinion on, show people that change. Now obviously this doesn’t mean to rework things you’ve already written or painted or whatever, it just means to get a fresh angle. If you’re struggling for new material, go back to something you know and do a new version of it differently.

4. Change Your Settings

Sometimes we are not just stuck in a mindset rut, we’re stuck in a workspace rut too. Working in the same exact place all the time can get monotonous, and then our brains get bored. This article from The Atlantic talks about specific environment changes that can help boost creativity, like dim lighting and ambient noise. Having a clean workspace may not always be great for creativity either. In an episode of the new podcast from NPR, Live from the Poundstone Institutethe hosts discuss how messy environments often lead to more creative ideas (at least with ping pong balls). If messy doesn’t work for you, that’s okay too. There are a lot of ways to change up your workspace, including going somewhere else. Personally, I like coffee shops, but you can find your own niches to work in.

Hopefully some of these ideas work you next time you’re in a creative dry spell. Feel free to comment if these ideas were helpful, or if you think I need to find some new material. I’ll take whatever you got! 🙂