This is that Netflix show by the Wachowskis and Michael J. Straczynski (from Babylon 5) about a group of 8 people, scattered all over the world (1 is in San Francisco and 1 is in Chicago, and they are the only two in the same country) who discover that they have a telepathic link. I loved it.
I wasn’t entirely expecting to. I’d heard bad things, and then the first three episodes didn’t really make any sense. It turns out that Netflix only sent the first 3 episodes to reviewers, but episode 4 is when it gets really good. (But I can’t tell you to skip straight to episode 4, because you need the backstory. And they’re not unpleasant to watch, they just don’t make sense.) It’s one of those shows that makes you feel good by watching. When everything starts to come together, there’s a feeling of victory. At its core, this is a show about loneliness, and I am particularly primed for a show like that right now, but we can all relate to how these characters feel, even if we haven’t been in their particular situations. And there are some laugh-out-loud moments. If the telepathic orgy doesn’t make you laugh, the punchline several episodes later will. There will be a season 2. The last announcement I saw said it would be released in June 2016, but an earlier announcement said season 1 would be released in late 2014 and it actually came out in summer 2015, so I think they just need more time than they tend to think. I will give them more time, especially if it means season 2 is as good as season 1.
Since I’m working on a pilot for an ensemble show, I was also watching to see how they were structured. This show ended up not being a good template because, as I said, the first couple episodes are a bit of a mess. But I also realized that this was not a show that was sold on the pilot. This was a show that was sold on a pitch. And that’s an important distinction. People with name-recognition can get away with that. Schmucks like me can’t. So if you’re getting notes on a pilot and someone says you really can’t do something and you respond with, “[obscure show] did it!” you have to consider whether that show sold on the pilot or the pitch. If you’re an unknown writer, everything you write is a writing sample. You don’t get to pitch it. And also, don’t argue notes. It’s just not a good look.