A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The interconnectedness of human beings and the value of protecting the innocent are stressed.
Positive Role Models
Cast boasts racial, ethnic, and gender diversity: A transgender woman and gay couples are major characters. Most characters are hard-working professionals; some lead less savory lifestyles.
Violence & Scariness
Suicide via gun is shown on-screen; no gore. Guns frequently shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex, gay and straight, is graphically depicted on-screen with moaning and thrusting. Breasts and naked buttocks are visible. A woman removes a wearable sex toy as her partner exclaims that she "f--ked" her brains out.
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Unbleeped cursing, usually in jest, includes four-letter words: "s--t," "f--k." Cursing accompanies threats: "I'm going to blow your f--king brains out."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen; scenes take place in nightclubs where patrons drink (no one acts drunk). Discussion of psychedelic drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sense8 is a drama about strangers who have mysterious visions and how they connect to one another. Created by the Wachowskis, most famous for their Matrix films, the series has some violence, including an on-screen suicide (no gore), and characters threaten each other with guns. Cursing includes sexual language (a reference to one woman "f--king" another's brains out) as well as unbleeped four-letter words and violent epithets. Characters smoke, drink, and consume drugs on-screen. Very graphic straight and gay sex scenes include nudity (breasts and buttocks), graphic descriptions of sex acts, a shot of a wearable sex toy, moaning, thrusting, and the like. It's an interesting premise but all the above makes it appropriate for only the most mature of teens.
Is It Any Good?
Let's be honest: Sense8 is saddled with one of the more clichéd premises of modern TV: strangers with a mysterious connection? What is this, Lost? Yet the show's intriguing execution of said premise puts this drama on the "has something" list, despite some downsides. Chief among them: painfully clunky exposition. In addition, audience members will wonder exactly why characters in far-flung locations all are speaking English. The Korean/German/Icelandic/African characters can't be subtitled, really? They can't even have accents?
Nonetheless, Sense8 has interesting things to offer -- chiefly, characters viewers haven't seen before. Sticking a transgender character right in the middle of the action and making the story not about her gender is a nice modern innovation, and the female characters in general are given plenty to chew on. That's a nice touch for TV sci-fi, which tends to treat its women like love interests with no inner life. Sense8's slow-burn storytelling also is well-suited both to Netflix's binge-watch capabilities and to viewers who insist on TV that stands up to repeat viewing and Internet recap-style criticism and analysis. There are clever ideas at work here. Give this show enough time and attention, and it might grow on you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.