Sense8

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Sense8 TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Drinking, drugs, sex, violence in mysterious sci-fi drama.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The interconnectedness of human beings and the value of protecting the innocent are stressed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

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

Suicide via gun is shown on-screen; no gore. Guns frequently shown. 

Sex

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.

Language

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."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen; scenes take place in nightclubs where patrons drink (no one acts drunk). Discussion of psychedelic drugs. 

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypelint October 12, 2015

must be +18

I really like the show but lots of sex,violence and drugs ,sometimes it is even hard for me to watch ..
Adult Written byHeathah June 13, 2015

I'm very confused why this is rated for 14 year olds

I personally love this show, but I'm very surprised that CSM rates this show okay for 14 and over when it is officially rated as TV-MA. The show is great a... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bydragonsmatter June 17, 2015

Look at the bright side

Honestly there's so many negative comments about this show and I think that people are forgetting to consider the fact that there are actually some positiv... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byheartsallure April 16, 2018

Refreshingly diverse and inclusive, however not for immature or prejudiced audiences

Sense8 is unlike any other show I have watched; this is probably attributable to the excellently diverse casting and bravery in terms of subject matter that is... Continue reading

What's the story?

In eerie drama SENSE8, eight strangers living very different lives in different cities all over the world suddenly find themselves linked together. A Korean businesswoman allows her attention to drift from a client meeting and suddenly she has a vision of a woman committing suicide. A Chicago cop starts seeing scenes from the life of an Icelandic DJ. A Nairobi bus driver appears over the shoulder of a Mexican movie star, an Indian scientist experiences the crimes of a petty thief in Germany. None of the newly minted "sensates" know why they're having these visions, what they mean, or what they portend. But they're going to have to figure out pretty quickly, as a nefarious, mysterious corporation knows much more than they do -- and it's already working on tracking the sensates down and using them for a yet-to-be-discovered purpose. 

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the show's premise. Is it realistic or fantastic? Do people really have visions of the lives of other people? How do you know? Do TV shows have to be realistic to be interesting? 

  • How do you suppose the creators of Sense8 choose the cities their characters are from? What's the percentage of dramas you see set in cities such as New York or London versus small towns? Why do you suppose this is? 

  • Sense8's nonlinear plot makes it more challenging to figure out what's going on. Which other dramas or comedies can you name with plots that jump around in time or setting? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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