Netflix continues to support representation in Sense8 | TV

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By Claire

Filmed in 8 different countries, over 150 talking parts, an equal divide of male to female lead roles and a killer soundtrack, Sense 8 is the next Netflix original series to prove that diversity in a TV show is not that hard to do. 

The show focuses around a group (“cluster”) of 8 people from all around the world and their unique connection via senses. Also known as sensates. 

Sense8 is great for a number of reasons. First, it is filmed on location all around the world- in Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Seoul, London, Reykjavík, Mexico City, San Francisco and Chicago- which is beautiful. This is no green-screen stylised culture: it’s the real deal. In each country, the show has used local crew and cast in order to capture the essence of each location. How cool is that?


How often does a show have the same amount of female to male leads? Not very. 

Along with the four male leads (Mexican telvenova actor Lito, Chicago cop Will, Kenyan bus driver Capheus, and German jewel thief Wolfgang) there are four well-rounded and diverse women. 

Kala in Mumbai, a pharmacist who is devout to the Hindu god Ganesha. 

Riley, a DJ from Iceland (living in London), with a heart-breaking backstory. 

Sun, a business woman from Seoul and amazing fighter.  

Nomi, a hacktivist and transgender woman played by a transgender actress. 

These women are complex. At face-value they may seem like cultural stereotypes (Kala struggling with whether to go through with her wedding or not; Sun, the passive daughter willing to put her father and brother before herself) but it is the way the stories are built upon and developed that moves beyond these stereotypes.

Along with the diverse characters, the show also explores sexuality in a positive way. While it has been reported that every character should be seen as pansexual, Lito and Nomi are both in loving, committed, same-sex relationships. 

Lito's boyfriend Hernando and Nomi's girlfriend Amanita are 100% devoted to their SO's, and support them all the way. Loving, same-sex relationships that aren't destructive and have little drama are hard to come by on screen, but Sense8 makes it seem effortless, and yet engaging.

Another win for women in this Sense8 is the show is written and directed by the Wachowski’s (Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending). Andy and Lana Wachowski are a brother-sister duo, meaning, along with the equal divide of cast members, half of the writing/directing team is also a woman.

The show is confusing at first (when you watch it for the first time, there are a lot of WHAT THE HELL? moments, but it is fase paced, and beautiful. You get to experience so many different cultures in an authentic portrayal. 

Men feeling the effects of a period, a killer international/psychological karaoke session, teamwork, kick-ass fight scenes, a bazooka???, a Bollywood dance sequence, smart-car stunts... Sense8 is insanely culturally enriching, and engaging. 

You will be hooked. 

(I may or may not have watched the 12 x 60min series three times in three weeks...)

Have you seen the show? What do you think? I’m interested to hear your thoughts!


Sense8 and the behind the scenes documentary, Sense 8: Creating the World are both available now on Netflix. A second season has also been announced.
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