ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

When I see the HBO sigil before a show like Game of Thrones or Girls, I know it stands as a seal of quality, promising me that I'm in for something special. It's slightly different with Netflix shows. That little ident before a show begins is a promise of ambition, adventurousness, and a willingness to give the audience something new and interesting. Whether it's in broadcasting a show like Orange Is the New Black, or trusting an algorithm in producing the biggest streaming show in the form of House of Cards.

In that sense, I'm almost surprised that Sense8 isn't considered the flagship show on Netflix. It so perfectly fits into the category of confident and adventurous. Alas, Netflix took some time in renewing the show. This was likely down to the bizarre viewing habits of fans, with some people watching the show six times in a row. I won't pretend to understand that logic, but I'm still ecstatic we're getting a season 2. Sense8 seemed to have the odds stacked against it, so let's see just how this crazy show got renewed!

A Visually Driven Premise

Doona Bae in Sense8
Doona Bae in Sense8

Perhaps the cleverest choice in the production of Sense8 was not to play the central premise as some huge worldwide conspiracy. This drew it away from the likes of Lost and Heroes, and allowed the show runners to unveil the central ideas subtly through cinematography. Just look at some of the graphic matches you get in the transitions between the sensates, like when Will Gorski and Sun Bak are able to help Capheus in the midst of a fight. Then look at the brilliant pan between Nomi and Capheus as she is escaping BPO. The show briskly and beautifully conveys its premise like no other!


I already wrote an entire article about how Sense8 succeeds leaps and bounds in how it approaches on screen diversity. What's integral here is that there isn't the feeling of implanting characters of different genders ethnicities and sexualities just to please illusive fans, but a genuine joyous approach to depicting a varied group of people. This all has a normalizing effect on an audience that wouldn't be exposed to such characters. Whether people like Sense8 or not, it's a positive force in TV today!

It's a hangout show!

Riley and Sun Bak hanging out!
Riley and Sun Bak hanging out!

I've read a few criticisms of Sense8 claiming that the show is slow because the main plot is almost nonexistent until a few episodes before the end of Season 1. To that, all I have to say is "I know, isn't it great?" When a show really sticks with people, it's rarely down to the compelling plot or the twists and turns (though those can help); it's often simply a case of people spending time with characters.

Despite the weight of its premise, Sense8 is surprisingly stripped down in regards to plot. It's a breath of fresh air to have a show cater almost entirely to spending time with characters. Think about it. Whispers is barely in the show until about half way through the season. Springing a mind blowing thriller chase was not the main priority, and viewers liked that!

It's weird, and proud of it!

Sense8 is unashamed!
Sense8 is unashamed!

I want to weep for the wealth of cool ideas that are shot down in modern media for being too "weird". TV has been plagued by the idea of audiences being scared off forever if a story suddenly gets too strange and frenetic. Sense8 doesn't just disprove that, but shows the opposite is the case! What other show could ever have Bollywood dance numbers for exposition, full frontal shots as an episode finale, and of course, have an orgy of the leads mid season that is kinda just there for the sake of it. Sense8 getting a season 2 doesn't just prove that audiences will accept strange creative voices on TV; they flock to it!

So there you have just a few reasons why Sense8, against all odds, got renewed for a second season! Would you like to share your thoughts on the show? Write a post about it here on MoviePilot, and as always, remember to vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!


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