Could Netflix’s ‘Sense8’ Be Resurrected by Porn Site xHamster?

Netflix has provided a second life for numerous canceled shows over the years, from Arrested Development to Longmire to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But where do canceled Netflix shows turn to when the streaming giant casts them aside? For Sense8, salvation might come in the form of a porn website, believe it or not.

Netflix received tons of critical acclaim for its original science fiction series Sense8, but it never quite broke through to become a huge pop-culture phenomenon like other Netflix series such as House of Cards or Stranger Things. In spite of a talented cast and a trippy, globe-hopping sci-fi storyline that incorporated diversity in ways few other shows could claim, Sense8 remained for many one of those shows that you’d heard of, but never got around to watching. As such, it wasn’t enormously surprising when Netflix announced earlier this summer that the show wouldn’t be returning for a third season.

The good news is, the show’s fans rallied, hoping their late display of support could catch either Netflix or some other network’s attention and provide a reprieve for the show’s cancellation. And it worked, sort of: Netflix announced in July that Sense8 would be returning as a one-off original film designed to tie up loose ends. But it turns out the show could, theoretically, get an even longer lifespan, courtesy of a very unusual savior: the streaming porn site xHamster. That site’s vice president, Alex Hawkins, last week wrote an open letter to Sense8 co-creators The Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas), pitching the idea of letting xHamster ride to the rescue and pump Sense8 back to life.

After pointing out that xHamster is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on the internet, Hawkins also points out that an xHamster-produced Sense8 wouldn’t have to fight other original productions for a piece of the production budget. xHamster doesn’t have any other original productions — at least not yet — so the coffers would be more or less at Sense8′s disposal.

But why would xHamster want to foot the bill for more Sense8 in the first place? If you’re not familiar with the show, Sense8 follows a diverse group of people around the world who suddenly and inexplicably become linked telepathically, able to access each other’s thoughts, memories, and skills, and to experience what all the others are experiencing. This results in some truly compelling explorations of gender, sexuality, individuality, and so forth — as well as some uniquely creative sex scenes. Sex is on a whole other level in Sense8, so a potential xHamster partnership makes a weird kind of sense.

In his letter, Hawkins says:

We know that a series about polyamorous perversity is a hard sell for a mainstream network like Netflix. We have no such limitations, and we also understand implicitly the interconnectedness of sexualities across boundaries. In short, we are a we.

xHamster has a long history of fighting for the rights of sexual speech, and non-normative sexuality. In addition to allowing billions of users to connect with individual articulations of gender and sexuality, we continue to use our audience to speak up against repressive anti-LGBTQ laws in the US and abroad, and for sex ed in public schools, Planned Parenthood, and the rights of sex workers.

We’d like to set up a meeting to see if there’s some fit for us in the future of Sense8. We know we’re an unlikely home. But five years ago, people laughed at the idea of Netflix producing original series. We think that our time, like yours, has come.

Sense8 is currently set to wrap up its run with a two-hour finale sometime in 2018. Beyond that…we’ll have to wait and see.

David Wharton

David Wharton

David Wharton has been a freelance writer and editor for over 12 years, contributing to publications such a The Daily Dot, CinemaBlend, GiantFreakinRobot, Cinescape, and Creative Screenwriting. He lives in Texas with three children, four dogs, and his wife. Email him at davidwharton@streamingobserver.com.
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David Wharton