Yes, you read that headline correctly. No, It's not a joke.
The legendary adult entertainment website xHamster have decided to make the Wachowski's an offer that they might not want to refuse. In an open letter that was mailed to the Wachowski sisters, xHamster have offered to step up to the plate to right Netflix's wrong. For those who don't want to click on a link to an adult entertainment website that they post on their twitter, someone on twitter posted a copy of the letter for all to share.
Dear Lana and Lilly,
We recently read that you're working on a third season of Sense8 despite the fact that Netflix has no plans to renew the series. We know it's unconventional, but we want to bring it back - on xHamster. We're not talking about a parody, or something less than, but an actual revival of the series.
Ever since we read about the cancellation, we've been wondering if there was something we could do. While we're happy that Netflix is picking up the series for a conclusion, before you wrap up the story, we wanted you to consider another option - letting xHamster produce the series.
Hear us out.
xHamster is currently one of the most trafficked websites on the internet. We get more visitors daily than the New York Times, ESPN or the Daily Mail. In short, we have the eyeballs, and the revenue. Unlike with Netflix, you wouldn't be competing for part of our production budget - it would be yours.
We also have the disposition. We know that a series about polymorphous perversity is a hard sell for a mainstream network like Netflix. We have no such limitations, and 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.
Vice President, xHamster
If the Wachowski sisters take xHamster up on this offer, this will be the first scripted original series for the adult entertainment streaming company and their second original series after the show The Sex Factor.
It would also be the first TV series to make the leap from an established network to a adult entertainment site, though it would join the long tradition of shows that leapt between networks. Doing this does mean a big potential change for the content of the program, beyond the obvious NSFW stuff. Previous shows that have changed networks have found new freedoms that previous networks didn't provide. Just to give an idea of what potential changes might come along with this shift, should the Wachowski's take xHamster up on it's offer.
Change In Conditions
American Dad, as an example, started on Fox and moved to TBS for the most recent seasons. Such a change not only allowed the series to up the standard season episode count to a full 22 episode seasons, something that had never happened for the show before since every season has a different number of episodes. You ever wonder why the DVD's are listed as volumes? This irregular episode count is why.
It also meant that the show no longer had to match the audience numbers that a network like Fox would expect. It can continue to be renewed on TBS while only getting around a million viewers an episode because, for TBS, that's more than enough if they believe in the show. A change of network can mean a change in expectations regarding viewers, meaning good series that aren't getting eyeballs are able to keep going so they can be discovered later.
Change In Tone
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is another example of a show that moved, from the WB to the UPN. This change granted the show a lot more freedom to be darker. Sure back on the WB they were allowed to be pretty dark, look at how dark Angel got, but they probably weren't going to be allowed to get as dark as season six got.
It gave them permission to take bigger chances, the iconic musical episode would not have happened had the show been put on the WB because that might be a bridge too far. A change in network can mean a tonal shift, a loss of innocence that can create some great TV. Not to mention it can allow creators to take major chances that their original networks wouldn't allow.
Change In Audience Access
Less common than it should be is the revival of a series without changing anything, something Netflix did themselves when they brought Arrested Development back to the world almost a decade after it originally premiered. The revival allowed old fans a chance to see more of their favorite show, while new fans who may have never given the show a chance could get into it easier with new episodes to entice them.
It's a tactic normally done for shows that were critical darlings, but ratings failures. It can also be done for shows that gained a cult following that was large enough for other networks to notice. The big thing is that this change in network tends to try and keep the show as close to the original as possible because they want it to remain in continuity with the original series. This also happened for Futurama and The Critic, both critically acclaimed and revived on different networks just so the cult audience of both shows could get more of what they love.
Sense8 has the chance to be any of these. We already know that the Wachowski's are writing a third season already and that Netflix might bring the show back to finish the story off in a two hour special, but taking xHamster up on it's offer means that the Wachowski's have a chance to push the show even further than they could on Netflix. They could grow the audience beyond what Netflix could provide, introduce the series to a whole new crowd of people and provide the world of adult entertainment some serious creative chops. They could make the sexuality of the show even more intense, take it to darker more powerful places that might've even been too far for Netflix but wouldn't be too far for an adult website like xHamster. Or, perhaps, they will just continue on as the same show. There is only one way we're going to find out.
If Sense8 moved to xHamster, would you still watch it?