Nudity in TV shows has been the talk of the town for a while. Gone are those days when nudity was limited to a specific set of movies, today it’s ubiquitous even in the world of television. While ‘Game of Thrones’ redefined on-screen sex with the word ‘Sexposition’, there’s always ‘True Detective’ with Alexandra Daddario at her majestic best.
There’s no denying of the fact that nudity more often than not becomes the selling point of the film or a particular TV show, even if the makers don’t want it to be that way. ‘Shameless’, for example, has always been famous (or rather, infamous) its sex-scenes than it ever was known for performances or its screenplay, even though the latter was exemplary too in its own way.
While there’s so much going on in the TV world, with zillions of shows to watch, this list is here to solve the problem of finding the shows with extra does of nudity. Though, for some of the TV shows, nudity or sex acts as a mere filler (take ‘Game of Thrones’ for example, in which the sexuality is apt and fits perfectly with the storyline or rather is a part of it, while it doesn’t as much as in say ‘Californication’), for many others, it acts as the primary driver.
Here’s the list of top TV series (Netflix included) with lots of nudity, ranked from least naked (on this list) to the most naked, along with their increasing popularity and ratings. And just to add while we go, almost all of these television shows have been rated TV-MA in the US, a rating which is often considered analogous to the ‘R’ rating of the movie space. I’d leave the rest to your perusal.
25. The Americans (2013-2018)
Set in the Cold War era, the story of ‘The Americans’ revolves around two Russian spies – Elizabeth and Philip (no, not from the British Royal Family), who pose as a married couple in DC, while they have a neighbour who works for the FBI. Mostly focusing on the relationships and intricacies of a marriage rather than being a spy-thriller at the outset, ‘The Americans’ has been raising eyebrows for the graphic sexual content which is otherwise too explicit for a TV audience. Although the sex scenes are mostly used as tools of manipulation and blackmailing, the implications of the sexual references are stronger than the references themselves. A novel concept with a lot of mix and match with TV shows like ‘Homeland’, ‘The Looming Tower’ etc., ‘The Americans’ will never cease to impress you.
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24. Chemistry (2011)
A dramedy at the outset, ‘Chemistry’ follows the affair of an LAPD policewoman Liz and a corporate lawyer Michael. While there’s nothing more to describe about the premise, the show-stealers are the varied, diversified sexual innuendos throughout the 13-episode series including but not limited to simulated sex, frontal nudity, oral sex et al. Simply put, there’s a very thin line between soft porn and ‘Chemistry’ – perhaps the reason why the makers called it quits after its inaugural season. Your take, please?
23. Naked and Afraid (2013-Present)
A reality tv show with nudity as one of its core ingredients, ‘Naked and Afraid’ has naked, nude people all over (albeit the nudity isn’t explicit and the breasts and genitals of the people involved are often censored). The idea is simple – to survive in the wilderness alongside a person of opposite sex while being completely naked through a discourse of 21 days. There’s a PSR (Primitive Survival Rating) in place which is to measure the survival skills, dealing with the harsher conditions etc. Although there are no sex scenes that are shown in the entire duration of the television show, it is the nudity which is highlighted more than anything else.
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22. Sex and The City (1998-2004)
More of an awareness campaign relating to the social (sex-related) issues of today, ‘Sex and the City’ managed to top the charts as well as the viewership when it was on the air. Perhaps the most popular and the raunchiest of the lot, this show re-defined sex in American TV shows and set new benchmarks before any of it was cool. The show follows the lives of four American women – Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, all in their mid-30s to early 40’s, who’ve managed to stick together through every thick and thin, despite the changes in their sex lives, physiologies, relationships and promiscuity. The sexual depictions are spread out through the entire series with scenes of masturbation, frontal nudity and simulated sex. I guess that information was more than enough to get started.
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21. Orange is the New Black (2013-Present)
An all-female prison would sound extremely interesting from the outset, wouldn’t it? As intriguing as that is, it also brings upon the stigmas associated with a prison life and what one has to go through, which is heart-wrenching at times. Piper Chapman, after being imprisoned for aiding and abetting her girlfriend Alex Vause in a drug deal goes through almost everything inside the prison. Although she has to face a lot of ordeals, like the abuse and victimisation at times, she also makes a few friends including some really close ones. However, she couldn’t forget her time with Alex and the series follows their relationship closely. Lesbian sex scenes are prominently depicted throughout in this comedy-drama Netflix original which is currently in its sixth season.
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20. Queer as Folk (2000-2005)
A highly-rated television series, ‘Queer as Folk’ has the word “folk” which is intended to be pronounced as something else. Set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ‘Queer as Folk’ revolves around five homosexual men and a lesbian couple and is a raw outlook at the lives and the politics surrounding them, along with their sensitivities, sexuality and health-related issues. While ‘Queer as Folk’ has both gay and lesbian sexual encounters depicted rather explicitly, what is interesting is the lack thereof of any heterosexual scenes, which in a way aligns with the cause of the acclaimed television show. While it runs high on sex and relationships, the violence and gore are minimal, a clear departure from its resemblance to other television shows on this list.
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19. The Girlfriend Experience (2016-2017)
A relatively modern take on ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ and other similar television shows and movies, ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ is the narrative of a law student turned part-time escort Christine, who is to give emotional and physical “comforts” to her clients under her pseudonym of Chelsea. The idea is for her clients to have a “girlfriend experience” while she’s with them. Although initially, Christine goes along with the “arrangement” she falls prey to overbearing clients taking undue advantage of her. The objectification of women is rife throughout the series and so are the sex scenes where the likes of Riley Keough, Anna Friel have bared it all. However, there’s nothing new that you can’t find in any other television shows with prostitution as one of their themes.
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18. True Blood (2008-2014)
When Anna Paquin started as Sookie Stackhouse in the horror-fantasy television series, no one would have imagined what lays next in the upcoming episodes. Apparently, the world no longer fears vampires, for artificial blood has been invented and they live among us with purported “equal” rights. ‘True Blood’ is all about Vampires who live in fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana. Bon Temps also means good times, that explains all of the steamy scenes every now and then. Sookie, a telepathic, falls for a vampire Bill and has fallen trap to what comes with the package of dating a vampire. Replete with female and male nudity, sometimes to shockingly explicit levels, ‘True Blood’ has it all.
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17. Californication (2007-2014)
To answer your question, yes, we’re essentially talking about various forms of “fornications” portrayed in the series. ‘Californication’ follows the life of Hank Moody, a novelist who just cannot get enough of his desires of sex and wants to overcome his sex-addiction, among other things like drugs and alcohol. His relationship with his daughter isn’t as amicable while he battles writer’s block and finds his solace in his girlfriend. Featuring graphic scenes all over, save the frontal nudes for now, ‘Californication’ displays sex in a borderline realistic, unsimulated manner – something which also relates to the objectification of women that was criticized by many.
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16. The Girl’s Guide to Depravity (2012-2013)
Consider any keywords like “depravity”, “diaries”, “girls”, “sex” etc. and you’re bound to witness nudity and sex like never before. Although many of the television series out there have been accused of resorting to the objectification of women and being misogynistic in nature, not all such shows turn out to be great ones in terms of their ratings as well. ‘The Girl’s Guide to Depravity’ stands out for many reasons – not giving in to demeaning men, standing up for oneself and satiating one’s sexual desires when it comes to that. Rebecca Blumhagen is Samantha, the protagonist, who along with her friend Lizzie sets some ground rules to get themselves going while also having ample “fun”, the fun being referred to here is obviously the sex and the nudity which is prevalent all along the show. Although there’s no frontal or graphic nudity, the naked fun is something that takes away the prize.
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15. Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007-2011)
For those who’d like to dismiss ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ as a third-grade soft porn, let me tell you this-this is a television show which had more than a million viewers in its inaugural season and had more than 70% approval ratings. Moreover, the series boasts of a viewership in British television that is close to cult classic ‘Dexter’. The British drama revolves around the story of a high-end London call girl Belle who otherwise is a seemingly normal woman but moonlights as an escort, while her friends and family know her as a high-end secretary working at an MNC. The show mainly focuses on how she balances her professional life with the life she pretends to be having, versus the one she’s actually living, the conflicts that arise as a result and the plethora of steamy scenes in almost every episode of the show, throughout the seasons.
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14. Togetherness (2015-2016)
Although ‘Togetherness’ started off as a comedy-drama in 2015, with an ensemble cast whose lives are entwined together along with some rib-tickling humour, the surprise (or rather, shock) came along with the explicit nudity that it showcased. The story follows two couples – Brett and Michelle and Alex (Brett’s friend) and Tina (Michelle’s elder sister). While Brett and Michelle face daily squabbles in their married life, enter another couple as their housemates (not sure if it is still a thing in the wild west) and the whole thing escalates to another level altogether. As far as the nudity is concerned, Amanda Peet has bared it all and so has a host of other characters. Enjoyable and sexy, ‘Togetherness’ encompasses a package, if you will.
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13. Power (2014- Present)
Revolving around James St. Patrick, a drug dealer with many faces and many lives, who wants to lead a clean and simple life but is bogged down by the criminal nexus, ‘Power’ is set around drugs, sex, criminal gangs, illicit affairs, and the usual killings. Although ‘Power’ is critically acclaimed for its fast-paced storyline and a splendid character development, it does suffer from overly done scripting and the predictability to an extent. Regardless, with its forever increasing popularity and the graphic visuals, not to mention the occasional but elaborate sex scenes have made ‘Power’ one of the most watched and followed shows on television. You’re up now.
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12. True Detective (2014-2019)
Alexandra Daddario bared it all in the first season of ‘True Detective’ while Woody Harrelson seemed more than happy as he gazed upon her and the scene became one of the most watched and paused moments in television history without a speck of doubt. Although the sex scenes are aplenty, also between the acting stalwarts like Matthew McConaughey and Michelle Monaghan, Ms Daddario steals the show. The first season revolves around two former detective partners Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, with them solving the cases and dealing with their often intervening personal affairs. The first season of this detective thriller show garnered positive reviews from both critics and the audiences.
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11. Tell Me You Love Me (2007)
For the uninitiated, ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ was erstwhile known as “Sexlife”, which tells us a lot more than we’d ever actually watch in the show. To start with, there are four couples who are at different stages in their relationships – the difference being their age. The eldest couple in their 60s are May and Arthur, wherein May is also the therapist for all the other three couples who are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s respectively. The tv show was an overnight hit across the forums with the sex scenes in the news yet again – the writhing naked entwined bodies in various mannerisms could’ve been a sight for the sore eyes back then. Speak or think of a sexual position and you’ll find it in ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ but in a sensual, decent kind of a manner, not in a dirty, obscene way.
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10. Masters of Sex (2013-2016)
No one needs to be elaborated on how detailed this one can be. Not only it is one of the few handfuls of television series with the word “sex” in the title, it also stands by what it means. A biography-based television series, ‘Masters of Sex’ is set in the 50’s and is a narrative of Masters and Johnson, two researchers of human sexuality at Washington University, Missouri, their relationship and everything they share, including and especially “the obvious”. The series was a critical success and has undeniably some of the raunchiest scenes on television, including but not limited to unsimulated sex scenes and bare bodies. However, the nudity and sexuality are more or less in a medical context which could be a turn-off at many points for some audiences.
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9. Black Sails (2014-2017)
Set during an era that is touted to be the “Golden Age” of piracy, ‘Black Sails’ is apparently a historical drama television series depicting fictionalized events of the early 1700s. As with ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ which had a “Black Pearl” as the centre of attraction, ‘Black Sails’ too has a shipwreck called as “Urca de Lima”. The table-tennis that is being played with the treasure landing from one place to another forms the gist of the story. The cast is diversified across many locales and so is the story, which is intense and addictive according to many popular reviews and audiences. The eyebrow-raising factor about the series, however, is the reference to homosexuality, with people frequenting brothels and everyone knows what happens afterwards. Also, few of the scenes are replete with frontal nudity and topless scenes which are nothing but an essential part of the storyline. Yep, the depictions are as thorough as one can imagine them to be.
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8. Entourage (2004-2011)
The show follows the acting career of Vincent Chase, a fictional uber-popular actor and his friends. ‘Entourage’ also features many celebrity guest stars, notably Scarlett Johansson, Martin Scorsese, LeBron James to name a few, who appeared in cameo roles to play a fictionalized version of themselves. Though the show doesn’t show outright nudity neither does it boast of nude scenes as an “asset”, it does has strong sexual innuendos ranging from female frontal nudity and instances of homosexuality with a lot of other subtle and direct references. The language and the spotty substance use merely adds to the fervour, thus making it one of the most intense, adult-only television shows out there.
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7. Shameless (2011-)
A television show (perhaps the only one on this list) which boasts of something it actually is in many of its forms, ‘Shameless’ has also won an equal amount of critical acclaim and accolades for being “original, compelling, and entertaining” throughout. Primarily with an audience among the adult populace, given its TV-MA rating, ‘Shameless’ boasts of an ensemble cast and a very unique storyline, with a run of eight seasons and counting. The premise is that of a dysfunctional family with a drunkard father who has no idea what’s going on, while the eldest of his children take care of the family of herself and her five siblings, where many of them are born out of affairs. Because of the graphic nudity and sex that has been depicted throughout, mostly in all of the episodes, ‘Shameless’ has to be one of the hottest television shows out there. I know some of us are eagerly waiting for the next season to arrive, well apparently, the wait is over.
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6. Rome (2005-2007)
Speaking of a television show which is set in and around the ancient Roman empire, there are a few cliched derivations we can make out of it – like sex, nudity, violence, gore, wars, beefy men, gladiators, etc. ‘Rome’ is an embodiment of all of these, and much more. Set around two historical figures, this fictionalized tv drama went on to become one of the most widely covered and watched of British dramas at the time of its initial release, although it was shut after a two-season run. Vorenus and Pullo are two Roman soldiers who live by the times of the likes of Julius Caesar and Augustus, perhaps the most famous personalities of the era. The sexual and naked references are similar to ‘Spartacus’ – exceedingly vehement and omnipresent.
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5. Girls (2012-2017)
With a plenty of nude scenes which have been discussed over and over, all across the internet, ‘Girls’ is one of those television shows where nudity and sex form the core around which the story revolves. Well, more or less. Primarily, ‘Girls’ is the story of Hannah, a struggling writer who has been disowned by her parents and who has to fight her way out of the “societal” womb, along with her pessimism and her daily struggles. She strives to find new roommates for herself, along with a life. The sexual references are pretty “elaborate” and it is not as if the sex and the nudity are used as fillers, rather, they are there for a purpose. And the purpose is the audiences’ arousal I suppose. With actors like Alison Williams, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet et al, along with Adam Driver, the show has a “lot” to offer.
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4. Vinyl (2016)
Perhaps Olivia Wilde and Juno Temple wouldn’t have done such a show of skin outside of this show than they did in it. ‘Vinyl’ starts as the story of a record executive in the ’70s whose company, “American Century” is in shambles and he has to choose between his profession in rock music, his personal life, and his company and its potential sale to another records company. Story aside, assuming that would be one of the least of the interests (given the title of this list), the nudity is in its rawest possible form, and the nude scenes are of a longer duration than average. More or less, the nudity seldom goes with the flow and is more sensual than ever. At many points in the series, it won’t be an understatement that the nudity and sex are overwhelming.
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3. Westworld (2016-)
Made by Jonathan Nolan, with the involvement of names like J. J. Abrams as Executive Producer, this show is set in a futuristic Wild West-themed amusement park, where the guests (or the visitors) interact with the humanoid hosts and have the original Western experience, with an ability to go about anything fearlessly. The show prominently shows both female and male nudity in the labs of the amusement park as well as inside it. While the nudity and the sexuality are light-years away in the show for most of the time, there is plenty of nudity nonetheless. Scenes depicting orgies, frontal nudity and consensual sex are a common sight throughout the series, but the nudity runs alongside a very viable and gritty storyline. You’ll find yourself immersed in this complex tale where nothing is perfectly real yet nothing is entirely imaginary. A must watch if you haven’t started binging it yet.
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2. Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
A list of “tv shows with maximum nudity” without mentioning ‘Game of Thrones’ would be incomplete. GoT changed the very way we look at nudity as far as television is concerned. This might as well be one of the most widely watched and popular shows in the modern era of cinema along with being one of the most talked about. For many, the signature hot scenes or the nudity or the sexual depictions could be a treat for the sore eyes while for others, a little naughtiness in an otherwise intense storyline would mean loads of fun. And this show is full of “those” worthwhile moments. Featuring some of the most beautiful women of Westeros, the show never falls short on savagery, raw sex and the sensuality it always brought upon with it. And some of those scenes are easier to watch and difficult to forget. Let’s not leave aside the fact that many of these scenes also mark important milestones in the storyline and have proven to be major turning points of the story. “Walk of Shame” or the cosying up between Khaleesi and Jon Snow could be a couple of examples.
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1. Spartacus (2010-2013)
Based on the life and times of the dreaded Thracian Gladiator Spartacus, this fictionalized series depicts a raw yet evolved version of the Thracian slave. Although the show stayed on the air for three seasons, it made its mark on the television with its portrayal of sex, drama, savagery and everything we’ve known to be “Spartan”, like never before. It had become a synonym for full-frontal nude scenes of both female and male characters, a thing mostly unusual in the TV arena even today, along with replete many sex scenes, blood, and gore. Many consider this television show as the champion of nudity in television space, and why not, for even a single episode has never been filmed without substantial nudity. Despite all the pros and cons surrounding the tv show, it has been a recipient of many awards, including nominations for ‘People’s Choice Award’ and ‘Primetime Emmy Awards’. And as they say, the audience is the best judge.
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