Over the years, Netflix has built up quite a niche market for audiences that love something a little saucy and provocative. It’s no wonder its top 10 lists usually seem to include one or more erotically themed movies or shows trending at any given time. Movies like 365 Days became so globally popular for its raunch appeal that it led to two sequels despite the films being notoriously bad and featuring nothing entertaining aside from any excuse to throw in ever-steamier sex scenes. Love them or hate them, sex does still sell and adult entertainment on the streaming service never seems to go out of fashion. That fact was proven again when Netflix added one of its steamiest entrants yet with the titillating and risqué show, Sex/Life.
It centered around a stay-at-home married woman’s saucy fantasies about a past lover who comes back into her life. What followed was an almost ribald foray into episode after episode of smutty scenes that kept many a viewer enthralled. Billed as an unleashing of modern women owning their desires, such offerings on Netflix have sometimes come in for criticism.
Sex/Life was initially a huge success and renewed for a second season. However, some of its antics and storylines seemed to have lost momentum by Season 2 as ratings dropped dramatically, leading the show to be canceled. Nevertheless, the two seasons Netflix does have are fun and naughty for anyone into the kind of sexy drama it plays on. If you’re looking to catch up on it, here’s a cast and character guide for Sex/Life.
Sarah Shahi as Billie Connelly
Billie Connelly was once a psychology Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University but now wiles her days away as a mother of two and the wife of an affluent investment banker. Her boredom leads her to fantasize about the racy life she once shared with her ex-boyfriend, Brad. In flashbacks, we find that she and Brad used to have a steamy and passionate sex life. Despite her husband being wealthy and good-looking, their own sex life doesn’t quite live up to the excitement Billie craves to relive.
This causes her to question her seemingly idyllic life. She writes detailed journal entires about her past sex life with Brad and her husband finds and reads them. Meanwhile, Brad comes back into the picture and this kicks off a steamy triangle between Billie, her husband Cooper, and Brad. Billie is played by Sarah Shahi, an Iranian-American actress and former model. She’s made appearances in films like Rush Hour 3 and more recently the blockbuster DC film, Black Adam. Shahi is also well known for her recurring roles on The L-Word and Person of Interest.
Mike Vogel as Cooper Connelly
Cooper Connelly is Billie’s wealthy husband who seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, success, good looks, the dream house, and two beautiful kids. However, unknown to him at first, his wife is secretly fantasizing about another man. When he finds out through her journal, he becomes obsessed with checking out his competition and a lot of marital friction ensues.
Despite it being Billie who gets racy ideas first, Cooper soon proves that he’s not so innocent himself, but ultimately does love his wife and family. Cooper is played by Mike Vogel, a successful actor who’s been in films like 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more recently, Fantasy Island. Vogel is also a former model and has starred in popular shows like Pan Am and Bates Motel.
Adam Demos as Brad Simon
The third side of the show’s love triangle, Brad Simon is Billie’s ex and the object of her lust. The pair met while she was still in college and began a steamy relationship that mostly centered around sex and lust but later did grow into love. Brad, however, had an estranged relationship with his father and other demons that causes him to push Billie away which is why they break up. However, he’s already shown her how amazing physical intimacy can be, and the pair eventually meet again.
Brad is portrayed by Adam Demos. Demos is an Australian actor who is best known for his role as Brad. However, he does have some other notable appearances such as a recurring role in seasons three and four of Unreal and the main role in two original Netflix films, Falling Inn Love and A Perfect Pairing.
Margaret Odette as Sasha Snow
Sasha Snow is Billie’s best friend. A psychology professor, she’s living her best life and enjoying not being tied down. She does her best to advise Billie on how to be happy, but complications arise when Billie runs into Brad at her place and finds out the pair are in a no-strings relationship. Despite Billie and Brad’s past and her recent fantasies about him, Billie doesn’t hold their relationship against Sasha.
She knows Sasha well enough to know that she’s not interested in an actual romantic relationship with Brad. However, now that Brad and Billie have met again, this provides the template for all the drama to come. Sasha is played by Margaret Odette. Odette is an up-and-coming actress who’s made minor appearances in films like Jason Sudeikis’s Sleeping with Other People and shows like Elementary.
Cleo Anthony as Kam
A key player in Season 2, Kam is Sasha’s ex-fiance from over a decade ago. The pair never worked out, but she still has a soft spot for him. Not only is Kam now a medical doctor, but he also uses his powers for good since he runs an international non-profit organization.
Sasha has always maintained that marriage isn’t for her and she enjoys living the single life. However, when she runs into Kam again unexpectedly, we learn that he was actually the love of her life and she was once meant to marry him. Kam is played by Cleo Anthony. Anthony is an actor who has appeared on shows like Extant and was a regular on Roswell, New Mexico.
Darius Homayoun as Majid
By Season 2 of the show, things change again. Despite Billie and Cooper trying their best to make their marriage work amid each of their infractions, it becomes pretty obvious that the show is more concerned with sexy people and raunchy scenes than any actual romantic angles.
Majid enters as a new character and becomes a new love interest for Billie, even after all the problems in her life and marriage that her romps with Brad cause. The character is played by Darius Homayoun, an actor with Iranian roots who’s appeared in some great shows such as Succession and Tehran.
Meghan Heffern as Caroline
Caroline is a member of the wealthy wives from the show whose life is seemingly picture-perfect. As a stereotypical mom from the burbs in Season 1, we soon see that she actually has secrets of her own and isn’t as perfect as she seems. In fact, she may have been more inspired by Billie than she initially lets on.
Caroline is aptly played by Meghan Heffern. Heffern is a Canadian actress who has been around the acting scene for close to two decades now. She’s appeared in films like The Fog and enjoyed a main role on the Canadian show, How to Buy a Baby.
Jonathan Sadowski as Devon
If you haven’t guessed by now, Sex/Life was a show that wasn’t too interested in trying to be an enthralling drama. If anything, one of its downfalls was that it was very obviously and singularly obsessed with sex. As a result, it often tried to subvert expectations and characters to make them as deliberately provocative as possible. A prime example of this was its full-frontal male nudity. In Season 1, Brad’s character has one of these shocking scenes while, in Season 2, Devon, a colleague and friend of Cooper, proudly shows himself off too.
The problem, despite both men appearing to be enormously blessed, it’s been revealed that prosthetics were actually used to enhance these scenes to almost ridiculous levels. This kind of deliberate shock value is also integrated into every possible angle of the show such as Devon also being a swinger. Devon was played by Jonathan Sadowski, an actor known for the show, Young & Hungry. Sadowski brought a fun angle to Devon’s character, even if he never actually brought his true self to ‘bare.’
While these overt sexual angles tie into the show’s provocative nature, unfortunately, its over-reliance on shock value seems to have also contributed to its downfall. Sarah Shahi herself interestingly foreshadowed her own demise with Netflix when she called out the show and the streaming giant for being “gimmicky” shortly before it was canceled.
“In Season 2, I felt like there were more moments that felt very gimmicky. Those kinds of things for me are always really hard to read… But I didn’t have to do them. The boys did. There were other things that I just felt I couldn’t get behind, and it was just challenging. But that’s part of what I do! I’m not always gonna get along or agree with a filmmaker. I’m not always gonna like what I have to do or say. But that’s my job, to make it believable.”
Amber Goldfarb as Trina
If Devon was an intriguing character for his raunchiness, his wife Trina didn’t disappoint either. As a swinger too, Trina reveals that she isn’t happy with her married life either. According to the show’s creator Stacy Rukeyser, characters like Trina seek to answer whether women can have it all, the perfect domestic life, while still having excitement too.
Unfortunately, characters like Trina also cause the show to detract from its own ideals by including storylines in it that perpetuate the opinion that married women should either accept their family lives and be doomed to boredom, or rush out and explore provocative fun at the cost of more unhappiness at home. Trina is played by Amber Goldfarb, a Canadian actress whose known for roles in films like Vicious Fun and video games like the Assassins’s Creed franchise.
Li Jun Li as Francesca
One thing that the show never fails to try and deliver on is empowered female characters, or at least ones who take their empowerment into their own hands. Francesca is Cooper’s boss and a strong character who knows what she wants out of life. Unfortunately for Billie and Cooper’s already suspect marriage, one of the things Francesca wants is Cooper himself.
Francesca is played by the talented actress, Li Jun Li. An American actress with a Chinese heritage, she’s known for her recurring role in Quantico and for being a part of the main cast of The Exorcist.
Hannah Galway as Emily
Emily is another character who throws some spanners into Billie and Cooper’s lives. She’s Cooper’s ex-girlfriend from before he was married. We first see her in flashbacks during Season 1 that show they were still friends after breaking up, Cooper even attending her wedding.
Emily pops up again in Season 2, however, this time she’s very much in Cooper’s present. Emily was portrayed by Hannah Galway. Galway is still an up-and-coming actress but has made an appearance in the documentary film, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie.
Wallis Day as Gigi
Season 1 of the show seemed to be heading in a direction where Billie chooses her family and marriage over her passion for Brad. However, the season then has a surprise ending that makes everything it was building up to seem to be in doubt all over again. Season two’s ending proved it never contemplated cancelation at that point. The second season introduces more intrigue into the show in the form of Gigi.
Gigi is Brad’s new girlfriend. If that’s not enough of a roadblock for his and Billie’s continued lust for each other, Gigi is also pregnant with his child. She’s played by actress, Wallis Day, who become a part of DC’s wider universe with main and recurring roles on Krypton and Batwoman, respectively.
Dylan Bruce as Spencer
While Cooper may be a typical locker room jock and a man for the ladies, his brother Spencer is gay and proud. The pair also prove they have good genes since Spencer is also successful, though, unlike Cooper, he’s a divorce lawyer, not an investment banker. Also unlike Cooper, Spencer is a happily married man.
Spencer was portrayed by Dylan Bruce who is very accomplished as a TV actor. If you think he looks familiar, that’s probably because he’s had one of the main roles in the hit show, Orphan Black, and has also had a recurring role in Arrow.
Craig Bierko as Mick
Mick is a character in Season 2 who is close to Sasha since he’s her Gucci-wearing agent. He does his best to elevate her career to the next level, while she winds up reconnecting with Kam in the process. Mick was played by Craig Bierko, an American actor and singer who hails from New York. Bierko is a recognizable face and a prolific TV actor who has had recurring roles on hit shows like Boston Legal.
So, there we are, these are the main characters and the people who portray them from the two seasons of Netflix’s Sex/Life. While the show has certainly enjoyed its days of immense popularity, it’s also suffered from trying to place raunchiness above all else and that’s perhaps showed in its ratings. If you haven’t seen it and would like to catch up, there’s no time like the present. Fair warning though, if you enjoy sexy shows that are tasteful, this one can be a little more on the extreme side.
If you’re looking for a show that prioritizes a good story, great acting, and authentic character development, you may not find yourself loving the show. However, if you just like some naughty appeal and a sexy, fun, and provocative show that doesn’t try to inhibit itself, Sex/Life may just be the show you’ve been after. Just remember not to get too attached to the characters. After all, there isn’t going to be a third season.