We’ve talked about TV shows with deaf characters before; being unable to hear, whether it’s partially or completely, is already a daunting situation to be in.
However, the characters in those TV shows persevered and lived life to the fullest in spite of their circumstances.
After all, it’s said that the loss of one sense leads to the remaining senses heightening, and viewers will see this in the deaf characters excelling, for example, in lip reading.
In this list, we shift focus to TV shows with blind characters, which is an entirely different but equally difficult ball game.
In these shows, we can witness and start to appreciate how someone with no sight navigates love, careers, and life in a world of literal darkness.
In the Dark, The CW (2019 – 2022)
The TV show In the Dark centers on Murphy, a young blind woman who works at a guide dog school and enjoys drinking and casual sex.
With the aid of her devoted guide dog Pretzel and a group of oddball friends, Murphy becomes determined to solve the murder of her friend, a guide dog owner.
Along the way, Murphy’s blindness is sensitively and realistically portrayed, highlighting the difficulties she encounters as well as her tenacity and independence.
The show maintains a darkly humorous tone while delving into complex themes like addiction, trauma, and identity.
Blanca, RAI-1 (2021)
The titular Blanca Ferrando in the Italian detective series Blanca lost her sight as a young child, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming of becoming a police officer after an abusive boyfriend killed her sister.
Blanca is undoubtedly a series set apart from the others, if only because of the uncommon skills that the protagonist possesses – which she learned to self-develop after losing her sight.
She now fully embraces this loss and turns it into a gain as a tool she employs to solve crimes, turning to an “analytical listening technique” that enables her to transcribe clues from audio.
Daredevil, Netflix (2015 – 2018) and Daredevil: Born Again, Disney+ (2024)
These two TV shows are based on the same-named superhero appearing in Marvel Comics.
In the first season of Netflix’s Daredevil, viewers were introduced to Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer with enhanced senses who battled crime in Hell’s Kitchen’s streets while dressed in a red suit.
In addition to Matt’s own internal conflicts regarding his faith and identity, the show also explores the complex themes of morality, justice, and heroism.
The Born Again series is a follow-up to the first novel, in which Matt’s life is utterly destroyed by his nemesis Kingpin.
The show follows Matt’s quest for redemption as he struggles with his personal demons and tries to shield those he loves from the Kingpin’s wrath.
Blind Justice, ABC (2005)
In the ABC TV show Blind Justice, Detective Jim Dunbar, who lost his sight in a devastating but inspiring act of bravery while on the job, rejoins the force with the aid of a personal assistant and a specially trained dog.
Despite having a disability, Dunbar continues to look into crimes despite being put on the back burner, overcoming both physical and emotional obstacles.
The show gains humor and depth from Dunbar’s interactions with his personal assistant and guide dog.
The series, despite its brief run, is remembered for its deft handling of disability and its encouraging message of resiliency.
Longstreet, ABC (1971 – 1972)
The TV show Longstreet centers on Mike Longstreet, a private eye who loses his sight following the explosion that claimed his wife.
With the aid of his assistant Nikki and his other senses, which are enhanced by his blindness, Longstreet continues to work as a detective despite his disability.
The program examines themes of loss, adaptation, and the strength of will.
In addition, the series is well-known for its jazz-inspired soundtrack and its guest stars, which have included Bruce Lee and Peter Falk.
Longstreet continues to be a cult favorite and a trailblazer in the way that people with disabilities are portrayed on television.
See, Apple TV+ (2018 – 2022)
A virus has rendered the human race blind in the post-apocalyptic future depicted in the dystopian television series See.
Baba Voss, the main character of the story, is a warrior and tribesman who must defend his people from strong adversaries while surviving in a world without sight.
He shelters and marries a pregnant woman from the mountains.
After learning that they have given birth to twins with the ability to see, Voss’ tribe sets out on a dangerous quest to save the kids against the rival Queen’s army and learn the truth about their abilities.
Covert Affairs, USA Network (2010 – 2014)
In the TV show Covert Affairs, we meet Annie Walker: a young CIA trainee who is unexpectedly promoted to field operative.
Annie must strike a balance between her personal life and her high-stakes missions around the world as she navigates the dangerous world of espionage.
She collaborates with seasoned agents along the way and grows close to her team members, including her blind handler Auggie.
Together, they unearth a vast conspiracy that jeopardizes national security and endangers their lives.
The series is renowned for its exciting episodes, surprising plot turns, and standout cast performances.
Lovers of the Red Sky, SBS TV (2021)
A historical drama series from South Korea called Lovers of the Red Sky is set during the Joseon dynasty.
Hong Chun Gi, a gifted female painter who defies gender stereotypes and becomes the first woman admitted to the royal painting academy, is the protagonist of the story.
Along the way, she develops feelings for Ha Ram, an astrologer who is blind but has the remarkable ability to feel people’s emotions and personalities through touch.
Chun Gi and Ha Ram discover themselves involved in a perilous political plot that jeopardizes both their lives and the stability of the kingdom as they attempt to deal with their feelings for one another.
Love’s in Sight!, Nippon TV (2021)
Ritsu Okazaki is the protagonist of the Japanese romance drama series Love’s in Sight!, which follows her as she pursues her dream of becoming a photographer.
Even though she is legally blind, Ritsu pursues her passion with the support of her loved ones.
She meets prominent photographer Akihito Sudo along the way, who ends up serving as both her mentor and her potential love interest.
Ritsu and Akihito form a strong bond while working together, helping them to overcome obstacles in their relationship like societal prejudices and miscommunications.
Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (1974 – 1979)
A Japanese TV show called Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman chronicles the exploits of the blind masseur and expert swordsman as he roams the countryside in search of adventure and justice.
Despite being blind, Zatoichi has a keen hearing and intuition that enable him to foresee his adversaries’ moves and defend himself with lethal accuracy.
He gets involved in various conflicts along the way and aids those in need, frequently using his sword prowess to defeat his opponents.
As an iconic figure in Japanese popular culture, this charismatic lead character has become well-known.
Stairway to Heaven, SBS TV (2003 – 2004)
Han Jung-suh and Cha Song-joo are the stars of the Korean melodrama TV show Stairway to Heaven, which explores how tragedy and miscommunication put their relationship to the test.
The two were childhood sweethearts. Following their separation due to an accident, Song-joo thinks Jung-suh is dead while she is actually suffering from amnesia and taking on a new identity.
They eventually get back together as adults, but they encounter challenges like Han Yoori’s meddling and Song-joo’s jealous stepsister’s secrets.
As is expected of any good K-drama, the series has heartbreaking scenes, a complicated love triangle, and a significant emphasis on forgiveness and family.
Nico, Televisión Española (2001)
Nico, which is also known as Nicholas when airing in non-Spanish speaking countries, is a Spanish animated series.
The titular character is a young blind boy who is revealed to have progressively lost his sight over the years (though this is later revised to him being blind from birth).
He has moved to a new school, where he begins to make friends with others who are visually impaired – the term used for blind people in general regardless of the severity.
The series is hailed for being educational for children on blindness and portrays the progress of cities in becoming more blind-friendly.
Becker, CBS (1998 – 2004)
Becker is an American sitcom that aired from 1998 to 2004.
The focus of the program is Dr. John Becker, a cranky and opinionated medical professional who runs a small clinic in New York City.
Becker navigates both his personal and professional lives while dealing with the challenges of his job every day with the help of his eccentric staff and a colorful cast of recurring characters. One of which being Jake Malinak, Becker’s best friend who lost his sight in a car crash years ago.
Each episode of the show addresses a different topic, such as relationships or healthcare, and it combines comedy and drama.
Becker has become a beloved classic of American television thanks to its witty writing, solid cast, and balance of heart and humor.
Early Edition, CBS (1996 – 2000)
Early Edition was a drama that aired on CBS from 1996 to 2000.
The series centers on stockbroker Gary Hobson, who one day receives a strange newspaper with future predictions.
With the help of the news of tomorrow, Gary embarks on a mission to avert tragedies and save lives while juggling the complexities of his personal and professional lives.
Gary receives help from his friends and coworkers along the way, including a fellow former stock broker Chuck and a blind former receptionist Marissa.
The show’s unique and captivating premise kept viewers glued to their seats. It combines elements of science fiction and fantasy with the conventional detective drama format.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nickelodeon (2005 – 2008)
Avatar: The Last Airbender is an animated series that aired from 2005 to 2008.
Though it was marketed as a children’s show, the series has also become a favorite and household name among adults (including its spin-off, The Legend of Korra).
The world of the show is one in which some individuals are born with the capacity to control the elements of earth, water, fire, and air.
The narrative centers on Aang, the final living Airbender and the Avatar, a being with the power to control all four elements and bring harmony to the universe.
Aang sets out on a quest to vanquish the evil Fire Nation and put an end to their war against the other nations with the help of his friends Katara, Sokka, and later Toph (the show’s blind character) and Zuko.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, syndication (1987 – 1994)
This list is chock full of cult classics, and Star Trek: The Next Generation is undoubtedly at the top of that list.
The 24th-century drama follows the exploits of the Starship Enterprise-D’s crew as they discover new worlds and interact with alien races.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, a thoughtful and compassionate captain who values diplomacy and intellectual curiosity, is in charge of the crew.
Lieutenant Commander Data, an android who struggles to comprehend humanity, Commander William Riker, the ship’s first officer, Counselor Deanna Troi, an empathic officer who aids the crew in navigating challenging emotional situations, and Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, the chief engineer who has been blind since his birth and uses a VISOR to see, are other notable characters.
All the Light We Cannot See, Netflix (2023)
Last but not least is an upcoming four-part miniseries from Netflix that is set to premiere on November 2nd, 2023.
All the Light We Cannot See is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Anthony Doerr.
The series follows the experiences of two young people during World War II: Werner Pfennig, a German boy forced to fight for the Nazi Regime, and Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a French girl who becomes blind at a young age, as they journey through the horrors and devastation of the war.