Class is in session. Today’s topic: ‘Sex Education’
Have you ever wanted to relive the comedies and tragedies of being a hormonal 16-year-old? Well if that sounds inviting to you, be sure to enroll in Netflix’s new series Sex Education. The British comedy series debuted earlier this year and is filled with all the awkwardness and sexual awakenings everyone misses from high school.
Starring breakout talent Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackey, Sex Education tells the tale of an underground sex therapy business ran by unlikely friends Otis Milburn (Butterfield) and Maeve Wiley (Mackey). Growing up with a sex therapist for a mother and constant invasive discussion about his own sexual habits, Otis capitalizes on his knowledge of the subject when Mauve discovers that students at their high school are willing to pay for advice on all their taboo sex wonders and problems.
With the opening of each episode, the viewer is presented with a rather comedic sexual scene between two frisky teens that Otis eventually resolves later in the episode. From failed finishes to first-time stage fright, viewers can expect to see a level of raunchiness they’ve probably never seen before. Scenes that would otherwise be off-putting and distracting to a plot, Sex Education’s comedic undertones make the NSFW moments fit seamlessly into the story and hilarious to watch.
The complexity of the characters, both main and supporting, add great depth to the show. The main protagonist Otis is the self-proclaimed “sex-pert” at his school, but can’t fathom himself in a sexual experience without wanting to vomit. Eric (Gatwa), best friend to Otis, is a self-confident gay teen but struggles with his true self-expression due to his strict religious family. Then there’s Adam (Connor Swindells), son of the school’s headmaster and notoriously known for his…”size.” However, his constant bullying of Eric seems rather peculiar and perhaps means something.
While this series focuses on all things sex, from virginity and homosexuality to cheating and commitment issues, perhaps the main focus of the Netflix original is relationships in general. Whether platonic or not, forming and maintaining relationships is a skill that takes honing; now add in the confusions and stressors of sexual high schoolers.
After just a few episodes in, viewers will see how the different dynamics between characters grow and dwindle as sexuality in some form is the catalyst for these changes. What happens when an overbearing mother who only knows the science of sex discovers her son’s struggles with masturbating? What if the person who’s been bullying the feminine gay student isn’t secure with his own sexuality to begin with?
Although just a small first season with only eight episodes, every character ends the season completely different than how they began. Some grew more comfortable in their own skin, while others got themselves in even stickier situations.
The series success on opening up conversations on sexuality and identity has made it a favorite amounts Netflix users.
“A lot of old ideology concerning sex, gender and identity is currently being challenged and updated, so it feels like a great moment to explore different perspectives through a TV show,” series creator Laurie Nunn told The Hollywood Reporter.
Although no release date has been set, Netflix announced on February 1 that there will be a second season.