“Sex Education” is the witty British comedy that took Netflix by storm in the new year. A series that considers the uncomfortable side to growing up, from puberty to popularity, in a light and uplifting way that will both warm your heart and have your sides sore from laughing!
At the centre of the show are the teenagers and their sexual experiences, embarrassments and achievements. Exploring virginity to sexuality, to abortion and revenge porn. The 8-part series created by Laurie Nunn covered topics that many other shows wouldn’t dare do, with care and humour.
The leading role is sexually ambivalent 16-year-old Otis Millburn, portrayed by Asa Butterfield, who is overshadowed by his energetic and unafraid, sex positive mum, a sex therapist, played by Gillian Anderson. Mother Jean Millburn is daring in sexual openness with her son, defying the stereotype of an awkward mum out of touch of reality. Her knowledge of sex and relationships are bestowed onto Otis, who goes on to become the high school sex therapist. His youthful yet mature discussions on teenaged sex and relationships are relatable and elevating.
Friends of Otis, and key characters, are eccentric and flamboyant best friend, Eric, played by Ncuti Gatwa and rebellious outsider, Maeve Wiley played by Emma Mackey.
Eric, the humorous and lovable best friend of Otis, comes from a religious African family. He has an interesting journey throughout the series, learning to embrace both his African heritage and his sexuality that defies his family. A journey that addresses the severeity of homophobia, and a in particular, a challenging relationship with his father who is fearful of the homphobic world his son is growing up in.
Maeve, on the outskirts of popularity, is quick witted and vastly intelligent despite a difficult upbringing, as shown by her living alone in a caravan park. She quick becomes a figure of female empowerment in a school of female competitiveness. Throughout she continually helps girls, instead of bringing other girls down, including the girl who started malicious rumours about her years before. Maeve, from her style to her sass, being always authentically herself makes her the spirit of the show.
With so much teenage angst, at the root of relationships is the innocent fruitarian of unlikely pairing of Otis and Maeve when they set up their own sex therapy classes. What unfolds is a love triangle between Otis, Maeve and Maeve’s boyfriend, head-boy, Jackson played by Kedar Williams-Stirling at the heart showing the complexity of feelings and young relationships.
What Sex Education achieves is more than just a discussion about sex, but about family, friends, love, rivalry and jealously, about growing up, making mistakes and owning who you are.
If you missed all the hype, binge watch on Netflix now, https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80197526