I first watched this Netflix series when it was originally released back in January of 2019 but never got around to actually writing up a review for it. With season two literally around the corner (available on Netflix from 17th Jan) I figured now was a perfect time for a full re-watch and review.
Sex Education follows socially, and sexually, awkward teenager, Otis (Asa Butterfield), son of renowned sex therapist Jean Milburn, as he attempts to navigate Sixth Form and his number of sexual insecurities, helped (or hindered) by his best friend, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) who is openly gay but comes from a rather conservative family.
Otis’ plan is turned upside down when he meets Maeve, played by Margot Robbie lookalike Emma Mackey, the school ‘rebel’ whose tough devil-may-care attitude hides the bright, kind hearted girl underneath. During an incident involving the school bully, and headmaster’s son, Adam (Connor Swindells), Maeve sees an business opportunity and persuades Otis to start a sex clinic. After all, if anyone needs advice, surely it’s a group of inexperienced but sexually curious teenagers.
There isn’t really much of the over the top sexualisation that you often get in ‘gross out’ movies (American Pie for example) but instead it takes a realistic, if a little rose-tinted, look at serious issues that can affect many young people, including overbearing, intrusive or absent parents, divorce, abortion, peer pressure and sexual exploration, orientation and identity.
What surprised me the most about this series is that, whilst it is a comedy at its core, it has an immense amount of heart throughout and you really start to feel for, and connect with, the characters. It had me laughing and crying in almost equal measure.
Although the show is set in England, with some great little British nods – Butlins and Rainbow Drops to name just a couple – there is enough Americanisation to ensure that it also appeals to those across the pond.
This is a brilliantly written, thoroughly entertaining watch and at just eight episodes, with less than an hour runtime each, perfect for a binge watch.
Season 2 available on Netflix from January 17th 2020.