“Look around. Everyone is either thinking about shagging, about to shag, or actually shagging.”
Netflix used the descriptors “raunchy” and “heartfelt” to describe its new, British show Sex Education. And somehow, it manages to be both — sometimes, all at once.
Sex Education centres around Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), an awkward high school student whose mother, played by Gillian Anderson of the X-Files, is a sex therapist. His mother’s lifestyle makes Otis incredibly uncomfortable until he and cool-girl Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) realize they can profit from his insider knowledge.
Eric, portrayed by Ncuti Gatwa, is Otis’ best friend. He quickly goes on to break the token-black-best-friend stereotype, and his character offers extreme depth to the plot, as he struggles to balance his queerness with his West African religious upbringing.
Other standout cast members include Connor Swindells and Amy-Lou Wood, who play quirky couple, Adam and Aimee, respectively.
The aesthetic of the show is that of ‘80s America, despite being set in modern-day England, which is somewhat confusing but is most likely an attempt to give the show more international appeal.
The series is eight episodes long, with the format of a new sex-related problem for Otis and co. to solve in each episode.
Ultimately, the show is akin to Netflix’s Big Mouth in its ability to normalize young sexuality with humour and relatability, while adding an element of sentimentality as the characters find their identities.
Certainly not for the prude (there are plenty of sex scenes and penis shots in episode one, with a full vulva revealed by episode five), Sex Education is the perfect mix of raunch and comedy to remind us sex and sexuality is normal, albeit awkward, anxiety-inducing, and funny.
Coverphoto via IMDB. Edited.