Updated: Mar 17, 2021
A teenage boy with a sex therapist mother teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school.
Since I am currently on a re-watch of this show I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to review it as it is one of my favourite shows ever: Sex Education.
If you haven’t seen it and you’re reading this I suggest you go do that right now because this show deserves as large of a spotlight as it can possibly garner. The programme created and mostly written by Laurie Nunn is currently filming its third season with already two seasons streaming on Netflix. The plot largely follows Otis Milburn, a teenage son of a sex therapist, developing and running his own secret sex clinic at school.
Already from the get-go the plot seems wildly original, allowing it to exist as more than another typical Netflix teen drama that has been produced by the streaming service. There are several other characters each written with such delicacy and thought that you can’t help but want a spinoff for every single one of them. I would classify this as euphoria but lighter and with a larger, beating heart. Although some aspects of the story may fall into certain ‘coming of age tropes’ such as the perfect academic all-rounder who’s dealing with the ongoing pressure from his parents (Jackson) and the homophobic bully (Adam) but the actors bring so much humanity to them that these characters are not defined by these tropes but exist as so much more.
The LGBTQ+ representation here is absolutely stunning not only in regard to the relationships formed but the sex education given for LGBTQ+ relationships that I have never seen anywhere in either film or television.
There are several LGBTQ+ characters that span across the two seasons, the main being the constantly hilarious Eric played by Ncuti Gatwa and others such as Anwar (Chaneli Kular), Rahim(Sami Outalbali) and Ruthy (Lily Newmark). There are others aswell but, they don’t grasp a grip on their sexuality from the moment they are introduced and I wouldn’t want to spoil their coming out stories.
There is a slight issue which I take with the show as they employ the ever so repeated ‘Closeted homophobic bully falls in love with the guy he’s been bullying for several years’ as I regard this as the most cliché sub-plot that the show has to offer. However, this show does wonders to make this trope as unique to the show as possible as we get a deeper insight on the emotional turmoil of the homophobic bully rather than him being plot-point for our LGBTQ+ characters to revolve around.
An additional detail that made me put my absolute awe in this show was the social status of Anwar, one of the gay male characters. Now this may be because I haven’t seen a huge amount of teenage high school tv shows but personally I have never seen a gay character being a part of the popular clique within the social jungle of school. He is a part of the ‘Untouchables’ and just the inclusion of the character may not be viewed as hugely progressive, but I appreciated the constant debunking and characterisation of re-used coming-of-age tropes.
Lastly, on why I admire the show to the maximum is the advice that the teen sex-therapist gives to his struggling schoolmates. Although some of the questions he has to tackle such as ‘Why does my c*m taste like Kimchi’ are questions that I don’t think a large demographic would have but, on the whole the advice he gives is realistic and most importantly helpful. The levels of importance that sex education at schools all-around the globe have can vary significantly and I truly love this show for the honesty that it brings to problems that remain hidden or avoided within our society. Especially sexual problems that are specific to LGBTQ+ relationships. An example of this would be Anwar asking Otis about the fear of anal with his boyfriend which I know that is a fear very prevalent within the male population of our community. I didn’t even know what douching was until I watched this show which just further magnifies how important Sex Education is.
I pray that we can spread this aura of openness that this show radiates and that we can be truer to ourselves and others when dealing with such a huge part of human culture which is sex. I will always recommend this to anyone who asks me if they need something to watch on Netflix, but I would be very cautious if you want to watch this with your parents. Both seasons are television excellence, and I cannot wait to binge, cry and gush over the incoming third season.