Is 'Sex Education' Worth the Hype? by Izzy Rolfe

Netflix’s breakout hit Sex Education has just been renewed for a second season, and it seems to have been exactly what the platform needed after the controversy they faced surrounding the release of 13 Reasons Why season 2.

Sex Education depicts the coming-of-age story of Otis, who utilises his mother’s expertise as a sex therapist to create a sex clinic for the students at his school, encouraged by the alternatively-styled, Maeve. Dealing with serious and very human themes, this show explores sexuality in a way that is not only refreshing, but comedic and light hearted; it also emphasizes the seriousness of the related issues, such as teenage preganancy and predjudiced opinions of homosexuality.

Maeve’s normalisation of casual sex creates a refreshing portrayal of female sexuality, whilst equally spotlighting the awkwardness of new relationships throughout teenage-hood. Aimee’s exploration of her own body is implemented to normalise female masturbation and encourage everyone to prioritise their own enjoyment of sex. Meanwhile, Eric displays the pain of confidently expressing your identity in an unaccepting society. Whilst giving others guidance, Otis also faces his own issues surrounding sexual trauma and sexual insecurity. The realism of the show is written perfectly, in a way that is both educational and reassuring for its audience - an audience which is predictably suffering with their own anxieties. The series champions acceptance and presents a wider perspective on human understanding and sympathy.

Sex Education goes as far to spotlight the brutality of abortion and the mental exhaustion it brings – and has managed to do this tastefully in just 8 episodes. Instead of overtly suggesting an opinion, the writers give an insight into the thought processes behind both the patient and protester, as well as meeting a woman who has had multiple abortions, allowing the audience to decide what they believe. Especially after our initial impressions of the woman begin subside when we watch her maternal instincts arise as she looks after Maeve and the other patients. The show continues to humanise the woman as she confesses that she is afraid that she is unloved by her children. These scenes display the importance of sharing your view in a fair, non-judgemental way. They also celebrate forgiveness, as one of the religious protesters learns to accept her boyfriend who has had sex before marriage, further displaying how views can adapt as we grow and settle into our beliefs.

This coming-of-age show is not just witty and incredibly funny, but also extremely important for a young audience, or anyone trying to discover themselves. The show represents human imperfection and teaches self-acceptance before you have truly come into yourself. It shows that within the high school frame of petty rumours and malicious gossip, there is unhappiness, and nobody’s life is as 2D or simple as people think – behind every action there is a backstory. Finally a significant series carrying a key message with a well-executed plot has graced our screens.

Everyone I have spoken to has loved Sex Education, and I can see why.


Photos courtesy of Netflix

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