Sex Education - Review
Cast - Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, Aimee Lou Wood
Directed By - Laurie Nunn
Genre - Comedy, Drama
The new web series from Netflix talks about the turbulent teenage years where sex is compulsory and being a virgin is a crime. Everybody wants to get laid and be ahead in this "race". But sex is easier seen than done. It is nothing like those adult movies which have lead to wrong expectations among the young minds. In this real problematic times, you need someone to guide you through the process and help you understand this pleasurable curiosity.
Enter Otis (Asa Butterfield), an awkward high school student who prefers to be in the corner and his gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), a cool guy to hang out with who pushes Otis to do things he wouldn't normally do. Then there is Maeve (Emma Mackey), who is a rare combination of beauty with brains having coloured hair and carefree attitude. Her looks remind you of Margot Robbie or is it just me? After an incident in a washroom, Maeve comes up with an idea of starting a clinic with Otis where he would advise other students to help them perform in bed. Maeve decides to keep track of appointment and the cash.
What makes Sex Education a bit different from other teen dramas is the maturity in the tone here. An "adult" version of American Pie with some general cliched scenes from rom-coms. It checks all the boxes of a typical teen adult film including a complicated romance and a school dance (because, why not). The dance part always makes the characters conscious about there true love.
Every character here represents every person you may have encountered during your school days. Each of them reflects every other individual's guilty pleasure and awkwardness. You may recognise yourself with one of the characters in the series. All the actors do a fantastic job of taking us back to our difficult school days.
However, the main hero here is Eric's dad who is easily the "father of the year". More characters like him are needed in every family to support the independent choice of the children.
Thankfully, the show is not only about sex as it takes time to talk about other serious issues like LGBTQ, family pressure and maintaining one's image in front of the others. Adam (Connor Swindells) is looked down by his father Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie), the headmaster of Moordale Secondary School, who finds him unworthy of anything. Adam, on the other hand, has a personality and a name to live up to. The constant pressure and the breakup with his girlfriend make him disconnected from the other students around him. Mr Groff turns to Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and finds a son he never had. Jackson is a swimming champion and the head boy of the school who is pressurised by his mother to excel, and she keeps him pushing towards perfection. As a result, he starts taking anti-depressants and finds relief around Maeve. The grass is not always green on the other side.
The show uses dutch angle shots during some key moments. The scenes involving Otis wanking himself are filmed like an intoxicating fairy tale.
Sex Education makes up for an essential watch for both the adults and teenagers. It's binge-worthy eight episodes make up for an entertaining as well as an educational watch. Although the second season has a good chance of getting monotonous given the way this one ends so let's hope Otis and the gang keep it running.
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© 2019 Vikas Yadav