Sex Education is a British comedy-drama created by Laurie Nunn and stars Asa Butterfield (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Emma Mackey (Summit Fever), Ncuti Gatwa (Stonemouth), Connor Swindells (Jamestown) and Kedar Williams-Stirling (Two Graves). Sex Education is about an awkward teenager named Otis who runs a sex clinic in school, following in his mother’s footsteps as she is a sex and relationship therapist. This TV show is important as it is relevant right now. It tackles topics such as being a drag and abortion. One of the biggest messages the TV show has is during the episode where Maeve gets an abortion. I am not ashamed to say that I cried during this episode.
Story and Character
Otis is an interesting character as throughout the show he gives sex advice to fellow students even though he is still a virgin. The season starts with Otis being unable to masturbate as he finds it weird and sexual experiences result in him having panic attacks. This is because it reminds him of his dad cheating on his mother and them arguing. This is an important message for the viewers as many people suffer anxiety and disorders involving physical intimacy.
There is one problem I have with Otis’s story line. This is the love triangle between Otis, Maeve and Ola. For most of the season, Otis in madly in love with Maeve. However, he realizes that she would never love someone like him, so he settles with Ola. At the end of the season, Otis and Ola get together and kiss just as Maeve is about to confess her love for Otis. This annoyed me because most of the season focused on Otis falling in love with Maeve. By having him going out with someone else at the end of the season, it gives them an excuse for a second season. That is the only way I can explain the writers doing that.
Maeve is the smart, bad girl in the show. She is intelligent but doesn’t use her intelligence for herself, as she does other student’s homework in exchange for money, which we later find out is because she lives by herself and is behind on rent. The most beautiful storyline in this show is when Maeve goes to get an abortion. She and two other women support each other through something that is extremely hard. This is another important message the show gets across, which is that no matter how hard something is, if you have friends or family, you can get through anything.
Eric is the openly gay kid at school, but with that comes a lot of bullying. Throughout the season, he is constantly bullied by another character called Adam and is also bullied by others at the school for being outgoing. However, when Eric dresses up as a woman for his birthday, he is let down by his friend and is left by himself. While alone, he was beaten up by a group of homophobes and this affects Eric mentally. He changes the way he dresses and his outlook on life has changed. All his anger comes out and he does lash out at several characters. Eric’s story is relatable to a lot of people these days. The message his character displays is that you should always be yourself even if people are putting you down.
Audience and Tone
The target audience for Sex Education is obviously teenagers. However, many older people can enjoy the show as it can be nostalgic to watch for them. The show’s tone is a mix of comedy and drama, which the show mixes well most of the time.
The acting in Sex Education is extremely good. Asa Butterflied gives a brilliant performance as Otis. Butterfield is a well-known actor and has stared in many movies, so he is an experienced actor; I am not surprised by his acting ability. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the acting ability of Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa. These are two actors who haven’t done a lot of other TV shows but the performance they give in this show will get them more work.
This show sends so many important messages and does so in a funny and dramatic way that gets across to its target audience. If you are looking for another show to binge watch, I can safely say you will be extremely entertained if you choose Sex Education.
© 2019 Calvin Scanlan