Rahul is a TV addict who can never get enough of good shows. His all-time favorites are 'The Wire', 'Breaking Bad', and 'The Sopranos.'
What Shows Are Like Sex Education?
The late 1990s and early 2000s were filled with teen shows and movies that highlighted the insatiable sexual appetites of high schoolers and their wild adventures. In recent years, however, there has been a significant shift in this trend. Shows featuring high school students are now less stereotypical and more relatable. Experiences with the opposite sex were more grounded than in previous decades. One great example of the above trend is British comedy Sex Education.
This insightful series features a high school lad named Otis Milburn, who's confused about his sexuality. It is ironic considering the fact that his mother is an expert in this field and has always been open about it. Armed with the knowledge of the birds and the bees, Otis opens his own consulting business where he helps fellow students with their sexual problems.
If you're a fan of this Netflix show and are on the lookout for something similar, you're in luck, as I've compiled for you the best teen comedy/drama shows like Sex Education that'll hook you instantly.
Shows Like Sex Education
- The End of the F***ing World
- Derry Girls
- Big Mouth
- A.P. Bio
- Fresh Meat
- She's Gotta Have It
- Everything Sucks!
- Freaks and Geeks
1. The End of The F***ing World
It is comical that a teenage show was given such an explicit, albeit censored title. The premise of the show is quite outlandish and crazy, as far as British dramas go.
The show portrays what happens when two free-spirited teens meet and are left unsupervised. Jaime, a young adolescent boy, is convinced that he's a psychopath and is looking for his first murder victim. Soon, his sights land on Alyssa, a new student in his school, who's bored of their little town. She proposes running away with Jamie and having a little adventure. What transpires when these two rebellious teens go on a wild escapade makes for a very interesting story.
The comedic elements in this show are pretty dark and dry, definitely not for the faint of heart. Also, there's plenty of swearing and raw emotions that brings authenticity to the characters. It's also fascinating to witness their ever-changing relationship: Jamie first considers Alyssa as just meat for killing but changes his opinion as the show progresses. With such an intriguing plot, it's no wonder the series got a second season.
2. Derry Girls
Perhaps not as popular as most teenage comedy-dramas, Derry Girls has started to pick up some steam in the online streaming community. Officially a British production, the show is actually set in Northern Ireland, a place that seldom receives screen time or media attention. The plot follows four school-going teenage girls and one boy: Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle, and James, as they navigate treacherous high school years in 1990s Northern Ireland. A hearty comedy with some very earnest performances from the young cast makes it a compelling watch.
The most attractive feature about Derry Girls, however, is a strong political background. The show is set in a very turbulent time in Northern Ireland known as 'The Troubles'. A political skirmish had emerged regarding whether Northern Ireland should join with the Republic of Ireland or align with the United Kingdom, which lead to a prolonged and violent series of conflicts. Overall, a very interesting premise for a comedy show.
If you're looking for a provocative show like Sex Education, Derry Girls should be right up your alley.
3. Big Mouth
Another Netflix show that expertly showcases the teenage fascination with sex is the animated show Big Mouth. This series is replete with gross humor, inappropriate jokes, and the most awkward and horrifying sexual encounters possible. Of course, these concepts are shown in such a manner that it'll disgust and amuse you at the same time. One can't help but laugh at the misadventures of the show's central characters as they try to get their bearings as sexual beings.
Thanks to the above themes, the show draws some parallels with Sex Education. Although, the treatment is quite different from the British comedy series. While Sex Education combines comedic elements with some insightful drama, Big Mouth does not show such subtlety. It's raunchy, unapologetic, and a total romp, making it a perfect appetizer while you wait for another season of Sex Education.
4. A.P. Bio
Sex Education featured a young boy who had exceptional knowledge about the birds and the bees, which he shared with his classmates. Now, imagine an adult who is in a similar position of power and yet, instead of imparting knowledge, he botches the opportunity completely. And that's pretty much the plot of A.P. Bio.
A disgruntled Harvard Philosophy professor Jack Griffin loses his job and has to move back to his hometown to teach A.P. Biology at a high school. Jack is definitely not happy with his situation, and instead of teaching the kids, he engages in some shady activities. Corrupting young minds with his crass ideas, the show is a hoot from start to finish. Just to give you a little teaser regarding this show's brilliance, Jack constantly tries to catfish his nemesis at Harvard, much to the dismay of his class.
If you're a fan of some straight-up, balls-to-the-wall humour, this one is for you.
When it comes to teen dramas, Skins is one of the most famous shows in the United Kingdom. Spanning a whopping seven seasons, the series has a never-ending stream of characters that have been divided into "generations". The show primarily focuses on the lifestyle of a bunch of teenagers in the United Kingdom as they hook up, party, do drugs, and engage in various kinds of typical teen behavior.
But behind all the glitz and glamour of high school, the show covers some serious topics such as sexual orientation, family dysfunction, mental illness, eating disorders, and a whole lot more. However, it's hard to narrow down Skins into a genre as there's a great mix of profoundly heartbreaking moments along with some rib-tickling ones. All said and done, the show is guaranteed to keep you occupied for a long time.
6. Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat is one of the more light-hearted shows on this list. What's more, the characters in the series are more mature, as it's set in a college. The plot revolves around a group of young adults move into a shared off-campus college residence. This also means that they're staying away from home for the first time. While there's the sweet taste of freedom, along with it comes responsibility. As this ensemble of lovable characters discovers independence through partying, sex, and generally having a good time, they also grow closer as a group.
With people of both genders living in the same house, one can expect some drama, and the show has a fair share of it. However, it never lets things get too overwhelming, and keeps the premise light and breezy. Another plus is its deadpan humor.
7. She's Gotta Have It
If you're looking for a comedy shows that's ultra-hip and modern, She's Gotta Have It is the one for you. It's set in the United States and explores female sexuality. For those who are tired of always seeing men's side of things, this dramedy is like a breath of fresh air. Plus, you get a strong, bold, and independent girl of a racial minority as a lead, so what's not to like.
Nola Darling is busy exploring her blooming love life in Brooklyn. She's juggling three guys at the same time: a thoughtful man named Jamie, a laid back man named Mars, and a player named Greer. But that's not all; when she gets tired of the men, Nola doesn't hesitate to experiment with women as well.
Of course, just being an option is not good enough for the three men and they fight to make things exclusive with Nola. Hilarity ensues as it becomes clear that exclusive or not, things will happen on her own terms.
The portrayal of women in the show is tasteful, classy, and refreshing. The message of female sexual liberation is highly empowering and yet, the show never preaches it. The major focus is on the humor and the socio-political commentary which adds a nice layer of depth to it all. Don't miss out on this gem.
Lovesick has been lumped into the sitcom category by most critics, but don't let that dishearten you. Beneath all the laughs and the ridiculousness, the show provides a deep commentary about this modern day and age. The tale revolves around Dylan and his two best friends. Dylan is diagnosed with chlamydia and now, he must inform all his previous girlfriends about his predicament. While the plot seems like perfect sitcom material, the show is actually quite deep.
Featuring Dylan's encounters with a new woman in each episode, the series showcases the brilliant character arcs of its central characters. As the title suggests, it also features Dylan and his friends making bad decisions in search of love. Beneath the rib-tickling humor and the portrayal of casual dating culture, this shows aptly shows how to find lasting love in this fast-paced world.
9. Everything Sucks!
Netflix seems to be in sync with the pulse of its audience, as it has been flooding the platform with high school-themed shows. Another fine addition in their repertoire is Everything Sucks! A parody on typical American shows featuring high school, it's a laughter fest from the get-go. But instead of jocks and cheerleaders, the show focuses on A/V club and drama club students. The two groups kind of become rivals, forming gangs of sorts. As you can predict, this leads to some pretty hilarious situations.
While there isn't such a strong emphasis on sex like most shows on this list, Everything Sucks! does cover sexuality and mental health in a broader sense. The best part about this series is that it's a cut and dry parody. It mocks all high school stereotypes, and it does so in a tasteful manner. I mean, the town these kids live in is called Boring and their school is called Boring High School. It's an actual place! Go on, Google it. And once you do, you'll see why it's the perfect setting for this show.
10. Freaks and Geeks
A blast from the past is mandatory when it comes to teen comedy-dramas, and what better show can I recommend than Freaks and Geeks? This show, which originally aired more than two decades ago, is the mother of all teen shows you see today. Even the above mentioned Netflix series, Everything Sucks! takes inspiration from this gem.
The plot follows two siblings Lindsay and Sam. Lindsay is a straight-laced student who is looking for some change in her life. She befriends a group of rebellious students known as the freaks. Sam, on the other hand, hangs out with his two nerdy friends, and their group is known as the geeks. The major plot revolves around these two groups as it chronicles their various shenanigans. The writing in this show is top-notch, with lots of guaranteed laughs. It was also the launchpad for talented A-list Hollywood actors such as James Franco and Seth Rogen.
However, beneath the laughs and the gags, the show also fleshes out the internal conflicts of the main characters in great detail. Lindsay's change in behavior, for example, creates friction with her parents, and eventually with herself. Sam too, being a nerd, is not the most admired guy in high school, and tries his best to survive. Overall, it’s an honest, fun portrayal of one of the most troubling times of one's life.
Other Shows I Should Include
Did I miss out on any good shows like Sex Education? Let me know in the comments section.
© 2019 Rahul Parashar