Laurie Nunn’s Sex Education made conversation around sex very organic and informative right from the pilot episode. This hilarious and dramatic take on the life of horny teenagers, makes us realise just how much of a taboo speaking about sex is. With ‘sex education’ playing a very minor role in the curriculum of schools, the series helps us understand the importance of right knowledge and how much of a a significant role sexual health plays in teen relationships.
Season 1 introduces us to Otis (Asa Butterfield) who is a wallflower trying to understand where he fits in, in a sex-crazed school. His mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) is a sex and intimacy therapist who is quite vocal about sex not only in her speech but also through her rather expressive house decor. This often leads to Otis feeling embarrassed and he becomes averse to even masturbating. As the virgin protagonist of the show, Otis opens up a sex therapy clinic in a dingy bathroom in his high school in an attempt to impress his crush Maeve (Emma Mackey).
Season 1 leaves us with Maeve about to get expelled for running a drug ring at the school but Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) comes to her rescue. Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam (Connor Swindells) have an intimate moment at detention, Ola (Patricia Allison) and Otis kiss and Otis is finally able to masturbate for the first time in his life. Nunn’s characters are beautifully diverse and nuanced right from the beginning and she goes on to explore them one at a time throughout Season 1 and Season 2.
Season 2 comes with Otis’ addiction to masturbation and the failed sexual chemistry between him and Ola. Jean, a fiercely independent woman, struggles with being in a relationship and sabotages it at a point as she prioritises the needs of her son over herself. We are introduced to Eric’s new crush, Rahim (Sami Outalbali), and we witness Eric begin a new chapter with him as Adam is constantly being hot & cold towards him. Maeve and Otis continue with the sex therapy sessions and go through a monumental moment together with Maeve aborting Jackson’s baby.
While we see Otis and Eric’s friendship hitting a few bumps along the way, Otis finally confronts his feelings for Maeve. Maeve deals with her own baggage throughout this season as she recuperates with visits from her brother, mom and half sister. Ola and Lily (Tanya Reynolds) realise that they are a perfect match for each other and they start dating after confronting their real identities. Things start to fall apart a little when Jean visits the school to take a look at the sex education that they offer and eventually becomes a therapist there with her own office.
Season 2 ends with an exciting finale. From a vaginal version of Romeo and Juliet to Adam declaring his feelings for Eric in front of everyone to Otis finally expressing his love for Maeve in a voice note that is later deleted by Maeve’s disabled neighbor, Isaac (George Robinson).
There are some colossal moments from Season 2 that stood out for me – Maureen (Samantha Spiro) and Jean becoming close friends who make each other realise the realities of life; the women’s table with girls from different walks of life who form a connection with each other as they narrate their harassment stories; the bus ride where the girls support Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) when she unable to get on the bus post her incident; and finally, the portrayal of how lovely freedom of speech and expression look on Lily, Eric and Maeve.
And now that you are all caught up, enjoy Season 3 which releases today on Netflix.