Warning: Possible spoilers ahead!
If you want to watch a coming-of-age series, Netflix has got you covered. This site has a lot to choose from. They have the ’80s sci-fi inspired crowd favorite “Stranger Things,” Archie comics-inspired series like “Riverdale” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” the criminally underrated “On My Block,” the socio-political college satire “Dear White People,” and much, much more.
But out of all of their titles, “Sex Education” is one of the few shows that truly capture the growing pains of being a teenager.
Here’s a quick recap on what the show is about: Otis (Asa Butterfield) was raised by a single mother who happens to be a sex therapist. One day, the opportunity arose for him to team up with the high school misfit Maeve (Emma Mackey), to run an underground sex therapy clinic on campus. It’s about high school students trying to survive their hormone-filled teenage years, except the adults aren’t there to guide them—they fend for themselves instead (like how it is in real life).
“Sex Education” is now on its second season. Although sequels are often a hit or miss, this British, coming-of-age comedy outdid itself with its latest installment. In their debut, they dove into topics like masturbation, teen abortions, and even the anxiety caused by leaked nudes. As for their latest season? Not to spoil anything, but it was even better the second time around.
So if you haven’t fallen in love with this show, let us help you with that. Here are some reasons why we’re watching Netflix’s “Sex Education” (and so should you).
The characters are pretty amazing
What makes the series relatable is its characters. In “Sex Education,” you won’t only fall in love exclusively with Otis’ painful dorkiness or Maeve’s intellectual punk rock badassery—there are a lot of stellar characters in the series.
You might find yourself in Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), an out, loud, religious, and proud young gay man, or Adam, a young bully trying to unlearn toxic masculine standards, while trying to explore his sexuality, or even Lily, an incredibly awkward yet uberly sex-positive band geek. Throughout the series, they try to find out who they are and explore their bodies along the way. And it’s funny, painfully awkward—just like our current teenage years.
It’s set in modern times, but everyone’s wearing ’80s clothes?
Okay, so the show is set in modern-day England…except it looks like America and everyone looks like the off-branded version of The Brat Pack. Why is that? Apparently, the show creators wanted to build a surreal setting inspired by their love of ’80s teen movies. They described “Sex Education” as a comic book world than an American one. And honestly, that’s pretty unique. I’m in.
We love a series with a good soundtrack
With this show’s love for ’80s aesthetic, their love for New Wave tracks doesn’t shock us. It’s actually perfect. They play tracks from When In Rome, Wang Chung, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. They also include tracks from modern artists like Ezra Furman, Spectrum, and Grizzly Bear. All of these choices add to the surreal universe of the show. That, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for its teenage wasteland kind-of-feels.
Young queer people are everywhere (as they should be)
We’d try to explain this part with as little spoilers as possible. The beauty of this show is it doesn’t only normalize sexual health, it also treats sexuality as a spectrum. We have openly gay characters like Eric and closeted bisexuals like Adam.
In their second season, they explore young people dealing with their personal journeys even more. They talk about asexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality. It sees sexuality as something complicated, but not in a way that people can’t openly talk about their own self-discoveries.
They don’t belittle sexual harassment
From leaked nudes to public masturbation, “Sex Education” doesn’t tiptoe around day-to-day sexual harassment people have to deal with. They’ve been around for two seasons. So far, they opened up that this isn’t only a problem women have to deal with—it happens to men too.
They also made it a point that people should report it, instead of letting the incident go unnoticed. With these stories, they teach young people like us that topics like these are hard to talk about. But silence is not what victims need right now. They need allies.
It normalizes teens talking about sex and sexual health
This is the heart of the show. In this series, it calls out sex ed classes in most schools. It often promotes celibacy and uses old fashioned scare tactics. But we see teenagers refuse to use a condom, believe chlamydia is airborne, and other laughable questions. It’s sad that teens have to teach themselves basic FAQs about sexual health. At least, it normalizes talking about sex and breaks stigmas surrounding it that we became accustomed to.
It’s awkward as fuck, and I love it
The beauty of the show is that no one has anything figured out. Sure, it’s not like “Euphoria” or “Skins” where everyone parties their heart out and takes recreational drugs. Here, everyone is quite awkward and clueless about how to deal with life. What’s enjoyable about this show is following their journey into becoming who they want to be. And at the end of the day, isn’t that something we want to figure out too?
Still from “Sex Education”