Critics have praised Sex Education for its clever balance of hilarious and heartwarming moments. The highly acclaimed Netflix show centres around a 16-year-old boy named Otis who, inspired by the skills he learned from his sex therapist mother and with the help of his new friend/love interest Maeve, decides to set up a sex therapy clinic at school.
This show has been a game changer for women. Whilst the shows’ main character may be a socially awkward teenage boy, it is clear that Sex Education wants to draw attention towards women’s pleasure by putting female characters exploring their sexuality at the forefront. From the two teenagers in their first lesbian relationship to the girl obsessed with writing strange erotic fan fiction, Sex Education shines the light on the female struggle to empower women in the bedroom. It is refreshing to see a show depict this in an educational and emotionally honest way.
Sex Education has been praised for its comprehensive inclusion of LGBT+ storylines. It is obvious that the show’s breakout star is Eric, Otis’ openly gay best friend, played by Ncuti Gatwa. His journey is central to the plot and touches on topics such as cross-dressing, familial acceptance and religion. The show also uses Eric’s storyline to address homophobia and homophobic violence. These topics are handled well. The violence is not exploitative or gratuitous but is used to emphasise the message that whilst our society has become more inclusive, we still have a long way to go. It is also encouraging that Eric is not the only LGBT+ character in the show. From the school athlete with lesbian mothers to a lesbian couple who seek advice from Otis, Sex Education does not present its LGBT+ characters as a group which is inherently ‘other’. The show explores each of the characters’ unique journey in discovering their sexuality whilst at the same time highlighting the fact that there is more to their lives than just sex.
Overall, Sex Education is a must watch. It has a diverse cast, explores stories of young people from all walks of life, and most importantly is educational without preaching. It is chock full of humour whilst also teaching young people how to navigate relationships, and encouraging them to explore their sexualities. Hopefully, this show will inspire more shows to present a similar message, aiming to provide a sexual education for young men and women that is worth listening to.
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