At first glance, "Sex Education" seems like a wannabe 80's themed comedy that highlights teenage angst and obsession over all things sex. The 8-episode British hit show features sixteen-year-old, socially-awkward Otis Milburn who is raised by his sex-therapist mother. He finds interest in quirky and outcast Maeve, which leads to the formation of a sex clinic, where they offer paid sex therapy sessions to fellow students. However, the storyline features many real-world issues and dives deep on the personal impacts these topics have.
1. "Everyone else is doing it."Giphy
We've all been there. The desire to "fit in" and keep up with the latest trends. With the title, "Sex Education," it isn't a surprise that everybody in the show is talking about sex. Throughout each episode, clients go to Otis with a variety of question regarding their own sexuality. Whether they come to him because they are struggling with self-confidence or a lack of connection with their partner, he is everyone's newfound "go-to." We live in a society where we are constantly being compared to other people, and with growing up, there comes the fear of not keeping up with others. The show depicts that fear and shows how high school culture lives and breathes it.
2. Parent-children relationshipsGiphy
The relationships between Eric and his father, Otis and his mother, and Jackson and his mothers show the complexity of parenting and growing up. Eric is extremely confident in his sexuality, and we see the way he portrays himself to others. However, his father, like Adam's, has a strict and strong idea about what it means to be a man. The way the two interact and come together progresses as the story unfolds. With Otis not being the biggest fan of his mother's career choice as a sex-therapist, she struggles with being able to connect with him and understand how and what he is feeling. Contrastingly, Jackson is a competitive swimmer and is unable to escape his mother's constant helicopter that flies over wherever Jackson goes. The pressure that is put on him is shown.
Maeve is the epitome of a real, strong woman. She does not care about what other people think, and she does things her way. She is not only smart and opinionated but she is compassionate and has been through more than the average teenager should. "Sex Education" not only illustrates female sexuality in a positive light, but it goes into gender dynamics. The show dives into the debate over abortion when Maeve makes the choice to get one after being impregnated by her high school hook up. It shows both pro-life and pro-choice perspectives while showing the emotional interaction between Maeve and a middle-aged mother of three.
When Eric gets physically and verbally attacked by two homophobes, we see his confidence level start to diminish. When he starts to conform to society and dress to fit in, his entire personality changes. The show goes into to showing his connection to religion, as his family attends church every weekend when he does not. The scene when Eric goes to church for the first time in a long time is very #tender
When the outbreak of a personal photo erupts throughout the school, the question of "who's photo is this" comes into play. Otis and Maeve work together to find out who the bully and exposer is, and Maeve explains her personal anecdote as to how words can truly impact the way people live.
Whatever your political beliefs, "Sex Education" is a must watch the show. Everyone can relate to it in some way or another. The complex narratives have a seemingly unique twist making this show different than most. Here's to hoping for a season two!