Wednesday, 30 January 2019

4 Reasons to Watch: Sex Education

Looking for something new to binge? I gotcha.


T I T L E:                                                    Sex Education
C R E A T E D   B Y:                                Laurie Nunn
S T A R R I N G:                                       Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson & Ncuti Gatwa
Y E A R:                                                    2018
G E N R E:                                                Teen Drama, Comedy, British
C E R T I F I C A T E:                              18
E P I S O D E   L E N G T H:                  50 minutes
N E T F L I X   S U M M A R Y:             Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice,
                                                                   thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school
                                                                   sex-therapy clinic.


The Character Development. 
Sick of seeing the same old character tropes like the 'cool' girl with no substance, or a lack of representation? Not in Sex Education. Your protagonist, Otis, is a sweet young guy uncomfortable with his own body. His best friend, Eric, is a vibrant black gay guy with plenty to battle at home – definitely not just there to tick boxes, Eric's development made him my favourite character in the series. Then, while love interest Maeve may look like your typical pixie dream gal, she's got plenty more going on in her past and present. Watching this diverse array of characters tackle their many obstacles, in depth, makes this ensemble quite possibly the most outstanding in any series I've seen for a long time. Basically, it's different and IT'S GR8.

The Cast.
Gillian Anderson is just brilliant as Otis's wacky sex therapist mother, but Ncuti Gatwa as Eric really made the show for me. In the first episode I found him a bit irritating and figured he'd be just another eccentric gay best friend – ticking boxes and just there for the laughs – but boy was I wrong. Eric is complex and completely endearing, and Ncuti's performance is bang on the money, bringing the vibrant and heartfelt Eric to life.

The Mish-Mashed Setting / Aesthetic.
To reach American audiences, the creators have managed an artistic blend of the American 70s school setting – bright yellow lockers and letterman jackets – and mashed it with the sharp wit and blunt crudeness that is British character and humour. It's oddly striking in the first episode as you attempt to work out where you are, but after that, it becomes another endearing element and gives the whole series a vibrant almost dreamy aesthetic.

Themes and Subplots.
As you can gather from its diverse characters, the themes and subplots are just as refreshing. The show is full of positive representations and complex comprehension of narratives normally unseen or negatively depicted; from numerous men crying, a supportive black family dynamic, understanding sexuality, abortion, female masturbation, THE LIST GOES ON. These are a diverse array of topics and experiences we should just expect to see on TV in 2019, given we're all sick of seeing the same white, toxic, male narratives. That said, it's worth shouting about how Netflix is definitely giving us something more authentic and powerful. Hopefully more creators will catch on because it's that complexity and diversity which makes for an engaging watch.

Still on the fence? Have a watch of the trailer:

Will you be watching Sex Education?

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