Sex Education: The Naked Truth

You’ll have to excuse the awful pun but lets get to the nitty and gritty.

Sex Education is Netflix’s new eight- part series about a socially awkward teenager who bonds with a fellow outcast as they help their fellow sixth form students with all their sex problems. It is the most honest coming-of-age series I have watched in a long time. The shows depiction of modern- day issues, representation of diversities and relationships is refreshing and leaves viewers with a newfound knowledge and understanding. I also have now decided I want a house as big and as beautiful as Otis’, I mean seriously that house is amazing.

The shows diversity is the piece of television that the world needed. We have a black gay male character, asexuality, bisexuality, feminism, an Asian lesbian and interracial relationships. These are just some of the minorities featured and Sex Education perfectly puts across the message that we are all different and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Asa Butterfield’s portrayal of loveable Otis takes you on a journey. I found myself supporting Otis in every possible way even if it was him masturbating for the first time. His socially awkward personality and his unlucky ways make him your new guilty pleasure. All you want to do is take him under your wing and protect him. Like the little brother you never knew you needed.

By his side is best friend Eric who is both a demon and an angel on the shoulders of Otis. Eric deals with some of the struggles that the LGBTQ+ community face everyday including homophobia and isolation from his family. Watching Eric struggle with his emotional trauma really drove home the message that homophobic violence is alarmingly more common than we realise.

As much as I love the friendship between Otis and Eric, Emma Mackey’s character Maeve is actually the one who gives us the sex education we all needed. Maeve’s abortion is one of the more sensitive topics the show tackles and highlights the truth of teenage abortion. Watching this vulnerable, young girl stripped of her armour (arguably her armour is facial piercings and make up) and go through her abortion alone is uncomfortable viewing but is something we all need to see.

Some of her scenes prove to be the most poignant and emotional as we see her character’s troubled life despite her ‘IDGAF’ attitude. Maeve struggles with loneliness, teenage pregnancy, slut- shaming and financial issues. All of these are issues in our society today and need to be addressed more. Despite her problems, Maeve is someone every girl should aspire to be; she is shameless, confident and independent and with all the negativity surrounding how society thinks women should behave, I think we all need to be a bit more like Maeve.

Last but not least there’s Jean and her fabulous hair. She’s cool, she’s relaxed and has a modern outlook on all things taboo. Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield’s on-screen mother- son relationship is raw, honest and relatable. Every teenager knows the struggles of keeping your mum out of your room and to some degree, out of your life. Anderson perfectly captures the role of the nosey mother who wants to be there for her son but isn’t sure how to go about it. The scenes between Jean and Otis were all too funny because they were all too real.

One thing I found confusing however, despite the series being set in England, why is the sixth form set like an American high school? The sixth form has its own swing band, a swimming pool, the athletes all wear varsity jackets and have lockers. I know from my own experience of attending sixth form in England that this is not the case. Whether this is just the producers ways of making the show appealing in America is unclear but this aspect is very misleading.

I was doubtful at first and believed it to be nothing more than the next Netflix craze that would die down after a few weeks. But once you get past the fact that the kid from Merlin is swearing and masturbating on your screens, Sex Education proves itself to be addictive and actually a very heartwarming show. If you love all things teenage angst, watch Sex Education I promise you won’t regret it.

 Laura Williams.

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