The new year is finally here, and with it, a whole new array of shows. As most people know, over the last few years Netflix has becoming a behemoth when it comes to the television and film industry. One of their new films, Roma, has just won two Golden Globes and is pre-determined to smash at The Oscars.
Lots of its new shows seem to be larger than life, with a slew of Marvel shows, along with Stranger Things, and their upcoming adaptations on huge cinematic enterprises: Avatar the Last Airbender and The Witcher. Because of all this bigger is better philosophy Netflix seems to be gearing itself toward, I was very pleasantly surprised with its British, Teen show Sex Education.
Sex Education follows a group of teenagers who have just started their own sex clinic for the sexually active students in their high school. The show, so far, has been receiving critical acclaim. Sex Education has an 81 on Metacritic and is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an 88 percent. The consensus says: “Bawdy, heartfelt and surprisingly wise, Sex Education is a raucous romp through a group of teenagers whose sexual misadventures are so thoughtfully rendered, adults could learn a thing or two from them.”
Going into the series, I didn’t really have big expectations. While Netflix can come out with great shows, there’s always an off chance it’s going be one of their duds. But I was pleasantly surprised by this show. The first and foremost thing I noticed about it was the overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Even though I myself am still in high school, it was very reminiscent of the atmosphere we receive at school. I think this is primarily because the creators decided to mix British and American school styles, which I think greatly helped not isolate any viewers, or at least not as many.
One of the strongest features of the show is it’s amazing cast. I’ve always been a fan of Asa Butterfield, but he really hits it out of the park. His great ability to capture the awkwardness and somewhat ignorance of Otis really shines through in his performance, and honestly one of the best of his career.
Gillian Anderson as well does a great job as the sex therapist mother, and delivers some of the funniest lines in the show. Newcomers Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackey aslo bring very good performances to the table, and do a good job of foiling off of Otis’s sexual repression and constant aloofness.
Another thing that I really appreciated was the writing, which I found particularly strong. The show was written/created by Laurie Nunn, that hasn’t done much else besides writing for a few unknown short films. Sex Education is her first big endeavor in television and film, and she does an amazing job of keeping the viewer intrigued. All of the character’s are three dimensional, and very easy to like, and the premise is a perfect mix between funny and awkward. I found myself glued to the screen while watching Sex Education and finished the whole series within 12 hours.
Besides the writing and acting, I have to give some credit to the cinematography and location scouts for the show. The cinematography, while fairly straightforward, has these few creative bursts throughout the show, especially anytime Otis is trying to overcome his fear of sexual stimulation. The show ends with Otis floating to the ceiling, painting a great picture on how he’s feeling in the scene.
The area the show is set in, is a great location and really gives off a small-town feel. The whole town seems to be situated on a hill-side, with the school at the bottom of it. The rustic feel the location gives off makes it much more relatable and nostalgic, while the preppy school, which isn’t relatable to me, was beautiful and a big enough location that makes all this ner-dowelling seem plausible.
For anyone looking for some new content amidst this dry spell in the television season should definitely check out Sex Education. The show is now streaming on Netflix, and a second season has been ordered.
- Hi, my name is Sam Tilbury and I'm a Senior at Gull Lake High School and the entertainment/opinion editor for the school's newspaper. I'm the only student in our grade that's been apart of Newspaper all three years, and I'm very excited to start my final year on staff! I really enjoy writing reviews, and voicing my opinions.