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A Closer Look at Netflix’s Sex Education

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A Closer Look at Netflix’s Sex Education

Stream Sex Education on Netflix.

Stream Sex Education on Netflix.

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Stream Sex Education on Netflix.

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Stream Sex Education on Netflix.

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*N.B. There are spoilers; tread with caution.

 

A provocative name for a provocative show, Sex Education is a British comedy-drama that follows the life of Otis Milburn, played by Asa Butterfield, as he navigates the teenage terrain. His worldview is unlike most: Raised by a mother who is a sex and relationship therapist, he somehow manages to know both too much and too little about reproduction. Sure, he can identify the paraurethral glands, but he flinches when touching a condom in class. And yet, peers flock to him for consulting on their own relationships, leading him to start his own clinic. The irony of Otis—a lanky and never-been-kissed boy giving sex and relationship advice—is hilarious. He navigates others’ issues with ease, but, when it comes to himself, anxiety tumbles into his psyche and he becomes tongue tied.

 

His business partner, the lioness Maeve, is not the archetypal emo/alternative teenager. While she shares the usual dyed hair, grunge fashion, and obscure music taste, her sense of self efficacy is uncommon. Able to recognize that she is smart and not a child of her circumstance, she gains hope after taking the fall for her brother, realizing that she is not destined to become her parents. But, because of the situation, she is different and does not care, and that is what we all ought to emulate—living as our truest selves.

 

Of all the characters, Eric is the epitome of channeling this true self. Though he is the rather stereotypical gay, Eric is proud of it, and kudos to him for that. Since he—along with other characters—is a minority of a minority, the cast has unprecedented diversity: multiple same-sex relationships, characters of many ethnic backgrounds, etc. It was refreshing to watch a show that was not blanketed with Caucasian faces.

 

And then we have Lily. Quirky, forward, and able to pull off outfits you’d only wear in your dreams, she is blunt and shatters the notion that women are too delicate to have desires. The world needs more outspoken beings like herself and the rest of the cast. They all want to fix their problems instead of assuming that everything is okay. I applaud them for that. Take notes, society.

 

All of these characters act as the building blocks of Mooredale, the erudite institution of Sex Education. Akin to every other high school-focused tv show, the plot maintains the usual ecosystem depicted in televised schooling; however, Sex Education differs from most in that it correctly reflects the tumultuous and taboo journey of discovering sexual identity. As the students learn more and more about what they wish to do, with both themselves and others, they soon realize that they cannot achieve this because they lack sexual education. The majority of their knowledge has been acquired through friends or the internet, just like most teens today. Sometimes, there would be a touch of familial, religious, or academic influence, but those sources taught minimal information and resulted in situations similarly to Maeve’s misidentification of the female anatomy. Her situation mirrors a wider population: Women fear their own bodies. Aimee was afraid to explore herself, as if she believed there was something wrong with the human body, the most natural thing of all.

 

I commend creator Laurie Nunn for conveying what needs to be said on a more lighthearted level. It breaks taboos without making the general population uncomfortable. Slap on a pair of sweatpants and get to streaming Sex Education. Before you know it, you will have devoured all eight episodes, waiting for more.

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About the Contributors
Taylor Rohleen, Editor-in-Chief

Student Body President. Captain of the Swim Team. FJCL Vice President. Dancing Queen.

Faith Madsen, Staff

Freshman. Probably drinking coffee and laughing. Soccer player.

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