Sex Education Season 2 Review

The first season of Sex Education completely caught me off guard. I thought it’d be a light-hearted fun show with some smutty jokes and the odd nice message. It turned out to be one of the most progressive, stylish, funny and emotional seasons of a show I have ever seen. It’s incredibly well written, acted wonderfully and shot beautifully. 

In the days before season 2 I wondered if it was possible for a show to repeat that level of success without the surprise factor the first season had. I suffered that problem with the second season of “You” on Netflix recently, where a degree of the enjoyment was taken away because we’d seen it before and kind of had a feel for where it was going. I can say with certainty Sex Education does not suffer from this.

While this second season does explore some of the same themes as the first, it does so from a different standpoint and once again it continues to explore issues and topics that are just not addressed in schools. Sexuality, Anal cleansing, masturbation, homophobia, and more subjects on top of those are tackled in such a real, no bullshit way that it makes them all feel like something we should all be talking about in a much more open way rather than being the pretty much taboo subjects they tend to be for most people.

I am not saying we should all be sharing details of our sexual exploits, but that when you have a question about the oldest past time in the world, you should be comfortable asking it or bringing up the topic. Sex Education does a great job of shedding light on these topics and that’s one of the reasons I think this is such a progressive show.

I went into the details on the messages and lessons last time I wrote about this show, so I won’t go on about it. What I could go on about for ages though is the frankly stunning style of the show. Its filmed in picturesque parts of Wales, set in an American style high school, with vibrant 80’s fashion and music, with mostly English characters. Those all combine to give Sex Ed a completely unique look and feel, and it’s set in the modern day, with people on mobiles and using laptops so you still buy it as if it’s happening around the corner.

Sex Education takes what made the previous season great and builds on it. There isn’t a lot of new characters this season, but all the ones you bought into in season one is back and each of them has their own story line. The new ones that are there are fit in perfectly with the rest of the cast. Early on in season two I thought there was a few characters who had been relegated to the background, but as the show continues they each have their own stories and their own troubles to overcome, and each time you’re right there with them for the heartbreak or the laughs or the anguish, whatever emotion this particular story is going to evoke.

I went into season two of Sex Education with high expectations and it matched and surpassed them. There are moments in season two that I couldn’t believe were happening, moments that connected with me and made me laugh and threatened to make me cry. I probably would have if I was capable of crying at TV shows or films. Weirdly it just never happens. Except for when I watch Hitch for the first time after a breakup. That shit hit me HARD.

Sex Education is the best television show on TV. I don’t know of anything else that feels as real and evokes as much of a connection to several characters as this show does. It will make you feel everything, the entire gamut of emotions, and it will leave you really wanting to start wearing outrageously striking outfits.

Good: This show.

Bad: You watching anything that isn’t this show.

10/10

 

Sex Education Review

Netflix’s original series’ have been going from strength to strength, and the latest one I sat down to binge through is Sex Education, the Asa Butterfield led series about a 16-year-old boy who has grown up with a sex therapist as his mother. The mysterious cool girl at school convinces him to share the knowledge he has picked up over the years with the rest of his school peers, and make a bit of cash at the same time. 

This odd premise is used as a brilliant framing mechanism for the show which delves into a plethora of topics that teenagers have to deal with in their formative years. Exploring their sexuality and all the uncomfortable moments that brings with it. Handling such important topics in what is first and foremost a comedic show is a very tough task, but one that Sex Educations writers get absolutely perfect.

I don’t recall any show I have ever watched successfully bringing real questions the are directly relatable to the real world in the same way this show does. The show is set in 2019, in the real world and every character we spend any meaningful time with has a story and feels real. Again, the writing for these characters and their arcs through the series is tremendous, and somehow the tone stays consistent throughout the whole show regardless of whether the topic is a picture being spread around the campus or characters losing their virginity.

The great writing goes hand in hand with some great break-out performances, particularly from the main 3 characters. Asa Butterfield as Otis is equal parts socially awkward and quirkily charm. Ncuti Gatwa plays fabulously camp Eric, and I found his characters journey was really interesting as it’s a journey I know nothing of, but I am sure a lot of people my age struggled with the same problems he encounters. For me the star of the show is Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley. Maeve is an odd entity in school, maligned by the cool kids, but too cool for the rest of her peers, the story her character goes on is entertaining, heartbreaking and very real.

That element of the show, how real every situation feels, is what I think Sex Educations special ingredient is. I did not experience all of the shows events in my time as a teenager, but I experienced a few of them, and I think it will be the same for anyone in my generation. For the generation below me, who are currently going through this time in their life, this show brings to light the fact that everyone is in the same boat and dealing with their own problems.

There are not many shows I have watched where I have repeatedly thought “This is brilliant”, but Sex Education is one of them. I have written a lot about the messages and societal issues the show addresses, but it would be remiss of me not to touch on just how funny the show is. It finds the funny side of most situations, and more often than not it times the punchline right, so as not to ruin the moment. Occasionally a few of the jokes fall a little flat, but its got a high success rate compared to jokes in most Netflix shows I have watched.

The one real negative I have on Sex Education is the first episodes placement in the season, the “big issue” (pardon the pun) is a bit too on the nose for the first episode and perhaps could have been swapped out to a later episode, even episode two. The show moves through topics and issues that teens struggle with but are perhaps feel are too taboo to ask the questions that sex educations poses, and it often answers them as well. This is one of the cleverest shows I have seen, and I would recommend it to pretty much everyone over the age of thirteen.

Good: Incredible handling of sensitive topics, brilliant acting, 80s wardrobe, Awesome soundtrack (Old Time Rock and Roll being the highlight for me).

Bad: Some of the first episode is a bit silly.

10/10 – One of the best shows that will come out in 2019.