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Sex Education Series 2 review

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Brimming with hilarious one-liners (‘Wash your hands you detty pig’ will forever be written on toilet doors) and packed with innuendos, the return of Sex Education has proven it to be a Netflix teen drama like no other. Following the tradition set by American cult classics such as The Breakfast Club, its success can owe a lot to its authentic portrayal of life as a British adolescent as well as the obvious scenes of a sexual nature the characters find themselves in. Fully aware of its popularity, I tend to avoid shows with settings like this, due to their tendency to be slightly cliched. Well, considering the subject matter and potentially cringe-worthy scenes, this comes as a refreshing surprise in the dark times we live in. Following on from last series, main character Otis faces both personal and professional struggles, as the sex clinic ran by himself and fellow student Maeve faces the risk of being discovered by Moordale High principal Mr Groff. As we know, sex therapy is the driving force of the show, but, despite the implications of its title, the light comedic tone does not cross the line between serious and overly crude. To start with, Otis’ sex therapist mum Jean become installed in the high school, naturally becoming an uncomfortable situation for her son due to her association as ‘Courgette Lady’. Otis doesn’t exactly start off on good footing, having an erection problem and finding himself torn between new girlfriend/ potential step-sister Ola and sex clinic colleague Maeve, who’s already having a tough time when her mother, an ex-drug addict, comes back into her life…
What this show deals with so well, besides the sensitive handling of sex, is its portrayal of situations that still exist in society today, which other shows might dismiss or handle in the wrong way (Warning: Don’t read past here if you haven’t seen series one for potential spoilers). A touching example includes the loveable Aimee’s experience of sexual assault on her bus journey, which leaves her traumatised throughout most of the series and living in fear of it happening again. The fact that she struggles to face this and lets it fester was utterly tragic to see, leading up to a poignant moment of female solidarity with her fellow students. We also see integral character developments occur, mostly with the character of school bully Adam, who revealed a completely different side to his tough mean exterior after the unexpected scene with bully victim Eric in detention. Love them or hate them, we witness these characters in their good bad and ugly-and despite the idyllic sunny setting of the show, many scenes can prove to be warts and all when its gets intimate. One thing that will frustrate you though – never wanting to hit a guy in a wheelchair more…

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James Tanner

TV Editor | 19-20

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