Series ‘Sex Education’ Educates Us All on the Realities of Teenagers
February 27, 2019
What is it like being a teenager? From personal experience, I can truly testify that it is awkward, humorous, confusing, and so much more as we attempt to grow into maturity we often times lack or don’t welcome. Film productions often fail in capturing the raw essence of the teenage years in fear of being politically incorrect. However, the new Netflix series ‘Sex Education’ abandons that fear and truly portrays what it is like being a teenager- awkward, humorous, confusing moments and all.
The series is centered around Otis Milburn- sexually inexperienced high school student with anxiety about his body- who, coincidentally, is also the son of a sex therapist. Otis, who was raised privileged in England surrounded by walls filled with sexual paraphernalia and drawers holding objects young children shouldn’t be able to reach, struggles with mother’s profession and its interference in his private and public spheres of living. Despite Otis’s contempt for his upbringing and the anxiety it gave him, he learns that he can help others with their problems with sexual activity even though not able to mend his own. After giving advice to a classmate that ultimately healed his frustrations, Otis alongside Maeve, the female protagonist with a broken past and a mind constantly overlooked underneath her blond-pink hair, begin a sex therapy clinic around school, giving students an outlet to talk and solve their problems with the son of a sex therapist. Otis and Maeve’s business have a rough start but as more people testify to the help it gave them, the clinic spreads like fire in a dry forest. Covering commonly censored topics such as masturbation, sexual activity, health problems, parent involvement, and gay relationships, ‘Sex Education’ views all these humorously as sheer steps of life instead of taboo.
Instead of solely focusing on teenage desires and rambunctious methods of pursuit, the series sheds light on the anxieties, pressures, thoughts, and unknown motives behind the sexual activity and how their naiveness factors into their lives. Otis, as inexperienced as he is- fears, disturbances, and all- weaves in and out of the storyline as the protagonist batting with his own lacks and loves
‘Sex Education’ breaks all stereotypes and boundaries set for archetypes in society. In the series, the ‘jock’ can be gay, the ‘popular’ can live in a run-down trailer park, the ‘gay’ can be openly different and accepted, the son of a sex therapist can dread sexual involvement. The diversity of the characters in combination with their shared characteristic of not adhering to the standards set for ‘someone like them’ demonstrates that society is finally moving in the direction where molds are only reserved for baking.
The series differs from past series concerning the same topics because of its humorous approach, unapologetically graphic scenes, and realistic portrayal of the teenage years. All elements of the show complement each other, the humor serving to dilute the severity of the conversation, the graphic scenes serving to illustrate the reality of sex, and the diversity of the characters to aid to their relatability.
As one of Netflix’s newest addition, ‘Sex Education’ lovingly and humorously shows that society is approaching a level where they can accept in public what they do in private.