TV Tuesday: Sex Education

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Maddy Art, Associate Editor

Welcome to the second edition of TV Tuesday! This week, we have Maddy Art suggesting Sex Education, which can be found on Netflix. 

Maddy’s Pick

This week for TV Tuesday, I’m recommending Sex Education, a two season show available on Netflix. The show follows Otis, a high school junior who lives with his mother, a sex therapist. Otis is awkward and has had little sexual experience, but is armed with a knack for talking through others’ problems and knowledge absorbed from his mother’s career. With this knowledge, Otis starts a sex clinic for the students at his school. Otis and Maeve, a fellow student unafraid to stand up for her values, help their classmates with their relationship and sex-related problems while simultaneously trying to sort out their own. 

The premise might seem scandalous or bizarre, but that’s exactly what makes the show so powerful and human. Shows often show high school relationships in terms of tired stereotypes or oversimplifications, but that couldn’t be farther than true with Sex Education. The show confronts serious and confusing topics–insecurities about sexual experience levels and abilities, knowledge gaps, grapplings with sexuality, power imbalances, sexual assault, strained parent-child relationships, internalized sexism and homophobia, pressures from parents, communication struggles, addiction–but in ways that feel authentic and not forced. More than any show I’ve watched, Sex Education honestly portrays the complexity of teenagers and their relationships in an empathetic way. I consistently found myself understanding and relating to even the characters harming those I was rooting for.

Sex Education should also be a model to other shows in how to incorporate diversity effectively. Characters have a vast array of identities, backgrounds, and situations, but those are treated as just parts of life, not as a list of plot points to check off. 

Season three is expected in January, but for now, sit down with seasons one and two and enjoy.