Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is worth your time

Megan Keane, Columnist

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Maybe “cute” isn’t a descriptor you would associate with “sexual education.” “Awkward” or “scarring” or “cringy” are probably more realistic adjectives that you associate with sex ed, but I assure you, Netflix’s “Sex Education” is just that: cute. In eight episodes, running an hour long each, “Sex Education” details the misadventures of the son of a sex therapist, Otis, who is persuaded to give his peers sex advice, by Maeve, so long as they pay.

When we first see Otis, it’s pretty obvious that he’s more of a wallflower, a little odd, and maybe behind compared to his peers. He and his best friend Eric are easily likable dorks: Eric overly excited about the beginning of their school year despite the bullies and the vicious popular crowd, and Otis exasperatedly put-off but enduring Eric’s enthusiasm. Their friendship will surely go through quite the agility course; the introduction of a very strong bond is, of course, going to be tested.

Maeve, the bad girl darned in fishnets and a bad reputation, has a hostile personality that Otis is drawn to. Maeve, bending the rules of her seemingly stereotypical character, seems to have an eye for business as well, suggesting Otis give sex advice for money. In the first episode, almost all of the stereotypical roles of teen tropes are bent or broken. Rest assured, each character is not as they are immediately dressed up to be. That’s a big reason I like this show: It played with the expectations of its genre immensely.

Eric, Otis’s best friend, easily could’ve been reduced to just that: Otis’s best friend. The writers really gave Eric his own—at times, heartbreaking while uplifting—character arc very separate from Otis. Eric struggles with he and his father’s relationship, his relationship with religion, his relationship with his sexuality, and also being independent from his best friend.

The show is getting some flack for being sexually graphic—but I think it’s purposeful. The characters in the show are dealing with a wide range of sex-related issues, lots of the issues discussed are hardly—if ever—talked about. Especially not in a “high school” sex ed course. And it does more than follow a heteronormative narrative, where teenage LGBT+ possible sex lives/troubles would more than likely be ignored for a pregnancy arc.

On top of being very funny, the show gives the viewer a sex education. While it hasn’t been confirmed, a script for a possible season two is in the works, and I really hope this show gets the opportunity to explore these characters more. The cliffhanger! At the end! I need to know where all my (not real) friends are gonna end up!

Megan Keane is a senior English and psychology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].