A Netflix redemption with “Sex Education”

Eric, Maeve and Otis in the sex clinic

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Eric, Maeve and Otis in the sex clinic "office" where they diagnose a variety of insecure teenagers

Addie Detrich, North Staff Writer

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Released Jan. 11, “Sex Education” had major potential to stitch up Netflix’s latest mishaps with teen dramas in shows like “13 Reasons Why” and “Baby.”

This drama-comedy brings all the stereotypical archetypes, including the gay best friend, the stunted and questioning dude, the “mean” but really cool girl and oh so much more, but for once they are actually enjoyable. Netflix finally perfected the equation of just enough try hard relatable issues, and brewed up this adolescent flick.

One of the best things about “Sex Education” has to be the wholesome aura it exudes, even with the limited censoring. It is definitely not a show to watch with the entire family, but it is warm and nostalgic. All of the characters are on a journey of self-discovery, differing from sexuality to interests. Jackson – one of the most well played characters – is struggling to find his passion, all while witnessing a long-term power struggle between his two moms. So the entirety of the show isn’t exactly about adolescent sex life, but centers around the journey of understanding yourself and others.

Now to the sort of laughable part about this show – the main character, Otis, is having a hard time with getting to know himself and decides to start a “sex clinic” (with the help of some prior knowledge from his mom, a sex therapist) to help his peers with their very own sex lives. This situational irony is absolutely hilarious and well written, with numerous moments of insight into actual advice for anyone who is looking.

Otis and Maeve-the “mean” but really cool girl mentioned earlier-spark a slow burning love interest as they host the sex clinic and important topics are brought up regarding masculinity and having guy friends. Girls and guys having a platonic relationship is greatly underrepresented, and this show only burns the flame brighter with this misconception. Not once was there a platonic girl/guy healthy relationship (unless the guy was gay), which was disappointing and took away from the show. All of the males either degraded or flirted with their female counterparts, excluding the untainted relationship that they could have.

Nonetheless, Otis was a picture perfect portrayal of a man unwavering and completely stable in his masculinity. He could dress in a mini skirt and a wig, and still be confident in himself, something sort of rare in the male population today.

The setting was elusive to location and almost to time period. It is set somewhere in the UK in a mysterious hill town and all of the kids dressed like it was the 80s, but modern-day technology was present. This vagueness was kind of a relief, as it set no boundaries or limits to what could happen. It focused almost entirely on the telling of the story of a few teenagers coming of age.

Overall “Sex Education” was refreshing and insightful, a must watch for a laugh and a hearty feeling of nostalgia. It addressed huge issues like abortion, religion and sexuality with grace. Netflix really hit a home run with this teenage drama.

For questions or comments, contact me at [email protected].

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