Sex can be a lot of things: fun, exciting, gratifying and hey, even scheduled. It can also be confusing, awkward, messy and weird. And no show captures this complexity better than British teen comedy-drama Sex Education.
Typically, adolescent sex is depicted onscreen either as hyper virtuous (hello, unplanned pregnancies from The O.C., One Tree Hill, Glee and more) or the punch line of a grotesque joke (think the American Pie movies). Is it too much to ask for an honest (and dare we say, enjoyable) portrayal? Well, the sexcapades of a group of teenagers at fictional Moordale High is exactly that.
In case you’re not familiar, the show follows Otis (Asa Butterfield), a high school student whose mother (a smoking-hot Gillian Anderson) happens to be a sex therapist. This has given Otis wisdom beyond his years but also put him off the act itself. When cool-girl Maeve (Emma Mackey) discovers that Otis has a gift for counseling his classmates, she comes up with a business plan. Together they open a sex clinic at school and tackle subjects such as unrequited love, self-esteem issues and more.
The result is a sweet, funny and genuine spin on the usual coming-of-age story. But if you’re wondering what grown-ups can get out of the show (apart from some great entertainment), here are four takeaways: