Review: Sex Education, Netflix


Sex Education is an odd one. As has already been pointed out elsewhere, this new Netflix series seems to be set in a British school that thinks it is in America. The boys seem to be either jocks or nerds while the girls seem to be good girls or bad girls. You almost expect to see Olivia Newton-John walking past in leather trousers smoking a ciggy.

And then there are the cultural references. If it wasn’t for the accents I’d assume everyone everyone was American. Except that there are references to Curly Wurlys and Butlins. The Curly Wurly scene is particularly odd - the school bully demands it off someone and threatens to break their face. But you never actually see the Curly Wurly until it has been compressed into what looks like a butt plug. Either it is an odd way to film it or some kind of copyright issue over strangely shaped chocolate sweets?

Anyway, enough of my nitpicking, onto the plot. 16-year-old Otis (Asa Butterfield) is having problems with sex, which you may or may not expect, given that his mother, played by Gillian Anderson, is a sex therapist and is partial to one-night stands. But Otis has picked up some sex tips along the way and along with bad girl Maeve (Emma Mackey) they set up their own mini-clinic in what looks like the toilet from hell in Trainspotting. Their first client just happens to be the headmaster’s son who has a big dick but can’t get it up. 

Sex Education - and boy was it fun googling that phrase – is smart and funny in places but also corny, sometimes at the same time. It is not clear whether the series, written by Laurie Nunn, is intended as a pastiche of classic school-based shows or a tribute to them. It is certainly more like The Breakfast Club and Skins than Grange Hill. Having seen the first episode I’ll just say yes. 

Watch Sex Education now on Netflix


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