My friend from the US suggested this series to me. In fact, she also said that we can watch it together and chat about it over Netflix Party (If you don't know about it yet, please google, it's some legit fun!). However, thanks to the varying time zones and the undying temptation, she watched it before I did. I was left in the lurch - again!
I didn't immediately start watching it though. I waited. I took my time. But, man, this is the only web series I have watched within the span of one week! My fastest to date. Laurie Nunn has done a commendable job in talking about and even making fun of topics which would fill the room with an eerie silence or even hostile silence.
This is only the second drama series that I watched after Grey's Anatomy (more on that later) and I felt bad after the second season ended. Each episode of both the seasons has a lot of information, entertainment and drama. There is not a moment during the whole series where you would feel it's drab or long. Let's dive in.
The premise is a school where adolescent teens explore sex, sexuality and sexual orientations. All the elements of a drama show are present - A central character, his romantic interest(s), his sidekick, a villain (or two), childhood issues, mommy/daddy issues. Add to this the current and relevant topics of racism, homosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality and other 'ities' related to sex. Thus, a complete package of entertainment with enormous laughter, with a dash of tears (sad) and a pinch of violence. This show will definitely throw the Indian audiences off-balance it starts with a nude scene. However, if we just hold on to it just a tad more, I can guarantee that we all can enjoy this show to the fullest.
I like the way the protagonist (though I don't completely agree with him being the hero of the series) is not used as the Mr Perfect who solves everybody's problems - he does solve problems but not the right way the first time itself, in fact, he fails miserably the first time. Instead, he is used as a tool to narrate the story and a catalyst to move the narrative forward. The portrayal of "Everybody has got problems and no one is exempt to it" is just marvellous.
Though there is no "protagonist/hero" to the story, each episode follows a structure. Each episode starts with one of the characters encountering a sexual problem either during intercourse or during masturbation. Generally, it is one of the students. Later, the protagonist (Asa Maxwell Thornton Farr Butterfield or Asa Butterfield) Otis Milburn, solves their problem by giving out some advice on sexual health. This comes to him naturally because his mother (Gillian Anderson) Dr Jean F. Milburn is a sex-therapist - genes? Later on, the narrative moves on to different incidents in the school and around it that either relate to the sex-life of the characters or their relationship with others.
What I like the most about this show is that all the above is shown through the eyes of the adolescent teens. Let me explain. I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that our teenage was filled with curiosity and adventure in our own ways. We explored our sex preferences, sexual orientations and so on in our own little ways. Though there may have been some cognitive dissonance or even suppression of our likes and preferences, we did explore them. Now imagine there were no boundaries to our imagination and we could explore anything about sex the way we want! How about coming up with a comic-book storyline with our own names exclusively related to sexual exploration? Imagine, when one could talk about the sex partners of his/her own mother with her? Fantastic, right! Now imagine all of this from the teenage you. Doesn't it become all the more fascinating? This is exactly how the show is made - with the curiosity (which sometimes proves to be dangerous) and wonder of a teenager.
Another high point of this show is its portrayal of flawed characters. I could relate to almost every character. When issues like cat-calling, homophobia, childhood trauma, daddy issues are discussed, you never sympathise with the characters. Instead, you empathise with them because a very similar incident/accident has occurred to you or to someone whom you know. In a sense, it is also facing your own self and leads to more acceptance of the self and others with a non-judgmental attitude.
Well, that's my view on Sex Education. Voice your views in the comments section or even write to me. If you have any interesting points to share, please visit our forum section and we can have a nice little chat. This is a Netflix original. I highly recommend it if you don't want to have "the conversations" with your parents/siblings. Cheers!