The Reel Review
Otis, a shy, socially awkward teenager, is absolutely mortified about having a mother who is a sex therapist. But when he and the school’s bad girl Maeve realize that he has inherited his mom’s knack for giving sound sex advice, they set up an underground sex therapy clinic for their fellow classmates, with interesting and entertaining results.
At first glance, this eight episode Netflix series might look like just another silly teen sex comedy, but show creator Laurie Nunn has crafted a subtle, clever series that, while filled with tons of laughs, also tackles some heavy issues – among them, teen pregnancy, homophobia, and drug abuse – with a surprising amount of realism and heart. And it shows that EVERYONE has problems no matter how perfect their lives might appear.
Gillian Anderson (The X Files) and Asa Butterfield (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Pecular Children) have great chemistry as the sexually candid therapist/mom and her way more uptight, virgin son. And the supporting cast – a hodgepodge of wonderfully quirky, confused, horny teenagers – is extremely likable. The show’s fresh, bawdy take on teenage sexual attitudes goes well beyond the bedroom and is actually a thoughtful approach to learning self worth, self confidence and self identify. This one is a winner.
• The series is filmed in Llandogo and Newport in South Wales, with Caerleon University serving as the school
• On the wardrobe next to Otis’ bed there is a drawing of Spider-Man’s head with an X through it. Asa Butterfield auditioned for the part of Spider-Man that went to Tom Holland in the latest reboot.
• Show creator Laurie Nunn says she wanted Sex Education to be an homage to John Hughes films of the 1980s (The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink)