Admittedly, I was a little wary to watch Netflix’s “Sex Education.” When I first read over the series’ synopsis and saw that it was about a teenager acting as a sex therapist for his hormonal peers … all I could think of was “American Pie.” Let me assure you “Sex Education” is nothing like “American Pie” and our young teen sex therapist is wiser than many adults I know.
Otis becomes the reluctant therapist after he finds himself in the awkward position of helping a peer deal with a Viagra-related mishap. From there another student, Maeve, enlists Otis to run a sex clinic before and after school to help students navigate their sexual and relationship issues … for a price.
While the show does feature a considerable amount of sex, it’s actually a very wholesome show that deals with issues outside of sex. Otis’s best friend Eric is gay and while he is completely comfortable with his sexuality, he hasn’t really figured out how to be who he is yet. Maeve is an incredibly bright young woman but her family baggage has trained her to keep everyone at arms-length. Despite Otis’ new found status as the school’s sex therapist, he can’t bring himself to participate in any sexual activities.
Asa Butterfield stars as the endearingly awkward Otis. He provides an honest and amusing performance as he deftly pivots from providing insightful advice to students and goofing off with friends. Gillian Anderson plays Otis’ mom, an actual sex therapist, who can’t stop treating her son like a patient. Emma Mackey plays Maeve with a delightful sense of vulnerability that makes her character more than a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Ncuti Gatwa constantly steals scenes as the bright and upbeat Eric.
“Sex Education” has one season available on Netflix. Fans of “Sex Education” might also enjoy “Riverdale,” a modern and murdery twist on the Archie comics that has the first two seasons on Netflix. Viewers might also enjoy the crasser nature of Netflix’s animated series “Big Mouth.”