A killer soundtrack, messages of sex positivity, humor, heart, and a whole lot of guy-liner. There’s a lot to praise in Netflix’s fantastic new British comedy, Sex Education. Audiences are buzzing over the show’s tenacity in tackling heavy teenage problems like abortion and homophobia while balancing them out with lighter bits like orgasms, young love and everything in between—and with pulsating hormones ruling their world, all of these issues are very real to the teenage human experience.
Since its debut last week, the eight-episode series has been certified 90% Fresh, with critics praising it for its woke comedic raunch, refreshing diversity, and ability to subvert teen sex-romp tropes. With Netflix’s renewal of other teen shows like Elite and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina coupled with positive reviews, chances are high that Otis and his pals will re-open their sex clinic and continue exploring their sexual ineptitude.
In the show, Otis Milburn is an inexperienced, socially awkward high school kid who lives with his divorced mother, a sex therapist. Surrounded by his mother’s work and her non-stop sex talk, Otis becomes somewhat of a reluctant expert on the subject. When his home life is outed at school, decides to use his knowledge to gain status and make a little money on the side. He teams up with Maeve, a whip-smart bad-girl (on the surface), and together they open an underground sex therapy clinic at school to help their classmates with their weird and wonderful sex problems. Each episode typically starts with a student’s sex-related dilemma which Otis eventually helps solve. While Otis is on the job, the show builds a wide web of characters to explore, setting up new storylines and new characters to develop should a second season occur.
Adding to Sex Education‘s impressive critical reception, the show has made quite a splash on the internet this past week. Many have tweeted about the show’s dedication to authenticity and its bravery to dive headfirst into sexual taboo. Hell, it only took four days for the show to achieve the Holy Grail of burgeoning culty fandoms: the Buzzfeed quiz. (I got Otis.) Star Gillian Anderson even seems to be having a blast promoting the series.
If Netflix’s own See What’s Next Twitter account is to be believed, a lot of people have watched the show already in just one week’s time. The account reported “#SexEducation has come out with a bang — the smart and emotional series is on pace to be watched by over 40 million accounts over its first month.” So while nothing is guaranteed, I’d say there’s a solid chance that Sex Ed class will be back in session next year.
While Netflix has yet to confirm a second season (and probably won’t for a while), creator Laurie Nunn spoke about continuing the stories of Otis, Maeve, and the rest of the Moordale High students. “Series one is very much Otis’ journey,” Nunn told Thrillist. “If we’re lucky enough to get a series two we will always come back to Otis. He’s a fantastic leading character but the fact that we’ve got this great ensemble and these amazing young actors who have also just brought so much to those characters. It just feels like they could go anywhere.”
Nunn’s show doubles down on a very particular aesthetic, mashing up retro music and style with contemporary flair. While some have found the overall feel to be confusing (particularly British viewers), the show can be seen as an homage to the ’70s and ’80s or as a modern memoir of today’s youth culture. Personally, I think the wide net of clothing, music, and visual choices simply broadens the show’s appeal. (Don’t even get me started on its amazing soundtrack.) Fingers crossed that Otis and co. find a sizable audience—Sex Education is the best show of the year thus far. (Yes, I realize it’s only the 17th of January. The sentiment stands!)
Sex Education is now available to stream on Netflix.