Why Sex Education is More Than Just a Teen Show

January 31, 2020 at 11:53 PM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers of Sex Education season 2. Read at your own risk!

When I first learned that my all-time favorite actor, Gillian Anderson, was going to do a new TV show on Netflix, I was only mildly interested. It wasn’t because I lost interest in her but because at that time I thought she was only going to be a supporting character in this new teen comedy called Sex Education, and that she would only have a few scenes. So I told myself that I was going to check it out just to see Gillian on screen. In fact, most of the Gillian Anderson fans I know on social media only initially watched the show just to see her.

Eventually I’m glad I was proven wrong because her character in Sex Education, Jean Milburn, proved to be a vital part of the story. Gillian might not have a lot of screen time in the show but every scene she was in was such a delight. It was refreshing to see her play a sex therapist and do a comedy. I mean, other than the comedic episodes of The X-Files, the Johnny English movie sequel she did back then, and another comedy film she did with Simon Pegg, Gillian wasn’t offered much comedic roles. Until now.

To be honest, I initially had low expectations about Sex Education. I thought it was going to be just another one of those superficial teen shows and movies with sex-crazed teens running amok. But when I saw the first season, I was surprised that it’s more than just a teen sex comedy. It actually had a heart and the characters were well-developed. It tackled serious issues such as bullying, slut-shaming and homophobia.


Among the teen characters, my favorites were Eric and Maeve. The show gave both characters enough time to develop throughout season 1. By the end of season 1, we found out that Maeve was more than meets the eye. Eric, on the other hand, had to go through difficulties as he struggled to be accepted for what he was – gay and proud.


The second season was even better. Gillian’s character had a lot more scenes this time and we see her navigating on a new relationship while helping the students at Otis’ school with their sex issues. What I loved about the second season was that it addressed sexual issues from a female point of view. One example was Aimee’s story where she was sexually assaulted in the bus. It showed how a seemingly “small” offense could affect a woman and how speaking out and supporting fellow women could be a powerful thing.

Speaking of power, another powerful scene in season 2 and one of my favorites was when Florence sought Jean’s advice about her intimacy issue. The student thought she’s broken because she’s not interested in sex. Then Jean said, “Sex doesn’t make you whole. And so, how can you ever be broken?” Everything in that scene was fantastic.

What more can I say? The show has a perfect cast, well-written episodes, great cinematography (those wide shots of expansive greeneries were to die for) and a kickass soundtrack!

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