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Sex Education Season 3: You win some, you lose some

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

Warning: This article contains spoilers from “Sex Education”

The much-awaited third season of “ugh finally a good, fresh show” aka Sex Education is here. But is it living up to everyone’s expectations? Does it make every viewer happy with another season ending on a cliffhanger? The series, this time, might have generated some mixed feelings for its audience. 

When released in 2019, Sex Education instantly garnered tons of appreciation from the audience as well as critics and ended up being a popular show not only among teens but people of all age groups. Well, mostly teens but at least the appreciation was coming from people regardless of their age. It was not only a fresh comedy and had new content but was informative too. Not only were we amused by the sex-crazed kids of Moordale High, but we also ended up learning a thing or two from Otis, thanks to his peers. Season 2, sadly, ended in a way that left us almost falling from the edge of our seats in anticipation and the eternal dread we were subjected to while we waited for the next season to release and free us of our misery. Will Maeve come to know of the terrible deed committed by Isaac? Will Otis finally have a chance with Maeve, even though Isaac, the son of Satan himself, has probably ruined it forever? And what about Adam? And Eric? And, in general, everyone else? 

The first scene of the new season might be surprising but also matches our expectations from Sex Edall couples in Moordale experimenting in their bedrooms. But that is all the sex that we get to see this season (at least in the first half). This time around, the primary focus is the growth in relationships that blossomed in the previous season and non-binary representation—let’s be honest, everyone loves to see some development in their favourite character. However, all good things come with their own shortcomings and this time around, introducing multiple character arcs simultaneously might have not completely worked out for creator Laurie Nunn. 

Season 2 left us with some unanswered questions and plot twists that demanded a good chunk of time in the next season but introducing new characters such as Hope and Cal who had their own arcs to develop left us with less screen time for the growth of our main characters’ stories. The spotlight was shone over breaking heteronormative barriers this time and let’s just say, Sex Education always knows the right spots to hit when it comes to representation. The scene where we see Layla painfully bandaging themself every morning like it’s routine just to bind their chest sends across a strong message on how most of us are unaware of the everyday struggles of people who don’t follow gender binary norms, something against which Cal kept raising their voicing over and over again and highlighting the importance of accepting people the way they are without alienating them and seeing them as “special.”

Talking about “special,” the focus was also shifted to Lily’s character as well while showcasing shocking revelations made by them this season. Their relationship with Ola was shown to have grown since the previous season, but they faced multiple problems in their love life and ended up feeling lonely for the majority of the season. Lily’s genuine interest in aliens was not matched by Ola and this made them feel that the one thing that made them unique and feel comfortable, be it their alien collectables or quirky hairstyles, was something they should have been ashamed of all the time. Otis, as usual, ends up saving the day by going over to Lily’s and making them, as well as everyone who watched that episode, understand that being comfortable should never be attached with approval. You do you!

Coming back to new characters, Hope Haddon, played by Jemima Kirke, was an interesting addition to the cast. However, her addition might have come with a blow to the other characters, not only figuratively but literally as well. It’s true, she did make things extremely hard for her students, but her character ate up a lot of screen time in every episode as well. Even though Hope ended up bringing everyone together in the end, the amount of time the creators of Sex Education devoted to humanize Hope and show that there are multiple sides to her and not just the one she is at school, cannot be justified. All the new characters, as well as new storylines, were given room to develop this season, be it Hope and Cal or Lily’s insecurities, thus completely ignoring the plot buildup that should have continued—Otis and Maeve’s relationship. Considering how badly things ended last time, one would expect to see more of Otis and Maeve this time but instead, new plots keep getting shoved in our faces. However, it’s safe to say that Otis and Ruby together was a new twist that was loved widely. Sadly, their ending was messy too and the focus was completely taken off of Ruby’s character development the second her relationship with Otis got over which was, needless to say, one of the worst executions we see this season. 

Adam was one character that shined the brightest this season. We earlier saw them as a bully due to being sexually confused but they got a character development where they try hard every day to be more emotionally approachable! It’s almost as if we have seen Adam grow in front of our own eyes. Still in the process of coming to terms with their sexuality, Adam tends to lash out once in a while but what matters is they accept their faults and constantly try to learn from them. Not only are they putting effort into school, but they are also doing their best to control their anger and not explode every time someone passes an unfriendly comment. Alas, their efforts are not matched by their partner Eric, who confesses to kissing somebody in Nigeria. Even though Adam’s journey would not have been possible without Eric, it still hurts to see that their time together was short-lived. 

In a nutshell, we see non-binary representation deserving of a standing ovation, blossoming relationships that tell us dating does not involve just steamy makeout sessions while simultaneously having to deal with the disappointment of not seeing more of our favourites this season.  All we can do is sit tight and hope to see Otis and Maeve getting an ending they deserve in the next season. 

Ishty Yadav

Delhi North '23

a Literature major from Hansraj, who passes time by romanticizing the minuscule.