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Love, Healing and Goats: Sex Education Season 3

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I started watching Sex Education a few months ago. It sounded like a sex-positive show that was genuinely inclusive with effective writing and fantastic characters. People really seemed to receive the show well, and I note “genuinely inclusive” because tokenism remains prevalent in many movies and TV shows, so when inclusivity and diversity is done thoughtfully and authentically, I’m more excited to give my time to watch. 

Now, I’m hooked.

For those who haven’t yet seen this fresh and heartfelt show, it’s about an awkward teenage boy named Otis (played by Asa Butterfield) who is navigating the trials and tribulations of secondary school in the UK. Relationships, sex and social pressures are all things he is trying to navigate, but what makes his experience so special is his mother and the friends he meets alone the way. Otis’ mum is Dr. Jean Milburn, a sex therapist who is best described as bold, independent, open, confident and basically everything I hope to be when I “grown up,” played by the brilliant Gillian Anderson. 

There are many important characters to name but most notably there’s Eric, Otis’ flamboyant and loyal best friend, and Maeve, the “edgy” girl who overhears Otis accidentally giving effective sex advice and encourages him to start, “the clinic” aka an abandoned set of bathroom stalls outside where people go to get sex therapized from Otis.

As the show progresses, it does a great job of tackling a variety of topics in meaningful ways. From sexual assault, disabilities, gender identity + expression, relationship communication to realistic information pertaining to sex education like abortions, anatomy and STIs. It’s clear the writers of this show are invested in creating an engaging and entertaining show, but also in the responsibility of addressing these topics with care. Some critics have even deemed it as, “surprisingly wise.” Not only is the show informative and addresses real issues that people face, the lovable characters, fun soundtrack, beautiful visuals and range of emotions it evokes make it such a delightful show to watch. 

It also feels in tune to the current generation of young people, and Season 3 is an extension of this. There are other shows, like Euphoria, that seem to truly understand what it means to be young now. While I enjoy Euphoria, I find Sex Education to be less abrasive and more accessible because of the way it balances education with storytelling. It feels more aligned to what the people I know are going through: feeling behind socially because they haven’t had sex yet, navigating parental boundaries, losing and gaining friendships, figuring out what their priorities are, and much more.

Sometimes, the shows I love disappoint me after being dragged on for too long (I’m thinking of Grace and Frankie, and Veep), but Sex Education is different. The storylines hold up and as the seasons continue. The audience can’t help but get further invested in all of the characters’ complex, but able to be identified with, situations. Examples in this season being how Otis moves things forward with Ruby, which leads him to grapple with how much of a relationship involves compromising. Maeve continues to deal with the instability of her mom and what that means for her little sister, while also realizing her feelings for Isaac. Jean navigates her middle aged pregnancy, even dealing with judgement from doctors and the rockiness of her relationship with Jakob. Eric visits Nigeria for a family wedding and is faced with the legality and clashing of his culture and identity. So much more happens, from Aimee’s new pet goat, to the new headmaster and the changes that come to Moordale, new students and new families, this latest season leaves the audience wanting more.

In the last episode, Jean tells Otis, “Oh Sweetheart. I don’t know if any of us understand much about love. I just know we feel it when we feel it.” And she’s absolutely right. I don’t know much about love, but I sure do love this show and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Ariana Guerra

New School '23

Ariana is a third-year Journalism + Design and Theater student at The New School. She likes writing, hosting book clubs and photography. When she's not on Zoom, she enjoys reading, drinking copious amounts of tea, Meryl Streep films, political discourse and trying not to take herself too seriously.
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