Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I am sure all of you can relate to the feeling of heightened euphoria when you end up finding a really good show or a book that you cannot stop reading. I read a quote somewhere that truly resonated with me and almost perfectly describes how I feel when I consume content: “The best moments in reading are when you come across something-a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things which you had thought was special or particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person who has never met you, someone even who is long since dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” It might sound a little dramatic to some, and while I understand that, I also want to emphasize that, on rare occasions do I find something that resonates with me on such a deeper level. Hence, I want to preface this by saying that I might be a bit biased in talking about the Netflix’s Sex Education

As a college student, I find it extremely difficult not to procrastinate, which I’m sure many of you can relate to. I have no self-control or discipline, and Netflix really does not help in that situation. This is how my usual internal dialogues go: Just one episode of Friends while I eat my lunch will not hurt, right?” Wrong. Those thirty minutes usually turns into at least a three-hour-long Netflix binge session and by the end of it, I am too exhausted to even begin working. Then, the cycle continues for pretty much forever.

This year, I decided that the only way to stop this atrocious behavior of mine was by completely deleting the app off of my phone. A little extreme? Yes. Did I have to do it or was I going to fail all my classes? Also, yes. I had deprived myself of any form of entertainment from watching shows for the entire quarter. One can imagine my excitement when our long-awaited winter break came, and I finally could devote my time to Netflix shows. This is when I stumbled upon Sex Education.

Sex Education which premiered on television in 2019, is a British comedy-drama series that follows the lives of teenage students, parents, and staff of Moordale Secondary School. The series, which has three seasons out so far, grapples with personal dilemmas that different characters face, usually relating to sex and sexual intimacy. With an ensemble cast, including Asa Butterfield (who I have a bit of a crush on), Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Aimee Lou Wood, and many more wonderful actors, the show has garnered critical acclaim for its treatment of mature themes. I am sure you can find many more detailed articles that review the good and the bad of the show. However, if you are a reader looking for an amateur review from a general audience, then you are at the right place. Below, I list three reasons why I personally loved the show and why you should give it a chance. 

Friendships

For me, the biggest takeaway from this show was the friendships that the characters built with each other at different points. The show, of course, deals with many relationships, but watching the platonic friendships blossom was the absolute best part. It is hard to pick out a few as there are so many, but if I had to choose, then I would begin with Otis and Eric.

Their friendship is the central relationship of the show, and watching them both on-screen is pure joy. It feels like you are watching two imperfect people who balance each other out. Despite being very different, they understand one another in a very mature way.

Another friendship that I truly loved was between Aimee and Maeve. During the first few episodes, one might not find their friendship very likely. But, when it does pan out, it’s an absolute treat to watch. Despite coming from different backgrounds, the two girls compliment each other and understand their true personalities. Watching Maeve support Aimee through the trauma following a sexual assault or Aimee’s encouragement and unrelenting love for Maeve, truly made me realize the importance of having good relationships in one’s life. I will say that the show does a tremendous job of showcasing true honest female friendships.

Otis and Ruby’s friendship was one that I did not anticipate at all but one that stuck with me the most. The episodes that followed their friendship, and the way that Ruby opened up to Otis, were so beautiful and filled with emotion. Also, Ruby deserved better. And special mentions to the beautiful friendships between Ola and Adam, Isaac and Maeve, Jackson and Viv, and Adam and Madam. 

Storylines and Topics

Sex Education takes a refreshing take on topics or tropes that you can find in many other shows. The show does not shy away from utilizing used tropes, but it does do an amazing job of presenting them to you in a refreshing way. Like many other shows, it is based on the lives of teenagers and their dilemmas. It is no surprise that you will see the typical mean/popular girl, the headmaster that everyone hates, the guy who bullies everyone, etc.

Nevertheless, in the grand scheme of things, this does not matter because the show truly educates you without ever being too preachy. Sex Education deals with topics ranging from academic pressures and one’s sexuality, to the topic of sexual assault, and many more. It discusses so many taboo subjects that you rarely get to see any representation of on television. As someone who never received any sex education growing up or in school, I can admit that I learned many things from simply watching this one show. None of the information you learn feels dumbed down or hushed upon. Instead, the show has a progressive depiction of sex, therapy, and life in general.

Representation

While I was reading reviews of the show, I came across this line, “Sex Education doesn’t just sprinkle in characters of color, disabled characters, queer characters, or all of the above, for clout, but actually delves deep into their stories.” One of the absolute best parts of this show for me has been how confidently it represents a selection of experiences and identities. Without trying to generalize, I think this show has made many viewers feel heard and understood. The character diversity that the show has is great to see, and I do not just mean racial diversity.

Of course, the show has that, but there is also a portrayal of diversity that deals with sexuality, socio-economic class, disabilities, etc. Whether it is talking about asexuality or representing marginalized characters’ struggles, the show does not sideline them and instead gives each one of them an authentic storyline. Although this should be the bare minimum, having seen shows where such characters usually get sidelined, I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I am sure there are places where the show could improve, I think it has started the conversation about how television shows and the media industry should approach representation instead of it simply being a way to fill a diversity quota. 

I could honestly go on and on about my love for this show, but I think it is something that everyone should watch at least once. During these uncertain times that we are all in, I believe everyone deserves to watch something that feels good and tugs at the strings of their heart. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite lines from the show that hopefully pushes you to grab that remote and turn it on. 

“Sex doesn’t make us whole. And so, how could you ever be broken?” – Jean.

“People deserve your whole heart, Otis. If you can’t give them that, it’s better they know. It’s the kinder thing to do.” -Jacob

If you end up watching the show after this, I’d love to know how you felt about it. Please feel free to email me at saleena@uci.edu.

saleena dhakal

UC Irvine '24

“A stranger to his own home”. I remember quickly jotting this down in my journal in class as we were watching Hamlet during my senior year in high school. It’s a sentence that has resonated with me ever since. Hi, I am a first-generation college student who has been on this journey of finding her identity ever since I moved to the United States at the age of twelve. I would like to say I am nowhere close to reaching the destination but slowly and steadily I am definitely getting there. And, when I am not trying to find deep meanings out of simple things in life, you will find me either watching Friends or jamming out to One Direction, or doing both :).
Similar Reads👯‍♀️