“Sex Education” is back and it’s as funny, raunchy and relevant as ever. If you are not familiar with the show, it follows the hormonal teenagers at Moordale Secondary School as they navigate classes, relationships and puberty. Things get interesting when, after noticing a lack in the school’s health curriculum, Otis Milburn, son of sex therapist Jean Milburn, starts giving fellow students sex ed advice. In this new season, the students face a drastic change in leadership at school.
In the beginning of this season we learn what our favorite group of teenagers have been up to over the summer. Adam and Eric are officially dating, Otis has been hooking up with Ruby, Maeve has been hanging out with Isaac, and she and Otis have not really spoken over break. Aimee and Steve got a pet goat, a commitment animal to help their relationship. Otis and Maeve are no longer doing the sex clinic, but someone else is giving students sex advice (to disastrous but comic results).
This season, the show really delves into questions of identity and self-expression (even more so than usual). The superintendent tries to snuff out every ounce of individualism by instituting rigorous uniform policies that upset most of the students. Maeve’s dip-dye hair, Lily’s colorful makeup and whimsical hairstyles, and Ola’s LGBT+ flag pin all have to go. But one of the most striking cases is with non-binary student Cal. Superintendent Hope refuses to let Cal wear a uniform they are comfortable with, gender-identity be damned. At one point, Hope has Lily, Adam, and Cal wear degrading plaques and publicly humiliates them in front of the school. Poor Lily is shamed for having written a pretty NSFW story with aliens in it, and Cal for not conforming to the uniform rules that went against their gender identity. All of these instances allow the show to explore the importance of self-expression, and how bullying someone for their identity and/or interests is never ok.
One aspect that is so great about the show is how it dives deep into its characters, even the minor ones. This season is no different. Adam, Ruby, and Mr. Groff’s character arcs in this season were so well developed, and it was great to see different sides to characters that might usually have been overshadowed by Maeve and Otis. For example, the show really explored Adam’s sweet side this season in an amazing way. Moments like when he wrote a poem for Eric, and when he took the fall for Rahim showed just how much he has grown over the past seasons. The show did a great job with writing his change from a troubled bully to a loveable young man with a kind heart. His character development was never rushed or oversimplified. Ruby’s character was also a lot more complex this season. We got to learn more about her home life and her relationship with her dad. Her vulnerable moment saying “I love you” to Otis really added so much depth to her character. I also loved Mr. Groff’s character development. It was lovely to watch him learn to find joy in cooking and seeing him stand up to his bully of a brother.
Another great thing about the show is the amount of diverse representation. The show doesn’t just display a stereotypical cisgender heterosexual relationship. Instead it showcases and explores all different kinds of relationships, sexualities and gender identities. “Sex Education” approaches and talks openly about these topic in a way that is both refreshing and necessary.
The show is a definite must-see. It is witty, laugh-out-loud hilarious, and (no pun intended) quite touching. Unlike the title might have you believe, “Sex Education” is about a lot more than just sex. It is really about finding your place in the world, and owning your identity. It is about love and friendship and the complicated relationships that tie us to each other. The Netflix hit preaches not only sex positivity but perhaps most importantly, self-acceptance. So if you haven’t seen season three yet, or the first two seasons, check them out when you have the time.
All three seasons of “Sex Education” are available to stream on Netflix
By Alice Braga