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Review: ‘Sex Education’ brings British comedy to an American audience

Netflix's Sex Education

Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield in "Sex Education."

Netflix brings us another hilarious, sexually driven show with 2019’s “Sex Education.”

This modern coming-of-age tale follows 16-year-olds and their lives at home, in high school and, most importantly, their sexual development.

Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson), Meave Wiley (Emma Mackey), Eric Effoing (Ncuti Gatwa), Adam Groff (Connor Swindells) and Aimee Gibbs (Aimee Lee Wood) are who is primarily followed throughout the series.

Everything begins when Adam and Aimee are experiencing issues in their sexual lives. The two eventually go to Otis because his mother, Jean, is a sex therapist. Meave picks up on this and realizes money can be made from herself and Otis running an underground sex therapy clinic.

Compared to other teen-driven movies and shows on Netflix, "Sex Education" is by far the most engaging and full of substance, but some of the ways they approach modern-day issues teenagers face is predictable and clumsy.

Important discussions on homosexuality, family issues, abortion and more are had, but the discussions aren’t as fleshed-out as they could have been. More depth and better handling with divisive topics could have helped solidify the seriousness of some of these topics and their willingness to tackle it head on.

The comedy, on the other hand, is fantastic. The signature dry British humor hits at all the right moments and will leave you feeling awkward and sometimes uncomfortable, just like your entire high school experience.

The acting in “Sex Education” is also a highlight, as all of the relatively unproven actors and actresses bring their A game when it comes to comedy as well as displaying the emotional turmoil high school can cause.

One criticism of the show is how most characters and situations are portrayed in cliché ways, but this actually works to its advantage. The cliché nature these situations are presented in is not romanticized and are instead presented in such a blunt and sincere way that it makes the situation seem more realistic, adding to the awkwardness and hilarity of the overall show.

The goal of this series has been well accomplished as it provides a funny and realistic portrayal of modern-day teenagers going through puberty as well as provide commentary on social issues that need to be addressed.

“Sex Education” follows Netflix’s trend of pushing the boundaries with what television can be. Alongside shows like “Big Mouth,” Netflix is offering genuine commentary on society in an engaging way that keeps people not only interested and thinking but laughing as well.

“Sex Education” is Netflix’s first bingeworthy series of 2019 and, by the end, will leave you begging for more.

entertainment.ed@ocolly.com