“One day, you’re gonna meet someone who appreciates you for who you are. I mean, there are seven billion people on the planet. I know one of them is gonna climb up on a moon for you.” Otis Milburn, Sex Education
The most confusing period of one’s life is the teenage years. Moreover, one goes through numerous changes, mentally, emotionally and physically. You come across many new things and as a teenager we have pretty curious mind. During our teen years, our body goes through a drastic change. Therefore, we need some guidance and talking regarding the changes as we enter adulthood. To break all the taboos that comes with educating teens regarding sex, Netflix presents their original series- Sex Education. This series had broken all the stereotypes that came with sex education.
This British teen comedy-drama television series created by Laurie Nunn became a huge commercial success for Netflix. However, the season one of this series aired on Netflix on January 11, 2019. Just after the debut of the first season of Sex Education, over forty million viewers streamed it. The second season premiered on January 17, 2020. However, the third season has been announced to air in 2021.
Sneak Peak of the Storyline
So the story begins with Otis Milburn, the main character of the series. Like every normal teenager, he is socially awkward and quite nerdy. However, his mom works as a sex therapist. Who can be overbearing and intrusive at times. Being her only son, she wants him to talk to her regarding his life and share details. Moreover, her concern grows when she finds out that Otis is unable to masturbate.
His mother’s profession makes him quite awkward and no one at school really knows that. Except his best friend-Eric Effiong. Then Maeve enters the scene. she has a image of bad-girl and a social outcast. However, when she comes to know about Otis’ mother’s profession, she approaches Otis to give out sex advice to the fellow students. Otis liked Mauve, so hesitantly he agreed to her. She would make appointments and Otis will provide the help with the knowledge he gained from his mother.
With a series of events that take place as he and Maeve runs this therapy sessions. On the contrary, school’s head boy and captain of the swim-team-Jackson, begins developing feelings for Maeve. And he seeks Otis’ advice on how to ask her out. Since everyone assumes that Otis is Maeve’s best friend. While Otis suggests him to do the compete opposite of what Maeve likes. But somehow, they end up dating each other. All runs well until one day when this secret of them comes before the principle. Maeve takes all the blame and she gets expelled from the school.
“It shouldn’t matter what anyone in the school thinks. You are who you are. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.”- Otis Milburn
With so many chaos, season two began with Otis being able to masturbate. But the worst is yet to come. Otis’ mother, Dr. Jean Milburn, joins his school as a sex education counselor. Now as Otis has found this new pleasure, he comes across this new girl in town and his school-Ola Nyman. They both begin dating in no time. Although, Otis likes Ola, he is not sure to get involved physically and has second thoughts for the same. On the other hand, Ola being so sure about taking their relationship forward initiates physical intimacy. One of the other reasons could be that his mother has began dating Ola’s dad- Jakob.
In brief, it is a story about teenagers, battling their own battles of discovering themselves and enduring high-school. With the help of her English teacher, Miss Sands, Maeve comes back to the high-school. Otis’ best friend Eric has also come true in front of his parents regarding his sexuality. With so many ups and downs they all face. All the funny situations and talks that no one wants to talk about has been depicted in a very fun and educating way.
Otis Milburn: This role is played by Asa Butterfield. A teenager who faces a lot of trouble with his mother’s occupation and struggles with her interference in his sexual life and his private space. He seems to be a sensible kid as compared to others of his age
Dr. Jean F. Milburn: This role is played by Gillian Anderson. A well-known sex therapist and Otis’s mother and is divorced. Although she understands emotions and feelings well, she has her own doubts. Being cheated by his husband and Otis’s father, Jean does not commit easily into romantic relationships.
Eric Effiong: Ncuti Gatwa plays this role. He is Otis’s best friend. He is openly gay. His family belonged to Ghana-Nigeria. His family is very religious. The character of Eric Effiong is charming and turns out to be strong one by the end of season 2.
Maeve Wiley: Emma Mackey plays the character of Maeve. She is a social outcast and is considered a bad-girl. She befriends Otis and made him run to the therapy clinic with her. However, her bold personality and tough attitude keeps her shining throughout the series. Also, she is soft on inside and tough on the outside.
Jackson Marchetti: Kedar Williams-Stirling plays this role. He is the head boy at Moordale Secondary School, also a swimming champion. Being the best in everything, this character portrays obedience and follows the sayings of his two lesbian mothers. However, he soon discovers his own likings and chooses what interests him more than swimming.
Ola Nyman: Patricia Allison plays the character of Ola. She is Jakob’s daughter. She also Otis’s love interest and gives us the girl next door vibe. Later on she explores her sexuality and concludes that she is in love with her friend Lily.
Michael Groff: This role is played by Alistair Petrie. He is the headmaster at Moordale Secondary School. He is Adam’s strict father. And he believes to be an orthodox when it comes to educating students about sex.
Impact on the Public
Just after the debut of the series, it became a sensation all over the world. It had broken all kinds of stereotypes and taboos related to sex and the education of the same. Thus, portraying what kind of situations does a normal teenager goes through. It openly talked about self pleasure, sex and the myths that revolve around it. Very importantly, it talked about STDs and the misconception that revolves around it.
On a broader perspective, It soothes the curios minds of young teens. It also made the relationship between parent and child much open and comfortable regarding this subject. Instead of talking abut such serious topic with friends who may give you not-so-good advice, you must lean on your parents or elders with whom you are comfortable in sharing such information. Therefore, this series created that safe space between parents and children and built a bond of trust.