Sex Education is a critically acclaimed coming-of-age comedy that premiered its first season in 2019. It focuses on Otis Milburn, the son of a sex therapist, who ends up setting up his own sex advice business at school despite being initially disinterested in the topic.
The show’s open-minded and wise treatment of sexuality in young people has been widely praised, and Sex Education is set to return for a second season in 2020.
Where can I watch Sex Education?
You can only watch Sex Education on Netflix at the moment.
What is Sex Education about?
Sex Education explores the awkward life of Otis Milburn, whose mother is a sex therapist. Otis is largely uninterested in sex, but this mother refuses to avoid the topic and frequently attempts to discuss it frankly with him. But after Otis accidentally ends up helping the school bully with his sexual problems, he and his friend Maeve set up an underground sex advice clinic that educates their classmates about the parts of sex that their school syllabus misses out.
The coming-of-age series explores controversial topics such as homosexuality and virginity with a comedic yet sensitive perspective. The series itself functions as a form of sex education for young adult audiences who, like many of the characters in the series, missed out on a proper sex education elsewhere.
Writer Laurie Nunn told the Radio Times that “seeing how people across the world have connected to characters that began as ideas in my head is incredible”. The series has received particular praise for its presentation of the character Eric Effiong, a black gay teenager which avoided the common stereotypes that LGBT people are often assigned to.
How many seasons of Sex Education are there?
Who’s in the cast of Sex Education?
Otis Milburn is played by Asa Butterfield, who previously played Jacob in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Gardner Elliot in The Space Between Us. Maeve Wiley, Otis’ business partner, is played by Emma Mackey. This is Mackey’s first role on a major television series.
Dr Jean Milburn, Otis’ mother, is played by the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor Gilian Anderson, and Otis’ best friend Eric Effiong is played by Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa. Boxer Connor Swindells stars as Adam Groff, whilst Alistair Petrie of Sherlock and The Night Manager plays headmaster Mr Groff,
Other cast members include Chaneil Kular as Anwar, Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti, Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs, Mimi Keene as Ruby, Tanya Reynolds as Lily Iglehart, and Mikael Persbrandt as Jakob Nyman.
You can find out more about the cast of Sex Education here.
When is Sex Education set?
Sex education is set in the present day, but there is wide confusion amongst fans due to the show’s soundtrack and fashion, which largely seems to be from the 80s and 90s. But given the contemporary references such as mentions of the Nintendo Switch, which was released in 2017, and the smartphones that everyone’s got, the show is definitely set in the current decade.
When asked about this ambiguity, Laurie Nunn, the show’s creator, told Thrillist, ‘It was a very conscious decision from myself and the producers and director Ben Taylor who is also an executive producer on the project. We all absolutely love the teen genre, particularly the John Hughes films of the 1980s so we really wanted to make the show have the feeling that it’s an homage or that it has this nostalgic backdrop, but that we are talking about very contemporary, modern themes and storylines for the characters. So in a way we were also trying to take this tried and tested tropes of the genre and sort of flip them on their head and show a different perspective on it. I think those two things together and then with the Britishness just make it feel like it’s its own thing.’
Am I the only one confused by Sex Education on Netflix? I thought it was set in the 80s/90s but they reference Kelly Clarkson & Ed Sheeran. Why is the decor so dated?? Why are they dressed like they’re from the early 90s?? Is the show set in an alternate universe??
— lottie (@l0ttiehall) January 15, 2019
Where is Sex Education filmed?
Sex Education is filmed in Wales, but just as fans were confused about when the series is set, its location has caused confusion.
Watching #SexEducation on Netflix and it's a bizarre mix of UK and US stuff. English accents, US landscape, English teachers, US school setting with football jackets etc… I feel SO culturally confused RN
— Deirdre O’Shaughnessy (@deshocks) January 11, 2019
This is because despite the British accents and filming location, the set includes tell-tale of American high schools such as letterman jackets, lockers, and a lack of school uniform. It seems likely that this confusion is the result of Netflix attempting to make the British secondary school experience accessible to an audience that is mostly American – which seems like a fair deal, given that they probably spent a large portion of the show without a clue as to what anyone’s talking about.
When will Sex Education return?
In May 2019, Netflix confirmed that Sex Education will return for its second series in 2020. Although a specific date hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s thought that the series will be released early on in the year.