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Photo: ‘Sex Education’
‘Sex Education’ has pushed the envelope since its first season aired on Netflix in 2019. Asa Butterfield, who plays the protagonist, Otis, had to learn how to go to high school, a volatile teen environment, where everyone knew that his mother was a sex therapist.
His constant exposure to a very taboo albeit popular topic for high schoolers leads him to become ostracized and a bit celebrated on campus by his friends and peers. While initially upset about it, after meeting badass and beautiful Maeve (Emma Mackey), the two decide to take advantage of this strange situation. The pair decide to create an underground sex clinic for students on campus to offer them advice on sex, sexuality, and identity as they all discover who they are meant to be.
What Is Season 3 About?
Season 2 ended with a cliffhanger about favorite characters like Lily, played by Tania Reynolds, Isaac played by George Robinson, and Jean, Otis’s infamous mother who is played by Gillian Anderson. Picking up right where we left off but with extra tension, season 3 dives right into action. With new terms and new teachers, the waters are tested as Lily, Isaac, Maeve, Adam and of course, Otis have to figure out how to survive another year together.
The show maintains its self-awareness, humor, and lovability with an entirely new and beautiful focus on self-acceptance. We get to see each character have their moment in the spotlight and watching them each blossom and form rich understandings about being unapologetically who they are is one of the most refreshing parts of this season. It’s quirky and frank and the sheer honesty of the characters’ inner dialogues and our reactions as we watch is part of the environment that Laurie Nunn has crafted for this show over the past three years.
Whether it be a conversation about sex, sexuality, or identity, in a world where those topics have been so taboo, having this platform and outlet is Nunn’s favorite part. “I love that it makes me think and reflect, and at times, straight-up uncomfortable. But it is a kind of discomfort I am grateful for.”
Sex Education Season 3 – Representation on ‘Sex Education’
Perhaps worth even more admiration and celebration, is the diversity featured in ‘Sex Education.’ It’s casual but intentional and provides the representation that Netflix had severely been lacking. And each character still remains supremely lovable and relatable, to the point where you forge emotional connections with them that surpass the screen.
The normalization of all these topics is what makes ‘Sex Education’ so revolutionary. It’s not lecturing you or teaching you as you watch, but somehow, through each episode, you internalize the struggles of the cast and develop a greater appreciation for their strengths and for the people in your life who might be going through similar things.
It offers perspective in the most subtle way and challenges the stereotypical Gen-Z scripting and blocking that most teen shows have. Instead, it shows what this generation is like without any cringy allusions to Tik Tok or dialogue that sounds like it’s been generated by an A.I. In fact, the characters live in a quaint and vintage world, with vintage cars and landlines and a lack of connection to social media. This just proves Nunn’s strengths in showing that teens ultimately exist under the same umbrella and can all empathize and relate to one another, Nunn effectively humanizes the cast.
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Storytelling in Netlix’s Teenage Masterpiece
While perhaps not something initially that you grasp onto, another marking achievement of ‘Sex Education,’ is the way that the show personifies important concepts and themes into actual characters. By creating people that embody the messages that Nunn wants to promote, the narrative becomes more engaging and pushes forth the necessary agenda. Sometimes the narrative is overpowered by the PSA-type style of storytelling, but overall it maintains its ability to convey so many life-changing moments and themes without creating too chaotic of a show.
In this third season, the show continues to capitalize off of the winning typical teen story – creating arcs with angst, young love, and sex-related insecurities as the center point. It may seem repetitive and overdone but ‘Sex Education’ does it in a way that makes the experience enjoyable and far from boring and unoriginal.
Is It Worth The Watch?
We’re unsure whether the show will be renewed, but it’s safe to say this season had a sense of finality to it. The echo of sweet goodbyes and farewells to our favorite characters can be seen in the last episodes but fans remain hopeful that this isn’t the end yet.
Even if this were to be the melancholic end of the show, the characters all end in wonderful places, with a world of new opportunities and beginnings at their fingertips. Maybe they’ll separate as they go on to college, but the prospect of new experiences and a chance at growth is exciting for audiences to imagine as well. And, whether it be the education they’ve gleaned about sex, or about family, friends, love, and life, we know that our favorites will be able to survive anything that’s thrown their way.
It’s hard for the show to remain memorable past the 30 minutes of each episode, but while watching you’re constantly having fun, laughing, smiling, and sometimes even crying as the characters transform before your eyes. The show might not be the most life-changing and perfect teenage story to join the Netflix roster, but it’s stronger and more enjoyable than many of the other Gen-Z creations. The warmth, humor, and relatability of the show will stay winning and will have us giving the third season of ‘Sex Education’ the green light it deserves.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.