Sex Education is a Netflix original show based in the fictional school Moordale High, which is filmed at Caerleon campus in South Wales. It takes you through the lives of students and what they go through daily, whilst also educating viewers on different aspects of sex, taboos, relationships and teenage life in general.
In the first season Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) set up an unorthodox sex clinic and gave their peers relationship advice, which was the backbone of the series and allowed us to learn about many different types of relationships through each student’s story. This clinic continued to be a large part of season two as many of the storylines from the first season were continued.
In the third season, the clinic is no more – and the story changes slightly as a result. Season three sees the creator of the show Laurie Nunn introduce a wider range of story lines. More time was given to characters like Otis’ best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and his new relationship with former school bully Adam (Connor Swindells). As well as Otis’ mum Jean (Gillian Anderson) having to come to terms with her new pregnancy with her partner who doesn’t entirely trust her.
Two new characters are also introduced, non-binary student Cal (Dua Saleh) who creates a friendship with head boy Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling); and the brand-new headmistress Hope (Jemima Kirke) who tries to get rid of Moordale’s reputation of being ‘the sex school’. This season does continue to follow on from previous story lines too, like Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) continuing to try and process her sexual assault and the ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship between Meave and Otis.
Nunn did a fantastic job in the first two seasons of really developing the characters and their individual stories, meaning that we as the audience could connect with them. However, I feel this time around some of that was missing and pivotal moments were glossed over too quickly, for example, Jackson’s ‘dizzy spell’ due to his anxiety and Hope’s IVF journey. Although with an ever-expanding cast and trail of storylines it must be difficult to really give every issue the full exploration it requires, maybe Nunn is laying the foundations to explore them deeper in season 4?
This does not take away from how good season three was. This season we have really seen the original main characters grow in an organic way which is what I think makes the show such a hit. The show can discuss serious topics whilst also being light-hearted and funny. Particularly with the adults, as the teens issues are generally taken more seriously in the show.
Sex Education shows its teenage audience that just because you are an adult or a parent it does not mean that you are perfect and always know the answers. As a result of this, it really helped me to understand that even as an adult I am still allowed to make mistakes, I still have plenty of things to learn and I need to be given room to grow too.
Sex Education’s heart will always be with the characters, the show acknowledges the fact that all the main characters are still on their journey to adulthood and navigating their way through their issues along the way. What this show does so beautifully is respect and validate the feelings of its characters, no matter what they are going through or feeling, they are allowed to express themselves.
Even with its faults this season still managed to do what it does best, and I cannot wait to see what the show has in store for us next season.