Your weekly streaming pick is a quick watch show courtesy of Netflix. Sex Education is a quick witted comedy starring Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson. Don’t let the trailer stop you, it’s a genuinely well written show.
Otis (Asa Butterfield) is smack in the middle of the complications of puberty. It seems everyone in his school is having sex. That is, everyone but him. What makes things even worse is that Otis’s mother, Jean (Gillian Anderson) is a sex therapist with a certain level of fame and notoriety
Otis and his loyal friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) aren’t only not doing well in the sex department but they’re basically losers at their school. When Maeve, a rebellious girl who seems untouchable to them approaches Otis with a plan. Why doesn’t he provide therapy to their hormonal peers? Otis, feeling completely unfit to do so, decides to go along with it… because of those very same hormones.
The concept is great. There’s a goldmine of comedy to be had with puberty, early relationships, and sexual discovery. The writers wade in carefully and it isn’t just rapid fire comedy at a middle school level. The comedy is ever present and the jokes you’re expecting do come. Quality scripts also bring a solid story and some great characters you care about as the story progresses.
Asa Butterfield has a solid resume for an actor his age. It’s always tough for child stars as they hit adolescence. Hollywood is very fickle and life often gets in the way. Butterfield finds a great way through while padding his resume with a genuinely high quality show.
Gillian Anderson was actually the biggest draw, for me, to this series. Sadly her screen time was incredibly limited. While Anderson’s character is absolutely crucial to the plot, the story itself focuses more on the kids. When Anderson is around, she’s magnificent.
The big stand out star is relative newcomer Ncuti Gatwa. I’m glad this recommendation is written since I can’t even begin to guess how to pronounce his name. He gets some of the biggest laughs and definitely carries the largest portion of the emotional weight of the show. Emotional weight, of which there is a fairly decent amount.
With only eight episodes the series flies by. I was hesitant on watching it at all and by the next day I was looking for when season two was going to drop since I ran out of episodes. It’s well written, funny, and tackles adolescence perfectly.