‘Sex Education’ return is a refreshing portrayal of youth

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Defne Onal managing editor 

In its third season, Netflix’s Sex Education returns in a shockingly refreshing way. Hormone-crazed teenagers have developed into emotionally developed young adults, and the show does not alienate the growth of the characters themselves. 

Created by Laurie Nunn, “Sex Education” is a British comedy-drama television series focusing primarily on how adolescents navigate their sex and love lives, with the main character Otis giving out sexual therapy to his high school peers.

Season three delivers a clever commentary on guilt as a motivator for moral judgment. Throughout the season, there are numerous times when someone makes a selfish and inconsiderate decision, demonstrating that it’s normal to make these decisions while growing up, as long as the character in question is kept accountable. Instead of blaming the characters, the show gives them space to grow. As cancel culture and vilification increases, the show did an excellent job showing how it’s essential to understand that people can’t mature without making some mistakes along the way. 

The series’ main character Otis, played by Asa Butterfield, continues to be captivating. He’s a bit self-obsessed, idealistic and hopelessly clueless (most of the time). Basically, the best kind of character to portray Generation Z. His obstacles concerning love, sex and family are enlightening to watch since he’s such a relatable character. Emma Mackey, who plays Maeve, portrays her character in a much more sullen manner as she visits her sister’s foster home and tries to keep her from the clutches of their mother, who’s an addict. The relationship between Eric, played by Ncuti Gatwa, and Adam, played by Connor Swindells, is a pleasure to watch. Eric’s reconciliation between his sexuality and Nigerian culture is a highlight of the show, demonstrating the many facets of identity that young adults have to figure out. Compared to Eric, Adam is a bit of a newcomer to figuring himself out, leaving both of them feeling isolated as the season progresses. However, their obstacles are fascinatingly natural and demonstrate growing apart in a relationship. 

 Ruby, played by Mimi Keene, develops into a three-dimensional character. She stops being an “ice-queen” and falls in love with Otis; she also reveals her insecurities about her disabled father. Her character shows that sometimes love is unrequited, and it shouldn’t break anyone’s pride; after all, it happened to the most popular girl in school. Unfortunately, Ruby’s arc was a bit short compared to other characters’. Instead of relying on neurotically exaggerated sex musicals and cultural anachronisms, the writers could have spent more time developing Ruby’s character to ground the show. 

With everything considered, the season deals with topics ranging from gender identity, sexual stigmas and accepting help from loved ones. In every aspect of the show, the writers dealt with issues gently. Moreover, the portrayal of complex, differentiated characters gives the season a grounded feel, making the next season a necessity. 

Highlights rates this show: 4/5

Warning: This show is rated MA for mature audiences. Highlights does not endorse crude indecent language (L), explicit sexual activity (S), or graphic violence (V).   

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