Sex Education season 2 is so tightly written that not a beat is wasted. In 8 episodes this outstanding series tells many, many stories about the sexual escapades, hangups, failures, and successes of a large group of people connected to an English school. There are a few spoilers ahead, if you haven’t seen season 2 yet.
Sex Education features the star power of Gillian Anderson as Dr. Jean Milburn, a sex therapist. Around her an English village full of sexual problems – especially adolescent ones – generate an array of stories.
Dr. Milburn’s life with Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt) isn’t exactly top quality material for a guru to use as an example. Yes, even the therapist has issues with her man.
Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), Dr. Milburn’s son, thinks he can deliver sex advice as well as his mother. He turns it into a industry at his school. But he’s still a virgin and his girlfriend Ola (Patricia Allison) isn’t really the girlfriend he wants.
As with season 1, this series brings up many important ideas. Woven into the stories are themes around sexual topics like
- what is normal
- homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality (but nothing about gender)
- sexual assault
- personal responsibility
- communicating with a partner
- being yourself
- birth control
Other themes around drug use, body image, family relationships, disability, and betrayal come into the series. I mentioned before that the series is tight, without a wasted moment. Every story detail counts and adds to the season’s overall effect. It manages this masterful storytelling while being funny, clever, and heartfelt.
What a bunch of characters
Otis’ best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Otis share every detail of their lives.
A new guy, Rahim (Sami Outalbali), comes to town. He asks Eric to be his boyfriend. This is an exciting development for Eric, but he has lingering issues with Adam Groff (Connor Swindells).
Speaking of the Groffs, Headmaster Groff (Alistair Petrie) has sexual issues in his marriage. When Jean helps his wife, Mr. Groff does something reprehensible with the information Jean has collected on some of the students. Causes havoc, indeed.
Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) is sexually assaulted on a public bus. Maeve (Emma Mackey), ever the feminist, helps her deal with it. Maeve reformed this season. She decided to perform academically. Her mother and half-sister show up needing a place to stay and she shares the caravan with them.
Isaac (George Robinson) and his brother move in next door to Maeve. Isaac is in a wheelchair. He knows how to stir up things and get what he wants.
Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) smashes his own hand so he won’t have to swim. Pretty extreme solution for a kid who can’t tell his moms he doesn’t want to swim anymore. Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu) becomes his tutor and Shakespeare coach. Viv is a strong presence this season and a great addition to the story.
Lily (Tanya Reynolds) excites Ola with her Tank Girl vibe and they become a couple. Otis doesn’t really mind, although it takes a huge drunken evening for him to clarify that idea.
A Few Final Thoughts
I think every high school needs someone like Otis and his sex therapist mother to help the kids (and adults) navigate the tricky business of sexuality. A sex ed curriculum that includes straight talk and information for LGBTQ students would be a good start.
The directors aren’t updated on IMDB, but Alice Seabright and Sophie Goodhart both directed at least 2 episodes of season 2. The series was created by Laurie Nunn.
I have no news about a 3rd season at this time. The themes and the strong characters written into this story should keep going, in my opinion. This unique series brings something valuable to the TV landscape and I hope it is renewed.
Here’s the season 2 trailer.
What do you think of the series Sex Education? Love it or hate it?