Having season 2 of Sex Education begin on the awkward, yet hilarious, montage of Otis finally finally able to masturbate, but unable to stop, launches us straight back into the oddball world we were introduced to last season.
Their 80’s fashion, modern mobile phones, British setting yet American feeling high school, create a unique setting that forms its own world.
While some Netflix viewers complained last season was ‘confusing’, and not set in any real time zone, many fans feel that Sex Education has created its own canonical world, similar enough to ours to feel comfortable in, but different enough to notice.
Each character continues on the paths built for them in season 1, giving continuity, and a chance to further connect with the characters this season.
Adam is at military school, Maeve is trying to get back into school, Jean is beginning to tire of her relationship with Jakob, Jackson struggles with the pressure put on him to swim and Ola is still trying to develop her relationship with Otis.
Throughout this season each character is given a chance to grow, and quickly mature… in the way that only 16 year olds can.
Bringing Otis’s mum, Jean, into school to help reform their sexual education program, is a great way to incorporate more adult relationships into the show. It also presents the chance for several stand offs between Jean, and the school’s head teacher, Mr.Groff, in which she smoothly outwits him.
After so much focus on Otis’s romances last season, placing more attention on the adult relationships in the show is refreshing. It makes the show more available to those outside of the teen demographic.
The small moments are what really make these adult relationships feel real, and heartbreaking.
Jean’s heartbreak as she cries after being rejected by Jakob is so evident, it feels like sitting in on someone’s private moment. Jean is a perfect character for Gillian Anderson to take on. She’s classy, collected and knows what she wants, but still has a goofy, and sometimes slightly awkward air to her in a naturally human way.
Headmaster Groff moving into the school, following his wife asking for a divorce seems unrealistic, until you consider how uptight, and angry he is.
Living without his dad is what lets Adam feel able to ask Eric out on stage, in front of the whole school, finally comfortable in showing off his sexuality.
Sexuality is well explored again this season, pansexuality and asexuality aren’t often heard of, or explored in TV. Sex Education approaches them in an open, heartfelt way that offers a connection, and understanding, between the viewer, and the character.
Season 2, though still largely following Otis’s life, develops each character into people that feel real. They have flaws that can’t always be over looked, make choices that they know will have a negative outcome and they have to go through real personal development, to be able to fix the problems they’ve caused.
The addition of new characters, namely Viv, Issac and Rahim, all work towards the development of other characters, Jackson, Maeve and Eric respectively, while still having their own personalities, and lives. They’re added as real characters, rather than just ways to move along the plots of already established characters.
A dream sequence we experience with Ola plays with lighting, abstract projections play over her, and Lily’s faces as they dreamily appear, and disappear, in various strange locations.
There are several scenes similar to this, playing with lighting colour, and movement, in a way thats reminiscent of large theatre productions. Colours play a huge role in the show, the saturation mixed with the usually brightly coloured costume gives everything a pop.
Just stylised enough to be noticed, and interesting, but not so much to ever be distracting, it gives a very clean, perfect feel to the homes, and other environments we see.
In happier scenes this lends to the overall bright, and comedic, feeling. During more emotional scenes it leaves the situation feeling more real, because nothing has changed, the world is still bright and happy around them, even as they feel they’re falling apart.
After watching Otis become more of, in his words, an arsehole over the course of the season, ending with him realising that, and beginning to try to fix the hurt he’d caused, leaves us wanting more of this show.
Sex Education is a show that feels natural, and human. No one is perfect, not everything runs smoothly, and they all just try to make the most of it.
It’s a show with a style all of it’s own, diverse without feeling forced, funny, awkward, and most importantly, hugely entertaining.
A show called Sex Education was never one for children, but this season certainly feels more mature. There feels to be more of a direction to the show, each plot has gotten bigger, and though some have been resolved theres plenty more to warrant another season.
If you’re looking for a show thats charming, honest, and says every taboo word you can think of, this is one for you. With talk of season 3 already swirling, now is the best time to hop on the bandwagon, and admit its a brilliant show.