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Sex Education is a British comedy-drama web television series, created by Laurie Nunn, that premiered on 11 January 2019, on Netflix. The series stars Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, and Kedar Williams-Stirling. In February 2019, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season. Sex Education follows "a socially awkward high school virgin who lives with his sex therapist mother. He teams up with 'whip-smart bad-girl' Maeve to set up a clinic to deal with their fellow students' weird and wonderful problems."
|Created by||Laurie Nunn|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||46–52 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Eleven Film|
|Picture format||4K (UHDTV)|
|Original release||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11) –|
Sex Education is a British comedy-drama web television series, created by Laurie Nunn, that premiered on 11 January 2019, on Netflix. The series stars Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, and Kedar Williams-Stirling. In February 2019, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.
Sex Education follows "a socially awkward high school virgin who lives with his sex therapist mother. He teams up with 'whip-smart bad-girl' Maeve to set up a clinic to deal with their fellow students' weird and wonderful problems."
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Episode 1"||Ben Taylor||Laurie Nunn||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Otis, a sixth form student whose mother Jean is a sex therapist, struggles with his inability to masturbate. His best friend Eric, who is openly gay, informs him that everyone in their class has had sex over the summer, except Otis. Adam, the school bully and the son of the headmaster, is unable to orgasm after sex with his girlfriend Aimee. Aimee shares her troubles with Maeve, who has a reputation for being promiscuous. Adam and Otis are assigned partners; when Adam comes over to Otis's house, he discovers all of Jean's paraphernalia despite Otis's efforts to hide it. The next day, Adam tells everyone in class, causing an embarrassed Otis to rush out, with Maeve going after him. Later, they find Adam in an abandoned building, unable to calm down after having taken three Viagra pills. Adam explains his situation, and Otis gives him advice to own his narrative. The next day, Adam exposes himself in front of the entire cafeteria as a means of "owning his narrative." He is able to achieve orgasm with Aimee, but she dumps him as he is now an embarrassment. Maeve proposes to Otis that they run a sex therapy clinic at the school – with Maeve handling the logistics and Otis providing the therapy – and split the profits.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Ben Taylor||Laurie Nunn||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Aimee hosts a house party where Otis and Maeve attempt to find clients by giving out free advice (based on a "product sample" idea by Eric). Eric attempts to teach the girls how to properly perform fellatio, but while practising on bananas, one girl's gag reflex kicks in, leading to disaster. Otis locks himself in the bathroom with a couple who injured themselves during an attempt at sex, and provides valuable therapy. Adam breaks into the party and finds Aimee talking to another guy; he smashes a vase full of Aimee's grandmother's ashes into the new guy's head. Jean struggles with Otis being distant from her, and Otis feels resentment towards her as he feels she is too intrusive. Maeve, who discovers that she is pregnant, has sex with Jackson to take her mind off things; but he wants a more concrete relationship with her. Dejected due to her pregnancy, she tells Otis she plans to call the sex therapy off. The next day, several students approach Otis for advice. Enlightened, he tells Maeve he intends to continue with the plan.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Ben Taylor||Sophie Goodhart||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Otis has a wet dream about Maeve and ejaculates, which he unsuccessfully tries to hide from Jean. At the abortion clinic, Maeve finds out that the clinic's policy requires someone to come pick her up; she asks Otis and he agrees thinking it is a date. Eric is selected for the Swing Band, and clarinettist Lily offers to help him catch up to speed. At Eric's place, Lily tries to have sex with him, but ends up playing with makeup and watching gay porn once she discovers Eric is gay. Otis goes early to the clinic and gets kicked out; he offers relationship advice to a pro-life couple protesting outside the clinic. Miss Sands, the English teacher, accuses Maeve of plagiarising a paper, but encourages her to put her talent to better use for herself. Jackson wins a swim meet, but is saddened to learn that Maeve is not in attendance. After the abortion, Otis walks Maeve home, and they share a heartfelt hug.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Ben Taylor||Laura Neal & Laurie Nunn||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Maeve and Otis continue texting, while Jackson looks for ways to ask Maeve to be his girlfriend. Jackson approaches Otis for advice and pays him upfront; when Otis attempts to return the money, he unwittingly offers Jackson tips about Maeve's interests. Jackson uses the information to get closer to Maeve. Jean is attracted to the handyman Jakob, who has arrived to fix her bathroom. When Otis is carrying out research for lesbian clients (by watching lesbian porn), Jakob's daughter Ola walks in. Eric gets a job as a dogwalker but causes Adam's dog to run off at the park, landing Adam in trouble with his father. Lily asks Otis if he would like to have sex with her (as they are both virgins), but he declines. Otis has another session with his clients in the school swimming pool but doesn't make any progress. Afterwards, Maeve and Otis wind up playfighting in the pool, with Otis getting an erection that he hides from Maeve. When Jackson asks Otis for advice on how to ask Maeve out, he suggests a grand gesture in the hopes of sabotage. Jackson's grand gesture works, and Maeve agrees to be his girlfriend.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Kate Herron||Sophie Goodhart & Laura Hunter||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Jackson invites Maeve over for dinner to meet his parents, as they have been dating for a month. The encounter starts going south when the parents enquire about Maeve's parents, so she sneaks out of the back door. Later, she apologises to Jackson and comes clean about her dysfunctional family, causing Jackson to open up about his insecurities. Maeve and Otis try to find out who is disseminating a particularly embarrassing photo of one of their clients while Otis and Eric plan to attend Hedwig and the Angry Inch in full costume as part of their yearly tradition for Eric's birthday. In the process of solving the photo mystery, Otis stands Eric up. Eric's phone and wallet are stolen, and he is assaulted by two homophobes on the way home. He calls Jean and she picks him up; when Otis returns home, he and Eric get into a massive verbal fight, and both storm off.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Kate Herron||Laurie Nunn & Freddy Syborn||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|In a flashback, Otis catches his father Remi having sex with one of his patients, leading to his parents' divorce. Following his father's advise, Otis decides to take Lily up on her previous offer. During their session, Otis is incredibly awkward and has a panic attack when Lily's advances trigger his childhood memories. Eric, increasingly isolated, tries to dress "more normal." He winds up lashing out at the Swing Band instructor and punches out Anwar, resulting in suspension. His father tries to connect with Eric but is unsuccessful. Adam wins an essay-writing competition with an essay he had paid Maeve to write. Miss Sands correctly guesses that Maeve wrote the essay (as does Otis) and informs Mr Groff, who is already suspicious. Otis advises Aimee, who has a new boyfriend who insists that she dictate matters in bed. Jean, still infatuated with Jakob, manufactures a situation for him to come to her house and they become intimate. Maeve's brother Sean returns after having disappeared for several months; they reconcile after some tense moments. Maeve and Otis try to sort out their feelings for each other individually, but Ola asks Otis out to complicate matters.|
|7||"Episode 7"||Kate Herron||Sophie Goodhart||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
|Maeve and Otis do not want to go to the school dance, but Jackson and Ola convince them otherwise. Maeve tries to sabotage Ola and Otis's relationship, but Ola is unaffected; when she tries to connect with Otis, he unwittingly insults her and she leaves. Imbued with newfound confidence, Eric goes to the dance in full drag, where he reconciles with Otis. At the dance, Otis's client Liam threatens to jump off a ledge but Otis is able to talk him down when he gives an impassioned speech about unrequited love; unbeknown to him, it leaves Maeve shaken. Jackson confesses that he paid Otis for tips on Maeve, creating a rift between them. Later, Jackson gets into a fight with his overbearing mother and returns to Maeve, professing his love for her. Adam gets into a physical altercation with his father, straining their already-troubled relationship. When Jakob opens up to Jean about his wish for a committed relationship, she turns him down due to Otis's concerns regarding his relationship with Ola. Otis finds her draft of a new book that details his sexual frustrations.|
|8||"Episode 8"||Kate Herron||Laurie Nunn||11 January 2019 (2019-01-11)|
On 28 November 2017, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order. The series was created by Laurie Nunn with Ben Taylor expected to direct. Executive producers were set to include Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson via their production company Eleven Film. On 4 December 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on 11 January 2019. On 1 February 2019, it was announced that Netflix had renewed the series for a second season.
On 17 May 2018, it was announced that Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, and Kedar Williams-Stirling had joined the series's main cast. On 16 July 2018, it was reported that James Purefoy had been cast in a recurring role.
Filming for the series took place in the Wye Valley in England and Wales, including locations in Llandogo and Tintern, Monmouthshire. The scenes set at Moordale Secondary School were filmed at the former campus of the University of South Wales in Caerleon, Newport.
The first season received a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 8.36 out of 10 based on 57 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Bawdy, heartfelt, and surprisingly wise, Sex Education is a raucous romp through a group of teenagers whose sexual misadventures are so thoughtfully rendered, adults could learn a thing or two from them." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 81 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "universal acclaim."
In a positive review, IndieWire's Liz Shannon Miller gave the series a grade of "A-" saying, "Again, though, it's the kids' story, with the fluctuations in both friendships and relationships pinging back and forth with youthful verve. Sex Education does a lot of things really well, chief amongst them being the creation of a high school world which feels fully developed — realistic to a degree, but.. [with] a sense of escapism." The Daily Mirror's Lewis Knight awarded it a rating of five out of five stars, noting that with "a talented ensemble and explicit tackling of sexuality in young people (and their parents)", it "is an hilariously honest and refreshingly diverse comedy". The New York Times's James Poniewozik described the series as "timely but not hamfistedly topical, feminist, with a refreshing lack of angst about its subject. Sex, in this show, isn't an 'issue' or a problem or a titillating lure: It's an aspect of health".
In a mixed assessment, The Washington Post's Hank Stuever wrote, "there's the usual problem of Netflix drift for an episode or two midway through, where the plot dawdles while the writers and producers figure out an ending. Yet there's an artfulness to the material and a genuine care on display here, too — a message that we are not just about the size and shape and inventive uses of our private parts". In a negative review, The Independent's Ed Power gave the series a rating of two out of five stars and criticised it saying, "Sex Education suffers further for not being grounded in a distinctive time and place...Eager to please but confused, Sex Education could do with a stint on the therapist's couch itself".