You’re probably reading this to discover if you should watch the latest season of Netflix’s “Sex Education.” The short answer? Yes. Hell yes. The long answer? You absolutely have to watch this season, because there’s truly nothing else like it streaming right now.
Although some may dub “Euphoria” the absolute quintessential Generation Z show, that honor should instead go to “Sex Education.”
The latest season of “Sex Education” was released in all of its eight-episode glory on Sept. 17. Besides being ridiculously timely, the show’s marketing is also nothing short of brilliant. The teasers for this season depicted each character beside a type of flower that suited their personality. The caption reads, “growth is a group project.” This simple caption best summarizes this entire season: It’s all about growth, growth and more growth.
If you need a recap of season two’s tumultuous events, here’s a brilliant video of Otis Milburn and Eric Effiong hilariously summarizing last season’s highlights. The season begins, unfortunately, with Otis sporting a mustache. As he’s reminded more than once in the show, the look doesn't suit him.
Hope Haddon, the new headmistress of Moordale Secondary School, is hell-bent on reforming the school. Her character perfectly captures that brand of “feminist” teacher that all-too-often is more of a foe than an ally to queer students or students of color.
She constantly thwarts every effort for Cal Bowman, a nonbinary student in the show that uses they/them pronouns, to express themselves in an authentic way. One of her first comments on the show is a microaggression against Jackson Marchetti.
Ruby Matthews and Otis make a seriously badass couple, and there are lots of fans that ship them together, instead of Otis and Maeve Wiley. Their stint together this season is short-lived, though. But the show successfully makes the stereotypical ultra-hot popular girl achieve far greater complexities than what this character trope is usually afforded.
There are a few moments that are so powerful, like Eric’s trip to Nigeria. Yet, nothing is quite as moving as the moment last season when Aimee Gibbs boards the bus for the first time since she was sexually assaulted, accompanied by many of the other female characters of the show for support. This scene often makes its rounds on Twitter as one of the best TV moments of all time, and there really is no topping it.
Another thing that makes “Sex Education” so different from everything else out there right now is that the show doesn’t just focus on the struggles of relationships between adolescents, but also those that exist between adults.
High school age is often highly romanticized, and oftentimes it feels like well, that’s it, there’s nothing new or fun or transformative to experience after high school. This show continually disproves that, and all of the older characters are constantly trying to be better.
Take Jakob Nyman for instance. He works on trust this season, and even admits that he has trouble trusting others, but that he wants to work on it.
The varying directions that the characters go in feel very authentic and transformative for the viewer. Each person’s journey is so unique to themselves, yet so beautifully interconnected with the other characters in the show, that it makes it feel so real and rewarding to watch.
Friendship in the show is just as gorgeous, if not more beautiful, than the romantic relationships in the show. Aimee and Maeve promise to be one another’s moms because they both (talk about a tear-jerker!) resent their mothers for different reasons. Eric reminds Otis of his own goodness. Ola Nyman encourages Adam Groff to open up more and verbalize his feelings.
It’s all just enough to give the viewer goosebumps. And you know, maybe shed a few tears.
The juxtaposition of Adam and his father’s struggles throughout the season added depth to the show. Both father and son are struggling with generational trauma in different ways. They also are battling their own fights against masculinity.
The season ends with major plot twists and interesting developments for every single one of the characters. The viewer is left wondering what on earth is going to happen to Maeve and Otis (what’s new), how Jean and Jakob’s future is going to look like with their new (maybe?) baby together, how Adam and Eric’s relationship (or not?) will play out, and whether or not Moordale Secondary School will even be around next semester.
Watch this season if you want to cry a bit, laugh at Otis’ mustache, and of course, see some pretty epic sex scenes.