Series treats subject with respect

Emily Lovelock, Staff writer

Despite initial concerns due to Netflix’s reputation for using mature content simply for its shock value rather than its actual artistic value, the platform’s new show “Sex Education” proves to be a refreshing step toward what the future of such material on Netflix should be.

Otis Milburn, the son of a sex therapist, is pushed by his classmate Maeve Wiley to start his own clinic with her at their school after she witnesses him help fellow student Adam after he overdoses on Viagra in his struggle to overcome his impotence.

The show has sufficient predictability to viewers satisfied in its realism, but more than enough plot twists to keep them on the edge of their seats.

Despite the pilot including multiple graphic scenes, the sexual aspect of the show isn’t exploited for views. The opening scenes act more as a filter for the potential audience, clearing out the viewers that aren’t as comfortable with sexual scenarios. Unlike with other series, the graphic content actually decreases with each episode.

The plot also changes from Otis helping people with their physical issues to a more honest discussion about emotional conflicts and identity concerns.

“Sex Education” also twists old tropes — like the will-they-won’t-they love story and the manic pixie dream girl — along with crude humor to mask a serious show that tackles tough topics such as the effects of teen pregnancy, suicide, drug use cheating and mental health.

It’s rare that a show is able to handle such themes without falling back on a number of damaging stereotypes, but “Sex Education” proves to be genuine and well-rounded in its presentation, challenging the representations seen in traditional television.

“Helping people out with their physical issues to a more honest discussion about emotional conflicts and identity concerns.”

Asa Butterfield gives an amazing performance as Otis, but the entire cast is stellar. Despite this being her first major series, Emma Mackey is quickly making a name for herself in the role of Maeve — even drawing numerous comparisons to Margot Robbie.

The show is only improved by the amazing cinematography and overall design. It is amazing to see the characters so clearly reflected in their environments. The landscapes and costumes feel true to each scene, if not playfully campy at times.

“Sex Education” is a ground breaking show that will definitely be in the public eye for some time.

DISCLAIMER: This show is not intended for children. Please follow the content guidelines set by your parents.