The long-awaited new season of Sex Education was released on Netflix on Sept. 17, immediately garnering attention through its large online fandom. The first episode opens with an explosive start, montaging sex scenes between the growing list of characters.
The pace of Sex Education picks up somewhat shortly after the barrage of cliff-hangers that concluded season 2, released over a year and a half ago. Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) resume their awkward impasse, Adam (Connor Swindells) figures out his new relationship dynamic with Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), and beloved sex therapist Jean (Gillian Anderson) tackles impending motherhood.
Adamant on further complicating the show, Sex Education adds a host of new characters and storylines that quickly stretch the show thin. For example, new non-binary student Cal, played by recording artist Dua Saleh, gets only a few minutes of screentime within the first several episodes. The show attempts to revive plotlines with new introductions, but it fails to commit to ridding itself of old ones—the result is a show that leaves the viewer perpetually unsatisfied and uninterested. Episodes are spent “checking in” on an array of side characters in their never-ending conquest of sexual sequences that appear more slapstick than dramedy.
But, what Sex Education fails in concision it makes up in humor and shock. Continuously the show takes sudden comedic turns and surprising twists with a fascinatingly high “jokes per minute” precision. It doesn’t fail to make viewers laugh at outrageous and relatable risqué scenarios and taboo subjects. Like the first and second seasons, Sex Education is able to formulate a show that reaches topic matters far and wide, such as LGBTQ+ sexuality, performance insecurity, sexual assault, and now, pregnancy.
With the new headmaster replacing Adam’s father, there is an uncertain shakeup occurring to the once colorful and vibrant British secondary school. With the onset of new plots, uniforms, and sex advice, Sex Education tries to exceed the expectations of its starved fandom. Unfortunately, with its inability to contain itself within the narrower cast of its previous seasons, Sex Education underperforms and underwhelms a viewership that survived a pandemic while awaiting its production.
Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix