By Saoirse Higgins
On the 17th January, the anticipated second season of Sex Education finally hit Netflix. The first season of the show was highly acclaimed on its release in January of last year and has since garnered its own following.
If you were a fan of the first season, the second season will not disappoint. Beginning in typical Sex Education fashion with the school in a frenzy over a chlamydia outbreak, all our favourite characters return along with a few newbies to make things more interesting.
Our old cast of characters – Otis, Eric, Maeve and Jackson – come back with new problems to face them. The show doesn’t waste time on trying to repeat the first season and takes on new ideas.
The characterisation of Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) in this season are ones to note. The show really delves into the flaws and strengths of these characters and it’s good to see a show not afraid to critique its protagonist’s bad behaviour. The actors also give great performances, breathing life into the drama.
Eric’s character – played by Ncuti Gatwa – is one of my favourite characters and is well worth mentioning. His character continues to be hilarious with a great performance from Gatwa.
The new characters fit in nicely with the story and never feel forced or unnatural. We are introduced to French exchange student Rahim, new neighbours for Maeve, and quiz head genius Viv. Each new character is likeable in their own way and the actors certainly give their best performances.
The relationships this new cast forms with our original characters create different dimensions to the characters that we hadn’t seen before, especially Jackson. These new sides shown by the characters are a natural progression from their personas in the first season and it’s refreshing to see how the creators intertwined the new and old characters for the second season.
The first season was a balanced mix of comedy and drama, with more of a tilt towards the comedy side. However, in this new season, the comedy elements remain while the drama heightens. There are several tear-jerker moments in most of the episodes and the show does not shy away from dealing with adult content such as drug misuse, self-harm and abuse.
Most of us can agree that the show is not a completely realistic portrayal of teen life, yet this does not tarnish its relatability. The show creates realistic characters and exaggerates them to create a more entertaining show. This works so well in this context, as the show is fully aware of what it’s doing, and it plays well to the audience.
Sex Education is a refreshing, funny take on the teen experience and is funny for all ages. The second season continues the legacy the first began, and I think surpasses the first season as the creators and actors settle into their roles and bring something interesting to the Netflix table.