As season one drew to an end, Otis (Asa Butterfield) seemed to have finally overcome his own irrational fear of his penis. And as season two opens, it would be fair to say that Otis is making up for lost time. Whether it be in bed, behind a tree or in his mums car. His new found friend demands his attention at every turn. But it’s not only Otis’ penis that demands attention, as sex education makes its season two debut.
From the first episode, Laurie Nun’s creation sings with the same optimism and charm of season one, demanding the viewers attention. While equally combining laugh out loud comedy with the anxiety of teenage life and bittersweet relationships of both adolescence and adulthood. Ultimately delivering a comedy/drama that continues to push genre boundaries as it swings from outrageous comedy to heartfelt drama in the blink of an eye.
From the outset season two feels more mature, its footing and format clearly defined in season one. Allowing its second outing to stretch beyond the teenagers at its heart. With parents and teachers gaining their own delicious character development, from marriage and the disintegration of love to reclaiming sexuality. Season two steps beyond the teenage confines of the first outing. With Laurie Nun clearly demonstrating that age does not necessarily bring wisdom or additional knowledge to relationships. While also reflecting the need for continued advice and support as an adult in sex and relationship problems. Meanwhile Otis’ mum Jean (Gillian Anderson), has the opportunity to further expand her character and role. As she finds a new place in school life, much to the distain of her son. While her own relationship with plumber Jakob (Mikael Persbandt) treads new ground.
But its within the continuing journey of Otis, best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), outcast Maeve (Emma Mackey), misunderstood Adam (Connor Swindells). And Otis’ new girlfriend Ola (Patricia Allison) that season two truly shines. Ensuring each character has the space to fully develop in a limited eight episode run. With Otis discovering the complex truths of relationships, while Eric finds the perfect boy at school. Only to find he still longs for the danger and excitement of the closeted Adam. Meanwhile Maeve rejoins the school year, only to find her estranged mother on her doorstep, with a three year old child in tow.
While the plethora of beautifully structured side characters including Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood). All receive their own unique developmental opportunities, from Shakespeare to baking.
Unlike many teenage drama’s Sex Education’s ability to cross age and gender demographics only increases during season two. In many ways reflecting the success of channel fours first two seasons of the acclaimed Skins. However, unlike Skins, Sex Education glows with positivity, humour and optimism. Lacing its more serious storylines with a lightness of touch and upbeat script. While every performance is wrapped in the same positivity, with no character a mere stereotype or lazy creation. Meanwhile, the effortless ability of the show to reflect the diversity and inclusion of modern youth, is truly heartwarming. Even when tackling challenging issues, characters support and encourage their fellow friends with love and care.
This charm, generosity and sincerity surrounds every scene, every performance and every line of dialogue. Ensuring the viewer feels part of the Moordale family. Not only caring for each character, but also the world they inhabit.
A second season is never easy, as the expectations of the audience built through the first outing impact on the pressure to achieve in the second. But Sex Education hits every note, every line and every performance with perfection. Providing us with a delightful return to Moordale Secondary School, alongside a world that continues to expand and develop.