At the end of Sex Education Season 1, leading boy Otis (22-year-old Asa Butterfield, playing 16 and totally getting away with it) was having problems coming to grips with masturbation.
Fans will be delighted to see he has overcome this issue with a lengthy opening montage in the first episode of Season 2. Even his sex therapist mom Jean (Gillian Anderson) gets quite the eyeful, which rattles her usual unflappable calmness in such matters of the flesh.
Here’s a quick Season 1 recap:
Otis, who knows more than most lads and lasses his age, begins giving sex advice of his own to his peers, based on the fact it’s his mum’s occupation and he’s been exposed to it all his life. His best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) is gay and out, but that doesn’t stop him being bullied relentlessly by Adam (Connor Swindells), the son of their school principal. Let’s just say, it transpires that Adam is nurturing some latent homosexual tendencies of his own.
Otis is smitten with tough rebel gal Maeve (Emma Mackey), who joins him as his partner in the sex advice business, setting up the appointments in the abandoned toilet block and handling the cash they are raking in.
But at the end of the season, Otis hooks up with Ola (Patricia Allison), daughter of the plumber who’s been taking care of Jean’s pipes.
There are all sorts of side stories going on as well to flesh things out.
Season 1 was a hilarious success, and Season 2 builds on that. After we witness Otis’s success with the tent pole in his pants, the scene is set with a hysterical outbreak of chlamydia, involving screaming teens and face masks because apparently no one (not even the teachers) know how it’s transmitted. A parents’ assembly brings Jean into the picture as a consultant for an outdated sex education curriculum.
Otis, who has quit his own advice practice, is ready to take things to the next level with Ola, but is surprisingly naïve about what that entails. He turns to the internet for help, which is never a good idea. The dual mother/father/son/daughter relationships lead to all sorts of domestic complications. Oh, why not throw in an ex for good measure?
Eric swoons over a new boy at school but is still conflicted with his feelings for Adam, who has been shipped off to military school. We all need a bestie like Eric, who is the eternally enthusiastic cheerleader for Otis’s attempts at a sex life, who is also adorably sensitive and has a flamboyant wardrobe.
Maeve wangles her way back into the classroom – specifically the one with gifted students. She and Ola send steely glares in each other’s direction, until an ultimatum is delivered. Maeve’s got some family drama of her own to deal with, as well as new neighbours in the trailer park where she lives.
This season explores themes like female bonding (with quite a heavy-handed Me Too scene), performance pressure (sporting and otherwise), more questions and answers about the ins and outs of sex (including anal), all the jealousies and confusions and preferences and fetishes we believe teenagers – and some adults – are exploring, and how Jean’s presence at the school mortifies Otis and teeters on the brink of discovering what he’s been up to.
There’s even a Euphoria-esque lesbian moment, and one of those cliché parties that’s supposed to be an intimate gathering but ends up being a full-on rave complete with strobe lights, fabulous music, puking and, yes, sex.
Plenty of sex. It’s in the title, what did you expect?