Sex Education Season 2 Review - The Trials of a Teenager

Sex Education Season 2 Review - The Trials of a Teenager

Sex Education Season 2 is what you'd expect from a fun, quirky look at the secret sex lives of teenagers...but with a whole new perspective on what that means.

Sex education season 2 is out, and it's been a rollercoaster of feelings. The second season of this coming-of-age series has seen us revisit the lives of the high-school protagonists in the fictional town of Moordale, picking right up where we left off. However, those of us that had enjoyed season 1 will see some of the same stuff we saw there, in season 2, but there is a distinct change to how Netflix approaches the new season. Season 2 isn't pulling any punches, and it seeks to inform as well as entertain.

While in a few cases TV shows that try this mix of information and entertainment (especially regarding sex) seem to come off as preachy, Sex Education is actually very watchable, with a few very notable moments. As usual, with any review, spoilers are coming, so if it's not something you want to experience, it's time you clicked away. Still with me? Good. Let's explore this season of Netflix's Sex Education and what makes it such a great show.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Sex Education

With a lot of teenage drama, grabbing the viewers' attention can be a difficult task because of how they closed the last season. As if the producers had a crystal ball, previous season's dour ending for some characters such as Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) and Adam Groff (Connor Swindells) feel as though the writers never planned to keep the removal of those characters permanent. While Maeve's reinstatement into the school seems a bit soft, Adam has to take the hard road to earn his way back into our hearts but does so admirably by the end of the season. However, all's not well in Moordale.

We last saw Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) when he was celebrating his new relationship with Ola Nyman (Patricia Allison), but this quickly goes sour as Ola becomes increasingly paranoid about Maeve's designs on her boyfriend. Which, to be fair, looking at Maeve's pining over Otis, is understandable. Meanwhile, Otis's best friend Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa) finds himself missing Adam, who has since been shipped off to military school for failing to live up to his father's expectations. Maeve's ex-boyfriend, the swimming star Jackson Marchetti (Kedar Williams-Stirling ) injures himself on purpose to escape from training, and we find ourselves following his instability as he spirals into depression and longing, and slowly discovers a new passion for theatre.

Old Faces, New Faces, Familiar Feelings

Sex Education

Doctor Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson)gets hired on to help Moordale Academy's sex education curriculum, much to the disgust of principal Michael Groff (Alistair Petrie) a paranoia that impacts his life to such an extent that his wife leaves him and he is in danger of losing his job. Otis is, understandably, mortified, not just because his mother’s working at his school now, but that she may find out about his illicit sex advice ring that formed the foil of season 1. Jean's problems with relationships continue as she breaks up with her boyfriend, Jakob Nyman (Mikael Persbrandt) and tries to find her place in life. Other characters such as Maeve's best friend Aimee Gibbs (Aimee Lou Wood and "tentacle girl" from the first season, Lily Iglehart (Tanya Reynolds) also get more added to their backstory to make them feel more like real characters.

Lily and Ola enjoy each other's company a lot more this season.

New characters also abound in this season. Helping Jackson cope with losing Maeve is A-Student Viv Odesanya (Chinenye Ezeudu) who also comes to her own realization about her life. Maeve's absent mum Erin (Anne-Marie Duff) shows up unexpectedly, and we witness the destruction of the remaining relationship between her and her daughter in a tearful conclusion. Maeve's new neighbor, Isaac Baker (George Robinson), consoles her after her loss of Otis and at the close of the season, we almost feel like they make a great pair. Almost.

While the entire dance of the season slowly plays out and leaves us feeling like we were punched in the gut at the end of it, we do get some closure for some of the relationships we were expecting. Old pairings like Adam and Eric happen at the close of the season, leaving us with a bittersweet feeling. Some of the newer and long-expected pairings don't end up so lucky, however.

Impressions and Thoughts

Sex Education season 2 is less funny than the first season, but it's far more socially aware. Instead of giving us a set of gags regarding teenagers finding out about themselves, we're presented instead with what could be real-world scenes of teens asking essential questions regarding sex and the way their bodies work.

The girls show solidarity to help Aimee get over her fear of the bus after a sexual harassment incident.

Within a single season, Sex Education manages to cover touchy topics such as pansexuality and asexuality, as well as political things such as sexual harassment of women, all without making it seem as though it's taboo to discuss those things. For a TV series that informs like this and still carries the burden of entertainment well is nearly unheard of. If you're looking for something that'll have you laughing at raunchy jokes but won't make you feel weird because of the sex-talk, this is where you should be at. Some fans are unhappy with the cliffhanger a the end of this season, but I can't wait to see what they offer to us in season 3!

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