Reminisce on your teenage days by watching Sex Education’s latest season
By Hannah Papke, Contributor
The British comedy-drama series about sex-crazed high school teenagers Sex Education has released its third season last Sept. 17, with more complex characters and unique storylines that made fans reminisce their teenage days and pull at their heartstrings. In fact, Netflix has heard the series’ fans and gave it the stamp of approval for its fourth season.
Sex Education’s third season seems to have the characters straddling the fence between teendom and adulthood, which allows its creators to evolve the show’s characters to be very three-dimensional in their personalities and the complexity of their feelings. This new instalment allowed for the characters to grow, make mistakes and act in ways authentic to teenagers experiencing the actual hardships of high school and growing up.
The main protagonist Otis (Asa Butterfield), is such an interesting character to watch. He shows that growth is not always linear as he struggles to navigate his way through different relationships with a new lover Ruby (Mimi Keene) and his first love Mauve (Emma Mackey). He consistently makes decisions that seem so flawed yet very relatable to the viewer, especially when dealing with Mauve.
This season also explores how Mauve faced the struggle of her mother’s addiction and her little sister being placed in a foster home. She showed growth through her hesitant acceptance of help from her peers and teachers, which led to the eventual breaking down of her emotional walls.
A character that viewers learned much more about this season was Ruby, who was previously seen as the school’s “mean girl.” This season revealed a softer and much more vulnerable side of Ruby — one that showed the struggles she faces at home, her deep insecurities and her hidden loneliness. These tender details created such sympathy for Ruby that her previous lash-outs and mean tendencies seem so forgivable which is such a strong theme throughout the show.
Sex Education has stuck with its trend of creating raw characters by showing the parents as flawed people as well. Otis’ mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) was seen dealing with her pregnancy and struggling with her relationships with Otis and her partner. Similarly, Adam’s father Michael (Alistair Petrie) struggled with his own midlife problems. Viewers got to see a much more vulnerable side of Michael, which is a large contrast to how we previously saw him as a harsh father and partner.
Instead of falling into the expected stereotypes of creating teenagers as melodramatic characters, Sex Education continues to create diverse and complicated characters that are so appealing to viewers. It acknowledges that being a teen is hard and allows each character space to find themselves, make mistakes and learn how they fit into their world.