Sex Education: Season 1/ Episode 1 [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Sex Education Season 1 Episode 1 [Series Premiere] - Title Card
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Sex Education takes on the idea of being a teen sex comedy in ways you, surprisingly, may not have seen before.


Network
Netflix
Creator Laurie Nunn
Director(s) Ben Taylor
Writer(s) Laurie Nunn
Air Date 1/11/2019
Genre(s) Comedy, Young Adult
Good If You Like Honest Conversations About Sex

Inclusion Of All Sexualities When Talking About Sex

Isn’t For You If You Are Uncomfortable Seeing Real and Fake Penises

Don’t Like Hearing People Talk About Sex

Introduced This Episode
Otis Asa Butterfield
Eric Ncuti Gatwa
Adam Connor Swindells
Maeve Emma Mackey
Aimee Aimee Lou Wood
Jean Gillian Anderson
Anwar Chaneil Kular
Jackson Kedar Williams-Stirling

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The Introduction

It’s the beginning of 6th form for Otis and Eric, and it seems things haven’t necessarily changed since they were younger. Yes, Eric is coming into his own as a fabulous gay man, but neither one are in a relationship. Well, Eric has a good one with his hands, as others have experienced, but Otis has a bit of a problem masturbating. That can partly be contributed to his mom, Jean, having vocal orgasms with random men who never spend the night more than once. Yet, with her being a sex therapist, naturally, Otis doesn’t necessarily want her knowing he has a problem with his, and maybe penises, in general.

But, thanks to ending up partners for English with Adam, son of the headmaster and Eric’s bully, Otis quickly finds himself having to embrace all things penis, vagina, and orgasm. Long story short, Adam was having issues ejaculating due to the pressures of having a big penis (which you will see) and his dad being headmaster. However, thanks to Otis, with some assistance from Maeve, your local scary punk chick, Adam gets to cum. He gets to cum just in time for Aimee to break up with him for Otis may have helped him get off, but also instilled him with a bit too much confidence as well.

However, being that Maeve is a bit of a hustler, she sees Otis’ knowledge as a means to make some money. So, with her handling the business side, him the therapy, an arrangement is made. One which will change Otis’ life forever.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • For Americans, 6th form would be the equivalent to community college.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where is Otis’ dad? Did Jean slip up once and BAM! She got a kid?
  2. Are most of Jean’s lovers her patients?

Highlights

Otis

Otis (Asa Buttefield) as he tries to masturbate.
Otis (Asa Buttefield)

What you have to love about Butterfield as an actor is he knows the line between presenting someone, especially teenagers, in an authentic manner. The way Otis is performed gives us this awkward guy, with a tad social anxiety, but not so much you think the dude needs a regular therapist. Instead, he brings about the spirit of the average person. The one who lacks confidence yet wishes they did. Wouldn’t mind making new friends, talking to the people who seem interesting, but don’t want to be a bother or make an ass of themselves.

Then, with his masturbation issue, what you have to love is the show isn’t approaching it, at this point, the way many sex comedies would. There is a bit of frustration involved but not in a comedic way. Well, you could find it funny, but it is clear this for Otis is something he is struggling with and it is serious for him. Particularly since, like everyone else, he just wants to feel some semblance of normal and with the deck already stacked against him, there is a need to wonder if this is the straw which will break the camels back.

Thus giving you a very likable protagonist who has traits which may get annoying, but only because you can see he is way to far in his head.

Jean

Jean (Gillian Anderson) reading the paper and listening to Otis talk about his masturbation issue.
Jean (Gillian Anderson)

There is something hard to describe when it comes to Anderson’s Jean. You get this sense she is a comedic character, because of how easily she talks about sex, with a bit of whimsy. Yet, at the same time, like with Otis’ issue with masturbating, you can tell that while things are made light, they aren’t necessarily a joke. Her being uninhibited about sex comes from it being demystified in her mind, so men coming nightly, talking to her son’s friends about their penis, talking to her son about his, it isn’t anything to her. It’s just doing what she loves and the joy you see in Jean for getting to help, being approached, sort of strips away the weirdness and laughter you could have.

It’s peculiar but it makes you take note of how Nunn has seemingly found a line between the funny and real and somehow they are doing backflips without losing balance. As are the actors who seemingly are in sync.

Eric

Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) after Adam walks away.
Eric (Ncuti Gatwa)

Eric, in my mind, may end up being one of the most interesting effeminate black men we may ever see. At least one who is a teenager. For while there remains this desire to see more diverse depiction of gay males beyond the sassy gay best friend, especially for Black men, Gatwa benefits greatly from Nunn’s writing. That is, despite, on the surface, Eric seeming run of the mill.

I mean, he seemingly is hiding who he is, or parts of who he is, from his parents. Also, he is bullied, and while he may have access to people he can give a handjob to, love is a much harder thing to find. But, there is this vibe that just as much as Otis will go on a journey of sexual discovery, in his own way, Eric will be around for more than support, gasps, and thinking Otis’ has changed. There is this unspoken promise, so it seems, Eric won’t be forgotten and will get his just due that we don’t often see unless the LGBTQIA person is the lead.

The Characters In General

From Maeve to Adam, even Anwar, Jackson, and Aimee, each character has something about them worth taking note of. A story you want to see unfold because the casting seems excellent and the writing for the characters focused on thus far gets you a bit giddy. Maeve is one who is perhaps the main eyebrow raiser as she stands out as much as Eric and yet it isn’t clear why. But, considering Mackey has such a presence to her, making the idea of her and Anderson having a scene sound like heaven, one could argue she might follow Katherine Langford in becoming Netflix latest find.

Might Be A More Serious Big Mouth

With Netflix not worrying about censors or ad dollars, it gives them the ability to take things as far as they choose. Now, sometimes the platform gets in trouble for allowing its creators to do as please, but it also allows what is highlighted above. Thus stirring the belief that this could be seen as a more serious Big Mouth in a way. For while Sex Education is pretty on the nose, title-wise, with it keeping things light, but never trying to play down insecurities, nor make a joke out of them, you can see the two shows have a similar goal.

Big Mouth: Season 2 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Said goal being to demystify sex and puberty and make it seem like a magical time of discovery. One which, with the right tools, and knowledge, could lead to quite the fulfilling life. That is, whether you are liberal with your sex life, as Jean is, or simply want a committed and fulfilling relationship, as it seems Adam wanted with Aimee.

First Impression: Positive (Watch This)Recommended

As Netflix gains more and more competitors from names in entertainment who long existed before them, what continues to give them the edge are shows like Sex Education. For with Netflix’s brand simply being a playground for the best, brightest, innovative, and those willing to push the envelope of taste, it stays far ahead of the curve. Such is the case with Sex Education which surely will be a hit and likely spawn many new stars who will either become darlings to other Netflix properties or transcend the platform and become huge with and without it.


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters

Season 1/ Episode 8

The season finale is filled with apologies and one or two surprises. One which some may say was a long time coming (no pun intended).

Director(s) Katie Herron
Writer(s) Laurie Nunn
Air Date 1/11/2019
  • The Return of Old Friends: Aimee, Ruby, Otis, Maeve, Mr. Groff, Sean
  • We Shouldn’t, But We Should: Jean, Jakob, Adam, Eric, Otis
  • Too Little, Too Late: Jackson, Aimee, Otis, Ola, Maeve, Mr. Groff

Season 1/ Episode 7

Fortunes shift this episode as Eric finds someone who gets him and Otis? Well, we’re reminded that he is his father’s son when it comes to being an ass.

Director(s) Kate Herron
Writer(s) Sophie Goodhart
Air Date 1/11/2019
  • The Return of Eric & First Possible Love: Eric
  • Sometimes Apologies Aren’t Enough: Jackson, Maeve, Otis, Ola, Eric, Adam, Eric’s Dad, Mr. Groff, Sean
  • You Can’t Have It All: Jackson, Maeve, Otis, Eric, Jean, Jakob

Season 1/ Episode 6

As Eric continues to process what’s going on in his life, Maeve gets a surprise. Also, we learn why Otis has issues with sex.

Director(s) Kate Herron
Writer(s) Laurie Nunn, Freddy Syborn
Air Date 1/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Sean Edward Bluemel
Ms. Sands Rakhee Thakrar
  • What Kind of Man Are You?: Eric, Anwar, Eric’s Dad
  • You Gotta Find The Right One Before You Take A Big Leap: Remi, Jean, Jakob, Otis, Ola, Lily
  • You Prioritize What You Care About: Jackson, Maeve, Sean, Otis, Ms. Sands, Mr. Groff, Adam

Season 1/ Episode 5

Maeve and Jackson reach a new stage in their relationship as Otis and Eric’s struggles due to Otis wanting to be there for Maeve.

Director(s) Kate Herron
Writer(s) Sophie Goodhart, Laura Hunter
Air Date 1/11/2019
Newly Noted
Eric’s Dad Deobia Oparei
  • It’s My Vagina: Ruby, Olivia, Maeve, Otis
  • Broken Promises: Eric, Otis, Jean
  • The Real Me: Maeve, Jackson, Otis

Season 1/ Episode 4

As Otis faces the challenge of counseling lesbians, Jean has her eye on someone, and Eric is trying to stay out of Adam’s purview.

Director(s) Ben Taylor
Writer(s) Laura Neal, Laurie Nunn
Air Date 1/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ola Patricia Allison
Jakob (Mr. Builder) Mikael Persbrandt
Ruthie Lily Newmark
Tanya Alice Hewkin
  • It’s All Going Downhill: Adam, Mr. Groff, Eric, Maeve
  • Options & Research: Ola, Jakob, Jean, Ruthie, Tanya, Otis, Lily, Eric
  • Setting Up Your Crush For Another: Jackson, Maeve, Otis, Aimee

Season 1/ Episode 3

Maeve opens up to Otis as Eric sees something he may have thought he’d never see before.

Director(s) Ben Taylor
Writer(s) Sophie Goodhart
Air Date 1.11.2019
Introduced This Episode
Remi James Purefoy
Lily Tanya Reynolds
Mr. Groff Alistair Petrie
Sarah Lu Corfield

Daddy Isn’t Here: Remi, Otis, Jean


Pent Up Sexuality: Lily, Eric


You Got a Friend In Me: Maeve, Jackson, Adam, Mr. Groff, Otis, Sarah

Season 1/ Episode 2

As Otis begins to come into himself, it is clear some feel left behind. Also, Maeve’s reason for needing Otis to succeed becomes apparent.

Director(s) Ben Taylor
Writer(s) Laurie Nunn
Air Date 1/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Kate Olive Gray
Sam Jonny Amies
Olivia Simone Ashley
Ruby Mimi Keene

You Have Been Nearly My Everything: Otis, Jean


New Chapters & Closure: Aimee, Adam, Jackson, Maeve


I Might Actually Be Good At This: Otis, Anwar, Olivia, Kate, Sam, Eric, Maeve, Jean

Season 1/ Episode 1

Sex Education takes on the idea of being a teen sex comedy in ways you, surprisingly, may not have seen before.

Creator Laurie Nunn
Director(s) Ben Taylor
Writer(s) Laurie Nunn
Air Date 1/11/2019
Genre(s) Comedy, Young Adult
Good If You Like Honest Conversations About Sex

Inclusion Of All Sexualities When Talking About Sex

Isn’t For You If You Are Uncomfortable Seeing Real and Fake Penises

Don’t Like Hearing People Talk About Sex

Introduced This Episode
Otis Asa Butterfield
Eric Ncuti Gatwa
Adam Connor Swindells
Maeve Emma Mackey
Aimee Aimee Lou Wood
Jean Gillian Anderson
Anwar Chaneil Kular
Jackson Kedar Williams-Stirling

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