Wednesday, January 19

Sex Ed Season 3 Review: The Spark Is Gone | Sex education

TThe third series of Sex Education (Netflix) opens with a montage as festive / disgusting as its predecessor in the second season (delete it according to your taste, although if you are in the latter field, it is probably better that you do not watch a show called Sex Education ). So, it was Otis (Asa Butterfield) discovering the joys of onanism. This time, everyone discovers the joys of everything from alien cosplay to VR porn. Miss Sands is even doing it with Colin on drums.

Everything seems to be going well, as this glorious opening suggests that the various elements that the show has always kept in perfect balance will be happily united once again. Affection, obscenities and humor translate to a responsible seriousness towards the lives and loves of his adolescent characters and a sincerity without fear of the problems they face has always been the USP of Laurie Nunn’s wonderful creation.

But the formula is so precise that its combination is almost equivalent to alchemy, and this series does not work as well as the previous two. There is still much to love. Eric’s (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam’s (Connor Swindells) relationship is the backbone of all eight episodes, and this part of the show is right on all the emotional ground it covers. The two actors, in an evenly brilliant cast, are phenomenal.

In other places, however, the tone is getting duller, the magic waned. The script is less snappy, less fun, and the therapeutic language that was once Otis’ purview (for credible reasons, being the son of a sex therapist) seems to have infected the entire student body. Every momentary miscommunication is identified, interrogated, and resolved almost immediately, which is good for them but not rewarding for the viewer. There are several points where the pedagogy the show has long avoided creeps in: Amy’s vulvar upbringing and passing on her newfound wisdom are the most obvious. Each episode used to speed up, but now each one feels like a full hour. The various sexual escapades, once just the gateway to exploring character and extracting deeper truths, increasingly seem like an end in themselves.

Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti and Dua Saleh as Cal.
Bonding… Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti and Dua Saleh as Cal. Photograph: Sam Taylor / Netflix

The focus is broader (Jean and Jakob’s is one of the many adult relationships that gets the most attention, and more students are featured as well), and perhaps the lines are broader as a result. New director Hope (Jemima Kirke) is virtually a Disney-style villain whose lame, and even in non-sex ed, unoriginal backstory does nothing to humanize or complicate.

All that said, a below-average sex ed is still a good and joyous thing. In addition to the Eric-Adam story, other highlights include the developing relationship between Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Isaac (George Robinson, another prominent actor since joining in season two). There is also the presentation of the trans student Cal Bowman (Dua Saleh, in one of the safest debuts I have ever seen) with whom Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) feels an immediate bond but must find out for himself what exactly that is. link. .

The series covers a lot of ground, in addition to the emotional and hormonal journeys, we also see how disability and poverty hamper people’s ability to use their talents and intelligence to the fullest, the importance of heredity and racial identity, and the difficulties of navigating so many streams as they cross, and so much more. Still, it’s hard to avoid reluctantly crossing out the A * and giving this term’s effort a B +.

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