Sex Education

  • TV Show
  • TV MA
  • Created by Laurie Nunn
  • Reviewed by Valerie Goldstein

Racial Representation: 4.5

LGBTQ+ Representation: 5

Disability Representation: 3.5

Body Size Representation: 3

Gender Representation: 5

Socioeconomic Representation: 4.5

Mental Health Representation: 4

Religious Representation: 1

Own Voice: No

This show does such a good job creating a diverse world not for the sake of being diverse, but to tell a story in a representative, accurate world. I think the way it accomplishes this is by having so many characters that have their own storylines often developed over multiple episodes or seasons. The main characters, Otis and Maeve, are both white, cis, and straight, but so many featured and central characters are not. For example, Otis’s best friend Eric is Black and gay, and while it seems like he might be both the stereotypes of the Black best friend AND the gay best friend, he has so much of his own story and development that make him his own person. The premise of the show is that Otis, whose mom is a sex therapist, starts a business with Maeve where he offers sex advice to kids at his school. Maeve needs the money as she lives by herself in a trailer park, but she doesn’t fall into any classist stereotypes and undergoes a really interesting character development. There are many other characters of different races and sexualities, dealing with different kinds of problems from body image issues, abortions, pressure from parents, nudes, toxic masculinity, and more, many of whom go to Otis for advice. Some things that stick out are an asexual character who figures out she isn’t “broken,” a bisexual male character which is very rare in media, and a pansexual character. However, there are no transgender characters, though there is another season coming and maybe there will be some there. There is one disabled character in the second season, Isaac, who is in a wheelchair and gets a backstory and love story just like the other characters, but he is the only one. There is one plus-sized character, Viv, who is incredibly smart and gets an arc, but she does not get the same romantic storyline that the other characters get. The second season features a storyline about religion with Eric and his boyfriend, and how his faith relates to his identity as a gay man. A really powerful storyline in the second season focuses on Maeve’s friend Aimee experiencing a sexual assault and not understanding it at first, but the other girls support her and help her heal. All in all, this is a really entertaining and diverse show that tackles complicated subjects in a fun and informative way that isn’t preachy. I’m excited for the next season!

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