Sex Education: Episode 1
January 14, 2019 12:12 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Despite the ministrations of sex therapist mom Jean and encouragement from Eric, Otis worries he can't get it on, but he's not the only one.

I knew nothing about this series, but it popped up in my Netflix recommended list and I'll watch anything with Gillian Anderson in it.

I loved the first episode and binged the whole season in 1 evening!
posted by Pendragon (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I watched it over the weekend and enjoyed it a lot. Everyone was a little too delightful and pretty to be real, but if you can let that go.

Aimee's probably my favourite which surprised the heck out of me.
posted by wellred at 7:23 AM on January 14

As someone who just watched the trailer, is it explained why they're all British but they appear to go to an American high school? Is this just a "roll with it" situation?
posted by Automocar at 9:35 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Really? That's funny. I wonder if it's just how the trailer is cut. What makes you think the high school is American?
posted by wellred at 9:46 AM on January 14

American footballs, letterman jackets, no one is wearing a uniform...
posted by Automocar at 9:51 AM on January 14

Funny. Definitely set in England, but especially with Gillian Anderson in the cast, extra attention to American audiences? Stinks but makes sense.
posted by wellred at 9:59 AM on January 14

I watched the entire season twice on Saturday, this is delightful and I love it to bits.
posted by rewil at 10:10 AM on January 14

Netflix’s Sex Education is set in a British school – so why does it feel so American?:

“It’s definitely set in Britain, but we’ve made a very conscious choice to have that American, throw-back nostalgia, John Hughes feel to it.”

“We wanted to make a show with lockers from The Breakfast Club in it,” admitted Taylor. “It was stylistically a deliberate choice early on that we dislocated it from geographically knowing exactly where it was. Mid-Atlantic, American influence, but British ingredients.

posted by Pendragon at 11:34 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]

Things that made it feel not-American to me: the "head boy" was a swimmer, not a football or baseball player; the campus was so open; and, hilariously, there were regular buses out in the country. (Am originally US-ian.)
posted by wellred at 11:44 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]

As someone who just watched the trailer, is it explained why they're all British but they appear to go to an American high school? Is this just a "roll with it" situation?

I too was like waaaaaaait just a minute here when I watched the trailer. I've experienced both school systems and it was super duper obvious to me that the kids were English but the school wasn't. So weird!

But is this good, guys? I love Gillian Anderson but the trailer didn't really grab me.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:40 PM on January 14

“It’s definitely set in Britain, but we’ve made a very conscious choice to have that American, throw-back nostalgia, John Hughes feel to it.”

So, this remark has made me decide to watch the show. And it has, of course, made me look forward to a version of Grange Hill with dialogue and plot points transposed into an American high school context with all sense of local cultural awareness amputated. I'd definitely want to catch that one too!
posted by rongorongo at 11:25 PM on January 14

But is this good, guys? I love Gillian Anderson but the trailer didn't really grab me.

Alan Sepinwall seems to like it.
posted by Pendragon at 12:36 AM on January 15

Yeah, I also wondered about the US/UK thing. I watched the first episode and wasn't really taken with it, my SO has more of a liking for YA based stuff and will likely continue to watch.

Gillian Anderson (character)'s house though? Serious envy from me.
posted by biffa at 2:34 AM on January 15

I loved this. I laughed often and adored the range of characters and the weird mix-up of British comedy and throwbacks to 80s Hollywood teen movies like the Breakfast Club, Heathers, Risky Business, and dare I say even Porky's. With Gillian Anderson they had me immediately. There were great updates to some of the many problems with 80s films, with this show having PoC as actual characters rather than stereotypes (including multiple mixed race couples) and exploring gender fluidity, strong relationships between the oldies and the teenagers (Otis of course, but also Eric and his father and Ola and her father), queer relationships (one of which was just there and not a plot point at all, quite refreshing), & friendship between teenaged boys. It is quite explicit in a few sections and I'm not sure I'd classify it as a YA TV show but I would certainly classify it as a very fun watch.
posted by Cuke at 4:41 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Are we talking about the whole series in this thread? 'Cause I want to talk about my favorite line from, like, episode 5.

I watched this based on this thread and found the series to be delightful. Thanks, Mefites!
posted by TwoStride at 5:25 PM on January 15

It was like they translated the script from California to the UK, but there were so many structural elements unchanged. Like calling someone "Headmaster Groff" - we don't do that anywhere I've been in the UK and I grew up around teachers. The school seemed much posher than the students in it. I haven't seen lockers - unlike proms, they haven't been widely adopted here. Accents were from all over. It was like the Death of Stalin as a teen sex comedy.

Cultural alienation aside, since that appears to be a deliberate choice on the part of the creators, it's doing a good job of telling the story, and the exposition isn't too heavy-handed. I find the three leads engaging, although Eric needs some character development before he gets grating. And Gillian Anderson forever. I think it falls on the good side of the line.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 5:25 PM on January 15

I mean, no one calls anyone "Headmaster" in America, either. They're called the principal. I guess if you're talking right to them you might call them "Principal Groff"? But probably not.
posted by Automocar at 12:14 PM on January 16

I created a post for discussion of the whole season.
posted by Pendragon at 12:37 PM on January 16

no one calls anyone "Headmaster" in America

Many posh private schools still have a Headmaster/Headmistress (though my own posh school just moved to "Head of School" like two years ago...).
posted by TwoStride at 5:43 PM on January 16

I watched this episode and have so many questions:
* where in the UK are they?
* does their cliff-side Alpine Victorian house exist in real life?
* is this a small-town British high school counterpart to the urban school in Skins?
* do vintage letter jackets even exist in the UK?
* do British teenage nerds really wear bike helmets?
* I am 35; does watching a teen sex comedy with so much nudity make me a pedophile?
* how much awesomer can Gillian Anderson get?
posted by Maarika at 7:37 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]

You're right of course Automocar, but it's not unknown to refer to someone as "Principal X", whereas it is unknown to refer to someone as "Headmaster X": it's always "Mr. X" or "the Headmaster" in context. It's comprehensible, but it's odd enough that I'd suggest a change if I was editing the script (and therefore I presume they must have thought about it and made a conscious choice).

(Corpuses are fun!)
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 8:52 AM on January 17

it's always "Mr. X" or "the Headmaster"

Or more likely an affectionate but insulting nickname.
posted by Grangousier at 1:07 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]

This kept popping up on Netflix as something I might want to watch and I kept ignoring it. But finally I checked and saw there was an enthusiastic thread here so on that basis I took the plunge and was glad I did. Watched the whole thing on Saturday.

Also I liked the music and I'm happy to tell you all there are Sex Ed playlists on Spotify.
posted by bunderful at 5:33 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]

The music is a highlight, it'll all much better than it has any right to be based on the premise, and I look forward to joining you all in the season thread once I'm caught up.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:13 AM on January 29

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