Sex Education season 3 review – a different but refreshing installment

September 16, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
4

Summary

As we reach the third season, it’s time to say that Sex Education has passed the test. It hasn’t befallen to third season syndrome, and it’s kept the story consistent and informative.

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4

Summary

As we reach the third season, it’s time to say that Sex Education has passed the test. It hasn’t befallen to third season syndrome, and it’s kept the story consistent and informative.

This review of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3 does not contain spoilers.

Season 2 left the audience frustrated but in a good way. With Otis and Maeve realizing their feelings for each other, our hearts were compounded by the actions of Isaac, who sneakily deleted a voicemail off Maeve’s phone where Otis professed his love.

Season 3 sees the characters return to school after the summer. After the “sex school” scandal, the environment is never going to be the same again. We’ve noted in previous seasons that all our characters are in this vicious cycle, this feeling of a never-ending limbo that is part of their “coming-of-age” arc. However, despite season 3 using the same ingredients and placing the audience in this strange universe where a school like this exists, there’s this feeling that our characters are moving to a higher level of maturity.

Sure, Sex Education bamboozles the audience with a range of sex scenes and comedic issues, but the writers understand that the characters are growing up in an adult world. Issues seem solvable, with most characters able to find resolutions themselves, even if it involves conflict. Season 3 gives this expectation that the students will not be young forever; learning about love, sex, friendship, and happiness is a given and a necessity, and not a learning experience anymore. The writers have picked a good time to up the ante in this colorful world.

Credit has to be given to the writers for understanding the wholesome and diverse world we live in. Season 3 introduces two non-binary characters, and despite the abundance of plot points, there’s space for them to grow. There’s a real understanding of the complexities they face. Cal, a non-binary character, befriends Jackson, which attracts an interesting subplot. It’s also ideal that once-popular schoolboy Jackson is now a young man who is understanding and approaches scenarios from the perspective of love.

But it wouldn’t be Sex Education without a villain, and that’s usually within the lairs of the school. Season 3’s villain is a new headteacher, Hope Haddon. With pressure to remove the “sex school” label, Hope represents the opposition to the students; she represents taking away freedom, expression, and acknowledgment of different identities. It’s a character designed to be hated, but she represents the divisiveness in society and one that is welded in by corporate means.

There’s plenty of drama in Sex Education season 3, but it slowly burns. The characters have a unique understanding of themselves, and the writers have given them a steady pace. Now the universe is bedded in, there’s no need to rush. The relationship between the story and the audience is one of patience. While there are major plot developments, they feel like part of a wider storyboard that can eke into season 4.

At one point, there were comparisons between Sex Education and Skins. My reference point is the UK version. It’s an easy argument to make now, but this far surpasses Skins — while Sex Education is less raw, the messages relayed of teenage life in the 21st century are overly impressive. There’s trust that the writers will continue educating the audience without patronizing them in the likelihood that further seasons are greenlit.

As we reach the third season, it’s time to say that Sex Education has passed the test. It hasn’t befallen to third season syndrome, and it’s kept the story consistent and informative. It would be foolish not to welcome a continuation to where it has been left in the season 3 finale.

What did you think of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3? Comment below. 

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