What I find fascinating about Sex Education is that they are able to add so much into that series by just being observant of the numerous characters. It might have this outlook of being a teen drama where the young ones are trying to differentiate between true love and casual intimacy. But as the story progresses, it looks at every person with empathy. Nobody is born a bad person. The circumstances are the one that is molding them to be those individuals. With season 3, Sex Education is expanding greatly in terms of character establishment, just like its major characters.
So a new term has begun. The relationship dynamics have changed. Otis is now with Ruby because both of them feel that the sex is great. Maeve and Isaac are getting closer. Jean Milburn has decided to keep the baby but isn’t so sure about telling Jakob about it. And in the midst of all, Moordale Secondary School gets a new headteacher Hope Haddon who is keen on the PR of the school and starts to enforce new rules that weren’t progressive at all. The evolution of the relationships and also how the entry of Hope changes the situation in Moordale is what we see in Sex Education season 3.
There is a pacing structure for the series in all three seasons. Initial episodes are always in line with the raging hormones. Otis looks less insecure now, and Maeve moves on without much of an issue. Perhaps by the time, we reach the 4th or 5th episode, the tone of the drama starts to shift. The hyperactive and comedic texture given to many of the characters starts to fade off slowly, and the last three episodes are like great examples of the depiction of human vulnerability. In the third season, a lot of the characters who were a bit caricature-like in the initial seasons are viewed from a really different perspective. Ruby, who was like Poo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum, is no longer that hated figure. We now get to know why Mr. Groff was a horrible person. And the most interesting character exploration of the season for me was Lily.
Created by Laurie Nunn, the success of the series is mainly because of the wide range of characters and conflicts it generates without necessarily confusing the viewer. It is interesting how a series that is pitched as a high school comedy is actually much beyond that in terms of the depth to which it goes. Because of the wide range of characters, it becomes somewhat relatable in many areas. It is almost like Zoya Akhtar movies. You might not be as rich as the characters in Zoya’s films, but there are character traits and insecurities that make them relatable. Sometimes, when we look at other people and judge their inability to make a decision, our binary thought process makes us judge them. Maeve, Maureen, Eric, Lily, and a few more similar characters are so well written that you will be forced to move away from that judging pattern.
There is a pattern evident in the writing process. But what is great here is the way they managed to accommodate the zillion subplots. It is almost only towards the end we realize that Ruby’s screen time has got reduced. They have introduced many new characters. What is interesting is that almost all of them allow the series to talk about a new dynamic in the Sex Education curriculum. The combination of production design and cinematography makes the series visually great. The editing needs to be appreciated for handling all these subplots seamlessly without ruining the rhythm. The music choices are pretty good.
As the main guy Otis, Asa Butterfield portrayed the more evident transition of the character really well. Ncuti Gatwa, as always, showcased the confusion of Eric effectively. Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn this time gets to play a louder version of that character. Emma Mackey as Maeve doesn’t have too many moments in this season, but she is a charmer. Connor Swindles as Adam gets a great space this time to perform and portrays his character’s insecurities wonderfully. As I already said, Mimi Keene as Ruby gets a lot of space in the initial half of the series, and now with a lot of people rooting for Ruby, it will be interesting to see where the makers will take that character in the upcoming season. Jemima Kirke as Hope Haddon and Dua Saleh as Cal is the major new addition to the cast, and both had a significant role in the story.
From an Indian point of view, I feel season 3 has a plot that connects well with the audience here. While the first two seasons were entirely focusing on the events inside the school, almost making you feel like it is a parallel universe, this time, they have included the perspective of the outsiders. Hope Haddon is introduced as this advocate for conservative old school mentality, and at a pivotal moment, we are shown that she believes motherhood is the one thing that completes a woman. With ideological fights and the complexities in the relationships going to the next level, Sex Education season 3 is a thoroughly enjoyable drama that never tries to preach.
With ideological fights and the complexities in the relationships going to the next level, Sex Education season 3 is a thoroughly enjoyable drama that never tries to preach.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended