OUT WITH A BANG
Sex Education — everything unwraps as we all come together for the big series finale
The Netflix original series returns for its fourth and final season, diving a little deeper into the characters before saying goodbye.
The series Sex Education returns after a two-year hiatus, with the same storyline thrillingly driven by the characters’ growth. Seeing all the familiar faces again feels like catching up with one’s best friends after the holidays and discovering all they had been up to during that time.
A recap of the previous season is available, so you don’t have to spend almost 10 hours of screen time trying to remember all that has happened before indulging in a fresh season of hypersexual and curious teens.
The deep dive into the characters makes them feel like strangers that the viewer needs to get to know all over again. This dive also helps reveal the demons and the joys that each of the characters has endured and celebrated.
The villains are seen finding comfort in vulnerability and unzipping their armour enough to let us into their lives and show us the traumatic experiences that made them freeze their souls and embrace their abrasive sides more. Viewers get the chance to experience the highs and lows that give the characters nuance, forcing us to accept every character as they are and enjoy what they bring to the story.
A lot has changed. Different faces have been added, there are new schools and the cast has grown. Adding a collection of new faces in the final season was a huge risk, but this one is worth it. The newbies blend in well with the established characters and the curiosity of getting to know them keeps the story alive. More than anything, this season focuses on self-awareness and self-acceptance. The diverse cast represents real communities: the gays, transgender, nonbinary, bisexual, disabled, misunderstood, neglected, single parents, abused and mentally unstable.
All of them show the real challenges of existing in a fast-paced world that celebrates the normalcy of striving to be perfect while suppressing the real you in order to be accepted by society.
The plot twist repels that normalcy and allows for the characters to follow what makes sense to them, in the hope that the world will eventually keep up — or not.
The show, as one can tell by its title, aims not only to educate teens about practising safe sex, both physically and psychologically, but also to remind adults that sex should be enjoyed by those taking part in the act. It should never be a chore or punishment. For a change, it is a relief to watch people deal with real issues without episodes filled with cringey sex scenes.
It makes perfect sense that a large part of Sex Education focuses on great sex tips by passionate sex therapists, as sex is an act that we are all a product of. The writers document each path of every offspring and how their surroundings influence their growth.
The creators remain committed to diversity in their storytelling, making sure they accommodate every community and do not leave them behind only to exist in the metaverse and online discourse.
They make sure, too, that the story stays relevant and relatable, adding all the things Gen Z is obsessed with and passionate about, such as astrology, pronouns, manifestation and positivity.
A harmonious vibration
This show — and its final season — is a representation of our world. It is filled with different people who, when they come together, create a harmonious vibration. The final bow is heart-wrenching, but the growth of every character from season one is a pleasure to experience.
The creators excel in making us see ourselves in these characters and finding space in our hearts to accept them as they are.
The world can be a scary place to explore all of yourself relentlessly, but genuine connections through friends and family make it more bearable. I give it five stars out of five. DM
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.