Sex Education debuts on Netflix January 11, 2019, starring Gillian Anderson
Launching worldwide with eight, one-hour episodes on January 11, 2019, Sex Education is a modern portrayal of sexual and romantic experiences, friendships and contemporary young adult life… and you’ll relive high school memories along the way.
Meet Otis Milburn – an inexperienced, socially awkward high school student who lives with his mother, a sex therapist. Surrounded by manuals, videos and tediously open conversations about sex, Otis is a reluctant expert on the subject. When his home life is revealed at school, Otis realizes that he can use his specialist knowledge to gain status. He teams up with Maeve, a whip-smart bad-girl, and together they set up an underground sex therapy clinic to deal with their fellow students’ weird and wonderful problems. Through his analysis of teenage sexuality, Otis realizes he may need some therapy of his own.
Gillian Anderson takes her sexy Scully X-Files persona to a new level as a sultry, modern middle-aged sex therapist. From episode one, it’s clear that Jean Milburn will be the prominent character in this series, despite it being based around her 16-year-old son, Otis (Asa Butterfield). Mom Jean’s revolving bedroom door squeaks more regularly than that of her son Otis, who seemingly only has his door opened by his mother’s conquests who mistakenly think his bedroom door is the washroom. Keeping with the teen theme, the other recurring characters all portray horny adolescents discovering life.
While there’s nothing new to this teen romp series, the key difference between past similar film and television scripts is the more open freedom to say and show things naughty. There’s plenty of profanity and a bounty of body bits bouncing and dangling about. From the opening scene of full-on frontal nudity that includes both vaginal and anal penetration, we know not much will be a taboo topic. This is definitely aimed toward the late teen, high school demographics, and will likely resonate with that crowd, however, others may want to take a pass unless of course, this is the sort of quirk that turns your crank.
Note from Laurie Nunn, Creator of Sex Education:
“We hope you enjoy Sex Education. The show is a funny, heart-warming and utterly cringe-worthy look at teenage sex and identity. It’s a contemporary British love-letter to the American high-school TV shows that so many of us grew up loving. It takes the familiar tropes of the genre and pushes them into new and current territory, telling a nostalgic coming of age tale from a different perspective.
We wanted to tell the story of OTIS, a teenage boy being raised by his sex-therapist mother, JEAN. Due to his unusual upbringing, he has developed a secret super-power of theoretical sexual knowledge way beyond his 16-years (and a lot of his own hang-ups and neuroses too). What started as an interesting hook for a comedy show about teenagers, quickly progressed into an opportunity to deal with often unspoken and difficult issues concerning early sexual experiences, the painful reality of puberty and the urgent need for inclusive sex education. Our show has these conversations in a frank and truthful way – but it also has a lot of penis jokes!
The show has been made with teenagers in mind, but also acknowledges that everybody was sixteen once. Whatever stage of life you’re at, we hope you’ll be able to relate to the excruciating, awkward, vulnerability of first-time kisses, conflicts, wanks and loves!”
JEAN MILBURN (46)
Portrayed by: Gillian Anderson
Jean Milburn is funny, observant and always larger than life. She is fiercely independent and has no filter when it comes to interrogating people about their personal lives, which makes her a brilliant sex therapist. She lives at home with her only son, Otis. She and her ex-husband Remi, another sex therapist, have little to do with each other unless it involves Otis’s welfare. Early on, she made a decision to never shield Otis from anything and to always speak to him like an adult. As Otis has got older and more sexually repressed, she worries that some of these parenting decisions may have backfired.
OTIS MILBURN (16)
Portrayed by: Asa Butterfield
Otis is the only child of two sex therapists, Jean and Remi. Now his parents are divorced, he lives with Jean and has grown up listening to her home-office therapy sessions through cracks in his floorboards. This overexposure, combined with the early trauma of walking in on his dad, Remi, cheating on Jean with a therapy client, have given Otis a phobia of his own sexuality. Blessed with the gift of intuitive sexual understanding; cursed with the inability to do anything about it. His incredible breadth of knowledge about human sexuality is both his super-power and his kryptonite. Then Otis comes to the attention of Maeve, who changes his outlook on sex forever.
ERIC NEVIN (16)
Portrayed by: Ncuti Gatwa
Eric is Otis’s best friend, and they tell each other everything. A motor-mouth who is comfortably gay and out of the closet, but notoriously lame. At home, Eric has five sisters and strict, religious parents. His father has accepted that Eric is gay, but worries about the world Eric is growing up in.
MAEVE WILEY (16)
Portrayed by: Emma Mackey
Maeve is the scary, bad-girl in school. Her outward persona disguises a whip-smart intellect and a wicked sense of humour that she reserves only for those closest to her. Maeve lives alone in a caravan she can barely afford; she has to think of ingenious ways to pay the bills, including running an essay-writing business and inventing the sex clinic with Otis. Maeve doesn’t know her dad and her mum is an addict. Her dream is to get a scholarship to a good university, but everything is working against her achieving this.
JACKSON MONROE (17)
Portrayed by: Kedar Williams-Stirling
Jackson has never failed at anything in his life. He’s popular, crazy-hot and a future Olympic swimming champion. He is the child of same-sex parents. He is under increasing pressure to give up his social life to maintain his burgeoning swimming career. Where Otis is capable of connecting with Maeve on an emotional level but cannot give her sex, Jackson and Maeve have great sex but he cannot give her the intimacy she needs.
AIMEE GIBBS (17)
Portrayed by: Aimee-Lou Wood
Aimee is part of cool clan “The Untouchables” (although they don’t treat her very well) and girlfriend to Adam (although she finds him embarrassing). She’s usually the one that has to carry the other popular girls’ bags, pay for their drinks and make sure they get home safely after a party. She is also secretly best friends with Maeve, but don’t tell The Untouchables. She is a people pleaser with a heart of gold, who just wants to get through school unscathed.
ADAM GROFF (17)
Portrayed by: Connor Swindells
Adam is the school bad-boy with a rage problem. Adam’s father is the school Headmaster, Mr Groff, who frequently threatens to send his son to military school. Adam has been bullying Eric ever since they started secondary school, and despite Eric’s hopes that their relationship might change for the better, Adam shows no sign of letting up any time soon. There is a rumour that Adam has a giant penis. This is 100% true.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.