So, This Is Why Sex Education Looks Kind Of 'American'

Photo: Netflix
Since launching last month, Sex Education has become one of the year's most talked-about new shows. It's been praised for everything from its excellent abortion episode to its full and frank portrayal of female sexuality.
But one lingering criticism from some viewers has centered on the show's sort-of-transatlantic look. Though it was filmed in southeast Wales, and is definitely set in the UK, Sex Education intentionally mixes British and American school traditions.
The corridors of Moorfield High, the fictional school at the show's heart, are lined with lockers straight out of a film like She's All That; the students don't wear typically British school uniforms, but do wear American-style letterman jackets.
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During an interview with Digital Spy, one of the show's directors, Ben Taylor, conceded that this has "frustrated" some viewers and explained that the show is supposed to take place in a "slightly heightened 'Nowheresville'".
"I think one of the accusations I'd definitely love to push back on is that we did it to appeal to America. That really wasn't the case," Taylor said. "I just wanted to frame a British school experience in a slightly different way. I think it felt interesting, not only visually, but I think it does something to the story and the setting and the characters that it is a heightened world, it's a heightened script."
Taylor went on to explain why Sex Education looks different from a grittier British school drama like Channel 4's Ackley Bridge, saying: "It's slightly idealised in terms of its intelligence and its forward-thinking and its positivity. And I think if you were to render… say if you did an Ackley Bridge, which is a good-looking show. It very much is contemporary and everything about it is totally the year that it was made.
"I don't think we are a straight show, and I don't think the story of [Asa Butterfield]'s Otis at its centre would be believable if you were having this harder-nosed, grey rendering of what it's like to go to school in the UK in 2019."
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