Upon the release of the fourth and final season of Netflix’s popular teenage drama “Sex Education,” it has reprised the buzz over the internet it is known for generating. We all are obviously highly invested in the teen drama and love triangle. Reddit and Twitter threads are fighting it out over who Otis should end up with. “Sex Education” clearly remains the flavor of the season for its dynamic and surprisingly educational storytelling. The show has carved out a reputation for exploring facets of sexuality that other shows would neither think nor dare to.
But “Sex Education,” a show about the fictional Moordale Secondary School and the lives of its students, staff, and parents as they navigate through the often confusing world of sex and relationships, is in a league of its own. Given its title, “Sex Education” tackles a lot of issues surrounding sex and sexuality, but where it shines is its portrayal of friendship and teenage anxiety as well. All these reasons give the show a unique voice. But if you have finished the marathon viewing of the last season already and are craving more similar content, don’t worry; we got you covered.
Here’s a list of 10 shows like “Sex Education” that you just can’t miss.
When we talk about shows like “Sex Education,” the first name that pops into our head is “Euphoria.” The show follows the life of a group of high-school students as they face issues of drugs, violence, and sex. “Euphoria” is clearly the most talked-about teen show right now besides “Sex Education.” This is a gritty show that deals with some serious subject matter, from substance abuse disorder to sexual assault, and just like “Sex Education,” it never fails to address important concerns in the life of school students.
This highly controversial show is also often sex-positive and features high school LGBTQ+ characters who are incredibly popular. Though at times hard to watch, “Euphoria” balances its brutal honesty with an empathetic — and visually gorgeous — eye to create a uniquely challenging and illuminating series, held together by a powerfully understated performance from Zendaya. “Euphoria” is surely not as fun and educational as “Sex Education,” and there have been multiple instances of exploitation and glorification by director Sam Levinson that can feel jarring, but still, it is a decent watch.
2. Big Mouth
Netflix’s animated show “Big Mouth” might not be the first show that comes to mind when one thinks of shows like “Sex Education,” but it clearly tackles many similar topics. “Big Mouth” has been heralded for its subversive deconstruction of puberty and hormonal tales of adolescence. The show uses shock humor to dive deeply into many facets of adolescence and puberty.” Big Mouth” is popular because it hilariously and successfully balances funny, gross-out humor and honest truths about puberty and growing up.
It may lack some of the more serious tones that “Sex Education.” However, it balances so well with its comedy. Moreover, underneath the crass, raunchy humor is an honest story about the awkwardness of growing up. Recommend watching this as there are real lessons to be learned from the series’ outlook on coming of age, which are equal parts knowingly obscene and nonjudgmental.
Hulu’s “Shrill” is my favorite show on the list. It not only offers some realistic and sexy make-out scenes, but the show’s outlook towards sex is as progressive and thought-provoking as “Sex Education.” “Shrill” is about a writer making her way through the world as a fat, straight Woman. It is based on Lindy West’s life, and her perspective guides the series. It’s a rare show that talks about the sexual desires of a plus-size person and, in this, how the protagonist is worthy of desire and pleasure.
She has agency, but the male gaze has majorly fucked with her self-esteem. Hence, having sex is like going through a minefield for her. The show doesn’t take the popular route of showing body parts and aggressive pouncing while depicting a sex scene. Rather than “Shrill,” focuses on enjoying the plateau with plenty of intimacy, pleasure, and communication. The three-season show is a huge leap towards body-positive television.
4. The End Of The F—ing World
The Netflix series is about a heartwarming love affair between two marginalized teenagers. James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) are 17-year-old students who go on an adventure to find Alyssa’s biological father. The show has a unique style and tone that can be described as a black comedy or romantic drama. There is great humor mixed in with a story that often gets dark and serious. It also has some excellent music to support the tone and story.
The heart of the show is the two main characters, who are not instantly likable, but their quirks grow on you. You can’t help but fall in love with both Alyssa and James. From the outset, the series is great: the characters are dark yet funny and engaging, and there is a quirkiness that balances the humor and darkness. “The End Of The F—ing World” is a show like “Sex Education” since it has two teenage protagonists who are navigating their lives in an odd way, and their emotional arc is very relatable.
“Skins” was largely written by teenagers for teenagers. The show was so popular because 16- 17- and 18-year-olds could relate to it on a personal, non-superficial level. ”Skins” follows several groups of students as they make their way through adolescence — partying, drinking, drugs, and sex play some key roles in the lives of each group of young students. It was sometimes gritty and uncomfortable; some might even say sensationalist, but it was sincere.
“Skins” is a show like “Sex Education” since it mostly stands out for its openness to tackling thornier themes, including mental health, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sexuality It’s a popular, sometimes controversial, drama that ran for seven seasons and even had a remake.
The Indian Netflix show might seem like an unusual choice for this list. But “Mismatched” is a show that, like” Sex Education,” shows how adulting can be hard for an awkward youngster. It makes a perfect addition to your watch list. After all, who doesn’t like a cute love story with bucketloads of drama? “Mismatched” is about a bunch of wannabe coders who enroll for a summer course in Jaipur. Their love stories, silly teenage fights, and naive ambitions present a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
The actress Prajakta Koli is as efficient as Dimple, who is navigating her way through childhood instilled insecurities, peer pressure, and a budding romance. Because of this character, this show is immensely successful. Just like “Sex Education, even this show features many love triangles and heartbreaks. The show brings much-needed diversity to the Indian streaming space, including the narratives and struggles of queer and physically disabled characters. These narratives get enough space in the second season and are dealt with sensitively.
7. Fresh Meat
“Fresh Meat” is one of the more light-hearted series of British comedy revolving around a group of young people as they gain true independence for the first time — along with all the booze, drugs, and sex that come along with it. The series follows a group of lovable yet flawed young students as they move into a shared off-campus residence. The group quickly make themselves at home around each other, often partying, laughing, and generally having a good time.
There are a few instances of minor dramas between the main characters. But for the most part, “Fresh Meat” is a laugh-out-loud series that anyone who enjoys comedy shows like “Sex Education” will love. The characters in the series are more mature, as it is set in a college. While there’s the sweet taste of freedom, along with it comes responsibility. As this ensemble of lovable characters discovers independence through partying, sex, and generally having a good time, they also grow closer as a group. Watch “Fresh Meat” for its array of cool characters and insightful commentary on the teenage psyche.
In a list of shows like “Sex Education,” one has to include the Spanish show “Elite,” which marks a riveting examination of teenage debauchery set in a sordid world of Posh teens navigating a seemingly hollow life. “Elite” might seem like any ordinary teen show with immense drama and recurring cliches. However, it is so much more than that. The show manages to throw light on those progressive social issues in a very subtle and fantastic way.
Also similar to “Sex Education,” “Elite” succeeds as an outstanding series in every way, be it the script, acting, or direction. The economic backwardness of a character like Samuel getting into the same school adds important social commentary to the show. In contrast, it also explores the challenges of an HIV-positive student, Marina.
9. Dear White People
“Dear White People” can be viewed as a cross between “Sex/Life” and “Elite”. It is a bold show and tackles gay sex with a rational lens. Dear White People consistently delivers A+ sex scenes. Hollywood has a terrible record of depicting cunnilingus. Even Netflix is guilty of historically treating it like a less important sexual act compared to penetrative sex.
But in one of the “Dear White People” episodes, we see two characters fully clothed while the girl delivers an erudite monologue as the guy’s head is in between her legs. It is a timely and provocative show with an entertaining blend of social commentary and incisive humor. The racial sensitization of the show is as phenomenal as “Sex Education” and is definitely one to look forward to.
10. Everything Sucks
While many teenage shows like “Sex Education” are clearly not as popular, “Everything Sucks” stands out in the last as the underrated Netflix series co-created by Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan. It is a portrait of adolescence that revels in throwbacks. Furthermore, it focuses on life in Boring, Oregon, for teenagers growing up in 1996. The music is great, the characters very lovable, the 90’s atmosphere fascinating, and the story endearing.
Luke and Kate face interesting challenges, and their parents’ storyline is one of the sweetest. Set in a small town similar to “Sex Education,” “Everything Sucks” is a gem of a series filled with moments of joy that add to a wonderful overall season. Buried beneath the nostalgic flashbacks to the 90s lies a coming-of-age story that feels wholly relatable and timeless.