Netflix's 'Sex Education' needs to end now, a Season 2 will just kill the vibe
Arguably one of the best coming-of-age shows of the last few years, Sex Education needs to quit while it's ahead and avoid all the looming pitfalls of a second season
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
What if Netflix's 'Sex Education' decided to call it a day right now? What if the showrunners and producers decided that it was better to leave a few loose ends and quit rather than tie them all up in a formulaic bow with a second season? Well, in this writer's opinion, that would be the best thing to happen to the show.
Being a British production, one always knew that 'Sex Education' was going to eschew the more glamorous trappings of stateside coming-of-age shows that tend to force their way into the zeitgeist, rather than seamlessly wander into it, high-five the flow, and stroll out smiling.
Well 'Sex Education' is smiling now. What could be regarded as the best coming-of-age/high school show of the last few years, Netflix's winter hit dripped realism while adding just a pinch of youthful fantasy (just enough to captivate global audiences).
Those who believe that a second season is mandatory, cite the numerous loose ends as a prime reason, they also feel that the lack of closure has brought them to the brink of awwgasm, without actually releasing the joy (quite like Otis). And that's true, but as many know all too well, life is rarely about closure and most of us are forever tripping over fragments we leave littered around us as we trundle through our existence. So why should the show be any different.
Would Otis get Maeve in reality? Sure, well maybe, ok probably not.
Would Jean and Jakob end up having a long and meaningful relationship? Probably, until she wrote a tell-all about Nordic sexual idiosyncrasies.
Would Ruby, Anwar and Olivia wake up one day and regret their bullying ways? Fat chance, because as Ruby said, it's not bullying if it's constructive.
Would Adam and Eric's attraction blossom into love? If a borderline sociopath and a young man in desperate need of validation have a future, then sure, why not...happens all the time...and always ends well!
Will Jackson give up the years of swim training for Maeve? Of course, and his mum would be proud of him for doing so, in some parallel universe.
These ends are loose for a reason, to tie them up would be to distract from the essence of the show: It's usually shit, sometimes magical, but in the end life happens and you play the hand you're dealt. The angst in 'Sex Education' is palpable, not contrived like in 'Insatiable' or sugar-coated as in 'Atypical': It's more 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' than 'Rushmore', and that's a good thing.
A Season 2 will lead the writers down a road mined with well-meaning scenarios. It's hardly like they're going to go all 'Stand By Me' and kill Otis, leaving Eric and Maeve to pen a heart-rending elegy. The need to get Otis and Maeve together will be too strong.
The desire to explore the intense complexities of Eric and Adam's relationship will pull them into the tides with its Siren song, crashing them against the rocks of predictability. The craze to find the right ribbon for all the bows has dismantled many powerful shows, which is why the best never give you closure, they only give you room to imagine. Think 'The Wire', 'The Sopranos', 'Friday Night Lights'.
At the end of the day the biggest asset of a show is its audience. Answer all their questions, meet all their needs and there is never a reason for them to keep talking about you unless it's a wistful memory of someone they once knew. But if you leave them with the hope that they were right, and allow their imagination to paint perfect pictures, they will remember you as an old friend, gone too soon, but one in whose company they revelled while they were around.
Dragging out shows long after they've served their purpose is not a British trait, and for all intents and purposes, 'Sex Education' is a very British show. It ain't broke, let's not try and fix it. And let's face it, the unbridled joy of watching headteacher Groff (Alistair Petrie) dance to Old Time Rock 'n' Roll in the school's hallway cannot be replicated, no matter how many seasons Netflix makes. Let's leave it at that, shall we.