So many things could go wrong with a teen comedy about sex. It could be an embarrassing and awkward thing to watch with bad representation. This show, however, surprisingly didn’t fall into the trap. It is a new, honest, refreshing portrayal of teen life and the questions that come along with entering the world of sex. With the help of Otis’ new job as a secret sex therapist at school, his mates get the help they need to navigate this relatively new territory. It highlights issues such as teen pregnancy and violence towards the LGBTQ+ community, cleverly mixes the funny with the deep and heart-warming, and puts inclusivity at the forefront of the show.
The type of relationship between Joe and Beck in You is different than most other Netflix TV series. Joe takes on an obsessive role, constantly questioning her actions and intervening in her relationships with her friends and her ex-boyfriend. The intense emotion displayed in You is not one of love, but of infatuation. Joe simply cannot get enough of Beck and her life and will stop at nothing to be a part of it.
You has faced a lot of criticism surrounding the idea that Joe is simply acting out of love and his irrational behaviour is nothing to be concerned about. It is extremely important to emphasise that Joe’s obsession with Beck and his stalking of her is not normal behaviour in a romantic relationship, and we have to be careful not to romanticise the abusive and intrusive relationship that Beck and Joe have. The show makes you realise that the pair’s relationship is unhealthy, and therefore is quite crafty in making you aware of how problematic it is, almost serving as a warning to the audience.
The fascination that Joe holds for Beck is shared with the audience; you question her actions alongside him, understanding his curiosity and frustration. The journey you undertake when watching creates a deep insight into the couple’s life and is clever in showing the highs and lows of their relationship. The show is gripping, entertaining and definitely binge-worthy.
Formerly named Scrotal Recall, it’s understandable why Netflix’s Lovesick may have remained a hidden gem for quite some time. To give an unjustly oversimplified synopsis of the show: a guy gets tested positive for chlamydia and, through the flashback structure of each episode, the stories of his past love interests are revealed as he contacts them with the news.
A more apt analysis is that the show’s core revolves around the wholesome friendship between hopeless romantic Dylan (Johnny Fynn), Evie (Antonia Thomas) his will they/won’t they love interest, and Luke (Daniel Ings) the surface level lothario. For a gushy show about love and sex, Lovesick remains special with the ethnically diverse love interests which it doesn’t pimp out for good PR. The show not only conforms but unexpectedly subverts rom-com conventions and can convert even the biggest cynic to no longer be sick of love.
Wanderlust made headlines when its lead actress, Toni Collette, said that she had been told that she was the first woman to have an orgasm on the BBC. Whether that’s true or not is besides the point; the great strength of Wanderlust is its ability to discuss sexual pleasure in a frank and honest way. Collette stars as Joy, a therapist whose sex life with her husband, Alan (Steven Mackintosh), has grown stale. In a bid to reinvigorate her sex life and save her otherwise happy marriage, Joy suggests that the pair venture into the world of polyamory. Wanderlust is packed full of the subtleties of marriage, sex, and relationships – focusing on Joy and Alan’s friends and children as well as their own relationship. It’s clever and evidently groundbreaking for the BBC, with a maturity that we rarely see even after the watershed.