It's true. Sex Education was an instant Netflix hit when it arrived back in 2019, with the first season being streamed by over 40 million subscribers. With rave reviews continuing for the second season, a third was given the green light in April this year. Now star Ncuti Gatwa has teased some "very special" season 3 details when he appeared on the BAFTA red carpet on Sunday afternoon.
In the series, Gatwa plays Eric Effiong, a fan favorite character whose journey in the series has broached some very relevant race and sexuality topics. The series as a whole uses a diverse cast and storylines to full effect, discussing difficult subjects that teenagers face in a way that doesn't come across the forced way that many similar shows do. Talking about the upcoming season, Gatwa said that the scenes specifically relating to Eric celebrating his culture were some of his favorite.
"I can't talk about it too much," Nucti said, while speaking to the press ahead of the BAFTA ceremony. "This season, Eric returns back to his culture a lot more and I think those scenes were very special, just having a set where the majority of people were black. And it was really great and really powerful, and represented Eric's culture and his family. Those are always quite profound moments."
Of his character, Gatwa went on to say that it "feels good" to play a character with such a cultural background in a show as big as Sex Education has become. He said, "Season one, there's a scene where he goes to prom in a full African outfit and a Gele, a Nigerian headdress, and I was like, 'Wow, I'm on a Netflix set, a big set, representing a culture that doesn't normally get represented, representing a character that doesn't normally get represented. This feels good."
Sex Education is primarily the story of teenager Otis Milburn - played to insecure, nerdy perfection by Asa Butterfield - who is uncomfortable in his own skin when it comes to sexual matters. It doesn't help that his mother - played by Gillian Anderson, in a role that has been a dream of many fans for three decades - is a very frank and to the point sex therapist. Otis inadvertently ends up opening his own sex advice business, using knowledge gained from his mother's many books, and comes to the aid of his troubled classmates is matters of the heart and other areas. All the while, he is unable to express his feelings for his "business partner", Maeve (Emma Mackey).
The series gained a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes for its first season, which increased to 97% for the second. With a premise not unlike the bawdy sex comedies of the late 70s and early 80s, it is the heart behind the series that makes it stand out and not descend into smutty farce. Gatwa himself received much praise from cultural commentators and critics, who acknowledged that his character was not portrayed as a cliché gay black "best friend" of the lead, but had a significant role to play in the storyline and the series as a whole. Seasons 1 and 2 of Sex Education are currently available on Netflix, while Season 3 is expected to arrive later this year.