The eight-part series was released on Netflix this week. It is a refreshingly hilarious and honest series that weaves some really important issues amongst the abundance of humour. Illustrating a range of difficulties in the relationships between parents and how it can affect people much more than you could imagine. The relationships that unfold between a complicated selection of characters makes the show a fantastic watch.
Everybody’s lives appear shiny from a distance, but as many of the characters learn, behind closed doors there is always something darker going on. Family issues happen no matter what background you are from. The people who seem toughest are the ones most emotionally betrayed by their parents. But on the upside, it talks loudly about taboo subjects such as masturbation, the pressure to have sex and fear of being who you really are.
Luckily, the protagonist, son of sex therapist Otis Milburn, is there to guide his classmates through these times, with the wisdom he has picked up from his mother; whilst being romantically and sexually hopeless. The characters are all brilliant with a range of problems, personalities and sexual mishaps.
It is hard to pinpoint when it is set; probably some point in the late eighties, early nineties by the music such as The Cure and The Violent Femmes, but the mobile phones they use are clearly ahead of the time. Certain parts of the set don’t match other parts such as newsagent with the modern cigarettes cabinet covered – a law introduced in 2017. These are fine details though and don’t change the brilliance of the show on a whole. It has faced some criticism for being ‘too Americanised’ but again, I think that just adds to the humour of the show. Like they are all in this perfect little ‘white-painted fences’ town and have all these problems going on. The bright colours of the houses, school and town emphasise this. It has My Mad Fat Diary vibes but lighter, and from a male perspective.
Overall it is a fantastic show, rare with so many new releases on Netflix. My only disappointment is finishing the eight-part series in one day. The last episode definitely left a lot of stuff unfinished, so I eagerly await series two.