HIT series Sex Education is back with a bang – and a lot more besides – in what is already Netflix’s most X-rated show.
And in a warning to young fans excitedly awaiting series two — cheekily billed “the second coming” — its star Gillian Anderson says: “Don’t watch it with your parents.”
The first episode of the new season, shown at the world premiere in London on Wednesday, features FIFTEEN scenes of solo sex acts in the opening three minutes.
Mother-of-three Gillian, 51, said: “I have a 25-year-old daughter and I have never watched it with her, although she has watched it herself.
“We have talked about it.
“We talk about the sex bits. But that’s a lot different than sitting next to your child and watching it together.
“I am not sure any parents would want to watch this with their teenagers in the same room.
“People say they sit and watch it at the same time but in separate rooms.”
‘RACKED UP MOST LAUGHS'
The first series was a global hit, having been watched by 40million people in the first four weeks.
It saw former X-Files star Gillian as sex therapist Dr Jean Milburn, mother to main character Otis, played by rising British star Asa Butterfield, 22.
Otis uses his mum’s expertise to start his own lucrative sex clinic at school, helping a band of hapless teens going through puberty.
Filmed across Wales in Newport, Cardiff and the Wye Valley, the series mixes English and US culture, which helps explain its wide appeal.
Money is in sterling and the actors have British accents, but they play American football and attend an American-type school.
Gillian said of the decision: “The rules are shifting all the time in terms of how an audience receives shows, what they’re willing to accept and what worlds they’re willing to step into.
“I think Netflix feels quite strongly that they’ve hit on something with this amalgamation.”
Although mainly focused on the trials of teen sex, Gillian strips off for a racy scene of her own in the second series opener, romping with on-screen lover Jakob.
YOU WON'T BRIE-LIEVE YOUR EYES
BRIT star Asa’s sexually frustrated character Otis pleasures himself 15 times in the first 180 seconds of the season opener – despite being in a number of public places.
The frenzy, which was filmed over six days, is sparked by him finally learning how to become aroused.
But a side effect means he is now turned on by almost anything, including a slice of Brie and wearing corduroy trousers.
Asa, who played the lead role of little boy Bruno in 2008 film The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, says: “The w***ing montage will follow me around for the rest of my career.
“When I first read it and when they first pitched it to me they said it was going to be a lot of fun. And it was.”
The actor also reveals the cast had to watch animals having sex as part of their homework for the second series.
The idea came from the show’s “intimacy co-ordinator” Ita O’Brien, who believed it would help make sex a less taboo subject.
Asa explains: “We were given a document the night before which was just animals having sex. We all had to read it. It was like homework.
“Then before filming we had a workshop where we wore loose trousers and watched snails having sex for eight hours.”
The role has rocketed child star Asa to grown-up stardom. And while he admits the part was initially a risk, it has certainly paid off.
He says: “When I first signed up, I knew it would be risky, that the scripts were treading new ground.
“I guess I hoped the show would be talked about a bit. But I didn’t expect it to connect so overwhelmingly. It hit at the right time.”
Despite finding it “hellish”, she says she was keen to be a part of the series as it makes her feel young again.
She added: “The show is actually gentle and compassionate. There are a lot of very emotional topics, a lot of difficult topics that are addressed, aside from the sex.
“Abortion, STIs, it looks at the responsibility of the choices youngsters make when they start having sex.
“I would say what draws people in is that everyone is accepted.
“Whoever you are, whatever you look like, whatever your beliefs are, you are not by yourself.
“There is an energy about this show that makes people watching it feel they are OK, however they are.
“That is miraculous. It almost feels like we are carving out another realm of it entirely because the show has taken things into such a different world.
“It feels like it is almost making its own path for that generation.
“I feel a bit more part of the young generation. Plus this role has racked up the most laughs for me.
"When I first read the script I found it really funny.
“And I haven’t had the chance to do much comedy in my career so far.”
The first series finale saw a sexually frustrated Otis finally manage to achieve his goal of pleasuring himself — in front of a crowd of school friends.
GOOD TO TALK
EMMA MACKEY, who plays Maeve, says the show has made her more confident talking about sex – and thinks it helps other youngsters do the same.
She says: “Just because we’ve done a show about sex doesn’t suddenly make us sex experts.
But I love it when mums come up to me in the street and say, ‘Thank you for helping me talk about sex to my kids’. I wish this show existed when I was at school. This is why it works so well.”
In the series, Maeve navigates a difficult relationship with her addict mum, played by Anne-Marie Duff, 49.
She says: “Anne-Marie is an actual living legend. All I do is react off her, that’s all I had to do. I soaked it all up.”
But with his new girlfriend Ola unaware of his unrequited love for bad girl Maeve, played by Emma Mackey, 24, fans were left desperate to find out what happens next.
Series two kicks off where the first ended, with Otis seen constantly enjoying solo sex.
Then as an outbreak of chlamydia sweeps the school, his mum is called in to help educate the kids.
As embarrassing as that is for Otis, his new love interest turns out to be the daughter of his mother’s lover, leading to more awkward questions around the dinner table.
The second series becomes available next Friday and writer Laurie Nunn is already bursting with ideas for a longer run.
She reveals: “There are so many things we could try. I maybe won’t take the characters to university.
“I feel like that’s when it gets really wrong because you end with up 40-year-old actors in this role. But we still have loads more to cover.”
- Sex Education is available to stream on Netflix from January 17.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
SHOW creator Laurie Nunn, who was born in London but raised in Australia, decided on an ambiguous setting in terms of location as she wanted people to focus more on the characters and less on their surroundings.
She explains: “My writing and the hook of the show have got a heightened element to them and they needed an elevated world to match that premise.
“I like to think about it as teenagers in their own utopia.” American actress Gillian adds: “The aim and the hope is that Americans will not notice.
“For instance, the Brits may notice they are throwing American footballs, whereas the Americans won’t notice that that might be strange for people speaking with British accents.”
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