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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: ‘Sex Education’ is a leap forward for the entertainment industry


The highly anticipated return of Netflix's hit series, ‘Sex Education,’ with its fourth and final season, has generated excitement among fans. This season brings with it a bittersweet feeling as it bids farewell to some beloved characters while introducing a host of intriguing newcomers. As always, ‘Sex Education’ manages to captivate its audience with fresh storylines and relatable characters. 

Season four commences with a significant shift as the characters transition to Cavendish College following the closure of Moordale High School. This transition introduces viewers to a college environment characterized by its emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, deviating from the more traditional high school setting.   

One of the standout elements of this season is the prominent role played by the character Cal Bowman, who previously had a romantic relationship with Jackson Marchetti, one of the main characters since season one. Cal identifies as non-binary, and their journey throughout season four is impactful. The series adeptly addresses the challenges associated with Cal's gender transition, including their pursuit of taking testosterone and the desire for top surgery. However, these aspirations are all hindered by the harsh realities of financial constraints and long waiting periods. This season meticulously details the journey of Cal and the hurdles they had to overcome, from dealing with family and friends to battling feelings of loneliness. This storyline is a vital conversation starter that deserves wider attention in society.   

The inclusion of Cal's journey is a significant step forward for the entertainment industry, as it delves into the complexities of a character navigating their identity during the formative years of their life. It serves as an inspiration to countless teenagers and young adults who have previously only encountered conventional shows with non-diverse characters. While there has been a commendable increase in the representation of LGBTQ characters in the film and television industry, few shows delve into the intricate challenges of the identity exploration process as ‘Sex Education’ does. 

[Related: COLUMN: Give non-binary artists the credit they deserve]

The series' choice to showcase a diverse array of characters aligns with the broader industry trend of increased representation in television and film. This dedication to inclusivity not only mirrors evolving societal values but also carries the potential to shape the perceptions and attitudes of younger generations. Exposure to a rich tapestry of characters from various backgrounds encourages acceptance, empathy and a greater appreciation for diversity.   

By portraying a college environment that champions diversity and inclusivity, the series contributes to a broader cultural shift, where diversity is embraced as the norm rather than the exception. Watching shows like ‘Sex Education,’ empowers young adults by making them feel more accepted and at ease in their surroundings. 

In essence, ‘Sex Education’ transcends being merely a series about the trials and tribulations of adolescence; it serves as a medium for envisioning a more inclusive future in both education and entertainment. Through its diverse representation, it helps pave the way for a more inclusive and empathetic world, establishing itself not only as a groundbreaking show but also as a catalyst for positive change in both the entertainment industry and society as a whole.  

Moving forward, it is evident that having more shows with diverse characters and storylines is not just a preference but a mandate for shaping a more inclusive and empathetic future. ‘Sex Education’ leaves an indelible mark, reminding us all about the transformative potential of storytelling when it embraces the richness of human experiences and perspectives. It stands as a testament to the power of television to inspire, educate and, ultimately, change the world for the better. 

Prakriti Khurana (she/her) is a sophomore studying finance. 

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