Netflix's 'Sex Education' is its latest hit British TV show - and this time the streaming giant didn't pick it up from a TV network

sex education


Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson in "Sex Education."

  • Netflix's "Sex Education" has an 89% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, and fans have praised how the show addresses relevant issues.
  • Unlike some of its other British Netflix "original" shows, "Sex Education" didn't originate on a UK network, and demonstrates Netflix's evolving production strategy.
  • Netflix will increase the amount of European shows it produces in 2019 to compete with a potential British streaming service, The Telegraph reported in November.

Netflix has built an impressive catalog of hit British TV shows licensed from networks in the UK, or co-produced with them. But with its latest British series, Netflix started from scratch - and it seems to have paid off.

"Sex Education" debuted on the streaming giant on January 11 and stars Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson. Netflix describes the series like this: "Insecure Otis has all the answers when it comes to sex advice, thanks to his therapist mom. So rebel Maeve proposes a school sex-therapy clinic."

READ MORE: Netflix's hit British series, 'Bodyguard,' won a Golden Globe and has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes

The show quickly garnered a fanbase over the weekend. People on Twitter praised the show's positive and "healthy" portrayal of male friendships that lack "toxic masculinity," and its "complex characterization of a gay teen of color," among other things.

Below are some Tweets commending the show:

Critics love it, too, and it has an 89% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. The Atlantic's Sophie Gilbert wrote that the show is "patched together so perspicaciously from pieces of existing hits that you can virtually see the stitches ... it works so well is almost annoying."

Allison Shoemaker wrote for that the show is "willing to experiment and find a balance that works. And like sex-like good sex anyway-it's often an absolute pleasure."

The series features a primarily international cast and was filmed in South Wales. But what makes "Sex Education" different than some other hit Netflix British shows as of late is that it didn't originate on a UK TV network.

Unlike "Bodyguard," "The Last Kingdom," or even "Black Mirror" - all of which Netflix acquired streaming rights to (or picked up as originals) after they had aired on BBC networks - "Sex Education" is purely a Netflix original. This is a sign of Netflix bulking up its output of international originals.

Netflix will increase the amount of European shows it produces in 2019 by a third, The Telegraph reported in November. The move comes on the heels of the head of the UK's broadcast regulator pushing British networks to create a streaming service to compete with Netflix, according to The Telegraph.

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