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Sex Education: Creators Explain The 80’s American High School Set In Wales

The creators of Netflix’s hit show Sex Education answer fans’ questions.

The hit Netflix show answers fan’s questions: is it set in an American high school or in Wales? Is it set in the 80s or now???

Released on Netflix last year, Sex Education was an immediate hit for its vibrant aesthetic and even brighter characters. Following a group of teenagers in high school giving out sex and relationship advice to their classmates battling the emergent crises of adolescence and discovering their own sexuality, the show tackles important matters of health and society’s openness to sexual education.   

Image from Sam Taylor / Netflix / NBCnews

The show stands out for its unique visuals,  lively costumes and cinematic drone shots that envelope the viewer in this odd interpretation of our world. The delightful layout of the show  lessens the blow of hearing detailed conversations about wet dreams and all things embarrassing that puberty has to offer on the screen. 

However, since its debut, lots of questions about its setting arise: when is it actually set? Where are they? 

American cultural cues confuse themselves with Welsh landscapes and characters, as does the vintage fashion confuse itself alongside smart-phones and laptops blurring the time and set of the show. 

The creators explain: it was all intentional. 

Image from Netflix

Writer Laurie Nunn and director Ben Taylor, talking to LADBible, said that every aesthetic decision was essential to support the narrative. 

Regarding the stylized dialogue of the show, Nunn mentions that her and Taylor both shared many common interests in American teen genre culture, so embedding it into the show took on a stylistic importance. It elevated the show, incorporating British appreciation and perspective into American antics. 

But beyond that, Nunn claims that since the plot of the show – a teenager giving sex advice in a cubicle to his classmates – is so exalted, it required a world that matched it. 

In my mind, Moordale is not a real place… We see it like a teenage utopia, and I like to think of it almost like a comic book world where these teenagers exist.

Laurie Nunn by LADBible

Taylor agrees, and adds that the decision to create this familiar, but elevated, world for the characters to live in was because they felt the nature of the plot would not be possible if it was set in a UK high school. There seems to be a cultural trend of depicting UK schools as grey uniforms, grey halls and a shared misery about growing up. This show was intended to share the excitement and positivity about growing up instead, which is a trope much more commonly  and naturally expressed in American high school shows. 

Even though Laurie’s scripts were full of heartbreak and angst, I wanted to see it sort of rendered with warmth and beauty.

Ben Taylor by LADBible
Image from Netflix

Nunn mentioned that she is currently working on Season 3, but still no confirmation can be given on whether it will air until the end of January. However, in regards to the theme of the show being about sex and relationships, there definitely will be more to tackle in this technicolor dream-like world of Sex Education that fans can only hope will go on. 

You can watch Sex Education on streaming now on Netflix now or read more about the second season here

Featured Image via Netflix

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