Skip To Content
  • Poll badge

Here's Why "Sex Education" Looks So American, Even Though It Is British

Why does it look so American?! Isn't this supposed to be the UK?!?!

So by now you have been probably watching Sex Education, the smart, quirky and warm-hearted British sitcom about the fun world of sexual intercourse.

Netflix

But watching as a fellow British citizen (doffs cap,) there are some things that strike me as a bit weird. For example, our secondary schools do not tend to have logos like this.

Netflix

Nor do we have lockers and hallways that look like this.

Netflix

We do not have schools that have grounds like this.

Netflix

Our schools are either extremely 1960s looking (unless you went to a super private school) or Hogwarts.

Our sports teams do not wear Letterman jackets.

Netflix

Heck, we normally wear a school uniform until the age of 16 (my school had explicit rules about skirt length and doing up the top button on shirts).

We had a non-school uniform day approximately three times a year, it took months of planning to work out what to wear. We treated it like the Super Bowl.

This cafeteria look is wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Netflix

The banner at the back is usually used at a village fete, not to support our own school sports team.

Also, in my school nobody used trays during school lunch. We did have trays, but using them was considered uncool. Instead, we just carried the just-out-of-the-dishwasher-hot plate in our hands, loaded with food, which burnt them.

Netflix

The burning hands bit was annoying but being unpopular was worse.

Anyway, I have gone into much detail about the weird American feel of Sex Education. But it's not just me. A lot of people have noticed this.

Is this Sex Education show on Netflix set in an alternative dimension? It's England but looks like America and it's 2018 but looks like the 80s 😂

I really love this new series sex education but the aesthetic doesn’t work. Set in a British high school but no one wears uniforms and has school logos like America😅😅

Well, here's some ANSWERS. In an interview with the Radio Times, Gillian Anderson, who stars as Dr Jean F. Milburn in the show, explained why they have done this American-British thing: "There is a bit of both worlds, decidedly, in the series, and the aim and the hope is that Americans won’t notice."

Netflix

"For instance, the Brits may notice that they are throwing American footballs, whereas the Americans won’t notice that that might be strange for people speaking with British accents."

Jamie Campbell, the show's executive producer, went into a bit more detail, telling the BBC's Media Show: "One of the really important things to the initial concept was that this would be a show that was aspirational."

Netflix

He said that a lot of British shows, like Grange Hill, tend to reflect the worst time of our lives and that everything looks a bit miserable: "We wanted to do something different here and create an environment that reflects the best time of your life."

The show is also seen as a homage to John Hughes films, who made films such as The Breakfast Club.

Another question you have probably asked if you have watched this (especially if you are British):

Where. On. Earth. Is. Sex. Education. Set?

Netflix

It was filmed around Newport in Wales, but it appears that none of the students have a Welsh accent.

Netflix

When Netflix was asked about this, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed: "It was filmed in Wales, but the show is set in the fictitious town of 'Moordale' in South West UK."

Google Maps

So that's basically anywhere from Dorset, to Penzance in the West. But probably not Wales.

But that doesn't clear it up. As a person who has frequently visited the South West of the UK (my parents are from Dorset, my entire youth was spent in traffic jams on the M5, I once got sick from eating too many Cornish pasties), Sex Education doesn't particularly look like that area.

Netflix

The show's Asa Butterfield (Otis) has given some explanation in an interview with the AP. He said: "It is this kind of Nowheresville. We don’t say where it is and it’s got these rolling hills and these people dress a bit like they’re from the '80s."

Netflix

"It has kind of got a timeless vibe to it, which I think really helped make the show stand out.”

  1. So the big question is: do you find this American feel to Sex Education jarring or does it not matter at all?

    So the big question is: do you find this American feel to Sex Education jarring or does it not matter at all?

Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
So the big question is: do you find this American feel to Sex Education jarring or does it not matter at all?
  1.  
    vote votes
  2.  
    vote votes

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form