“Don’t Cry Because It’s Over; Smile Because It Happened” comes to mind with the bittersweet ending for Sex Education today. After four seasons, the show has come to an end and while there won’t be a fifth season, we’ve got a few reasons why you shouldn’t be so glum.
In development since 2017 and on our screens since 2019, we’ve followed the students of Moordale and the whirlwind journey of Asa Butterfield’s Otis across 32 episodes.
The fifth and final season sees Sex Education graduate from Moordale Secondary to Cavendish Sixth Form College with a familiar albeit slightly changed roster of students and parents. Most have returned, but many have not.
Why has Sex Education ended? Why won’t there be a season 5?
No official reason has been given, but it likely came down to several reasons.
Firstly, the story was coming to a natural conclusion with the cast now aging out of high school and into sixth form (in the UK, sixth form only lasts for two years), but soon enough, they’ll be picking up their A-levels and moving into the world of university and the workplace.
When the fourth season trailer was unveiled the team behind the show said as much in a note to the fans, saying:
“Writing this feels bittersweet, as we’ve decided the fourth season will also be the final instalment of our show. This was not an easy decision to make, but as the themes and stories of the new season crystallised, it became clear that this was the right time to graduate.”
Laurie Nunn (the series creator) also said about the show coming to an end:
“It was a very difficult decision. In my mind I always felt like I could just write these characters forever and ever. I absolutely love them. It’s a very strange experience when you write characters for that long. They live in my head and I feel very attached to them. So, yeah, letting them go has been painful and I think I’m still processing that. But it happened very organically: when we did the writers’ room for season four we didn’t set out for it to be the final series. Something just started to happen through the writing process where I realised that by the time we arrived at that final episode, there weren’t any cliff-hangers and everything had just resolved itself, so I had this feeling that if I left the characters there, I would feel happy for them and hopeful for their future. And that’s how I wanted to leave it and I think it would have felt wrong to keep pushing it forwards when the story had naturally come to an end. I needed to listen to that.
Of course, British shows are known for being able to call it quits before it either jumps the shark or lose what made it special in the first place.
Another big factor, we think, is that the show’s cast have themselves been graduating to big new projects. Season 4 omitted some key characters, such as Lily and Ola, and we know (as we’ll come onto shortly) that many of the stars have already found new projects beyond Sex Education.
So, with the sad part out of the way, what do you have to look forward to?
Netflix has another British teen show just around the corner
One trend we’ve noticed when shows end at Netflix is to have something just around the corner that may pique your interest. The hope is that audiences of one will bleed into another and most importantly, stay subscribed.
That’s certainly the case with Everything Now set to release on Netflix on October 5th. The series has many familiar beats to Sex Education, albeit beginning in a very different way.
Previously known as The F*ck-it Bucket, the show revolves around 16-year-old Mia creating a bucket list of things to do after she returns to sixth form after being treated for an eating disorder.
Sex Education Cast in Other Netflix Originals
Our next piece of good news is that some of the Sex Education cast has lined up their next projects!
Gillian Anderson has already appeared in a couple of Netflix Originals, whether that’s playing Margaret Thatcher in Netflix’s flagship series, The Crown, starring alongside Christian Bale in The Pale Blue Eye, or lending her voice to the wonderful Aardman animated short, Robin Robin.
Anderson now has two upcoming Netflix projects after Sex Education. The first role we’re expecting her to play is Scoop, where Anderson will play the role of journalist Emily Maitlis. The other is The Abandons, where she’ll star alongside Lena Headey.
Asa Butterfield appeared in the 2022 horror movie Choose or Die and is set to lend his voice to an upcoming animated movie, Stitch Head (which, at one point, we heard was tied to Netflix).
Ncuti Gatwa is perhaps the star that’s graduated to the biggest new gig thus far. He’s set to become the iconic Doctor in the BBC’s long-running series Doctor Who, but our intel suggests he’ll also be heard in Netflix’s upcoming Tomb Raider anime series.
Aimee Lou Wood, at the time of writing, is currently filming her next project, which is set to debut exclusively on Netflix. We’re referring to Toxic Town, where she’ll star alongside Jodie Whittaker and Rory Kinnear.
Are you sad to see Sex Education come to an end? Let us know in the comments below.