When the much-hyped Netflix series Sex Education debuted last year, I sat down to watch the first episode one evening. Four episodes and three-and-a-half hours later, I had to force myself to stop in. Continue reading
Ncuti Gatwa stars as Eric Effiong in ‘Sex Education.’ Right now, he may be the hottest star on the hottest show on Netlix
Eric is Otis Milburn’s best friend and one of the show’s most beloved characters. He is gay, loves drag and his season 1 arc focuses on him growing more confident in his own skin. Season 2 finds Ncuti torn between two guys, his former bully Adam and new kid on the block Rahim.
He grew up in Edinburgh in Scotland and his parents are from Rwanda. In an interview with the Guardian, Ncuti said he was a toddler when he and his family moved from Rwanda as refugees, fleeing the genocide. Ncuti then grew up in Oxgangs and Fife in Scotland [ . . . ]
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The Sex Education actor talks about her Irish roots and her Anglo-French upbringing
Some parts of the French film industry have, it seems, clanked back into action. Emma Mackey, Anglo-French star of Netflix’s Sex Education, has been shooting Eiffel, a drama concerning the designer of the titular tower, since the beginning of June. How odd to speak to a resident of the Planet Normal.
“It is one the rare films,” she explains. “It’s not the case with everyone. As you can imagine, the protocols are extremely strict. We have to be very careful and our producer worked very hard to get us back on track. But it’s good.”
Lockdown arrived at a busy time for Ms Mackey. She is about to be everywhere. By one measure, Sex Education was the third most-watched show on Netflix during the Covid emergency (one place ahead of Tiger King, according to trackers at Reelgood). We hope to see her in Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile before the autumn is out. In early July, she will be remotely present at the digital incarnation of the Galway Film Fleadh. Mackey stars as a troubled midlander in Phil Sheerin’s spooky The Winter Lake, which will receive its world premiere at this year’s one-off online event.
Shot in Leitrim and Sligo, the picture co-stars Anson Boon, Michael McElhatton and Charlie Murphy in a tale of sombre omens, hidden abuse and sublimated passions. I can’t imagine what she expected of the shoot.
Mackey says she “felt at home” on the shoot, and, as you might expect for a Mackey, she has deep Irish roots
“I didn’t have any expectations,” she says. “I knew that I’d be there for a month. And I knew that I wanted to do the film very badly. It just came at a time when I felt like I needed it. I loved it. I stayed there for the entire month and didn’t go back to London. I made the choice to kind of stay there just so I could be in that world. It is so wild. I felt at home.”
There is a something of a chamber-piece dynamic to the interactions between the four characters. Based on a screenplay by David Turpin, The Winter Lake could almost work as a play.
“There were so few cast members that it was really nice to just spend time with those few people and really get to have proper conversations with everyone and get to know each other and fool around. That was really, really fun.”
As many of us face quarantine, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong picks the world’s most diverting shows, including a Japanese romcom and a drama from Brazil.
By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
A third of the world’s population is now living in lockdown with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, searching for hope and ways to connect – but also just something to do besides follow the news. When watching TV to fill our time, we can also build our empathy with other countries going through the same thing: closed borders don’t apply to culture. Here are 11 shows to watch in quarantine that will uplift or distract you, while also opening your mind and heart to other cultures.
Call My Agent! – France
A group of Paris talent agents scramble to keep their business alive after the unexpected death of their firm’s founder, while also competing with and betraying each other, in this three-season dramedy that premiered in 2015. There are fun machinations, office politics, and inside-showbusiness references (a plotline in the pilot hinges on a Quentin Tarantino movie). Call My Agent! is frothy while still being engaging, with plenty of beautiful shots of Paris. Available on Netflix. Continue reading
Late in the second season of Netflix’s Sex Education comes a scene familiar from multiple teen movies: the ritualistic dissemination of a person’s private notebook, weaponized to cause maximum chaos. You might remember this exact scenario from Mean Girls, when Regina George papered her high school with xeroxed pages of the same Burn Book she’d helped create, sparking a fracas of hysteria and recrimination. Or from the end of Cruel Intentions, when a journal is handed out in bound copies at Kathryn Merteuil’s brother’s funeral, sealing her downfall.
The setup is enough of a trope to feel hackneyed, until you realize how Sex Education is subverting it. The person doling out secrets in hope of causing chaos isn’t a teenage girl looking for revenge, but a middle-aged man grasping at the last vestiges of his waning power.
When Sex Education debuted early in 2019, it felt like a delightfully earnest (and anglicized) patchwork of teen classics: the raunch comedy of American Pie, the small-town romanticism of Stranger Things, and the British oddball kids of Skins and The End of the F***ing World, with the sweet sex-positivity of Big Mouth thrown in for good measure.
The show seems to exist in a parallel universe that’s both our own (there are cellphones and STI outbreaks and horny teenagers) and entirely alien (no one ever goes on social media, every store in the mall is a small business, the action takes place in an idyllic English community where it never, ever rains).