Watch Gillian Anderson's Sex Guru In First Trailer For Netflix's Sex Education

For its upcoming original series Sex Education, Netflix released a first trailer that does not shy away from its central subject matter. Many viewers likely won't shy away from the prospect of X-Files fave Gillian Anderson as a provocative sex therapist with a unique approach to parenting. Check out the first full trailer below, which centers on Asa Butterfield's teenager Otis unwittingly becoming his school's go-to source for all things down and dirty.

Even though the trailer kicks off with Gillian Anderson's Jean Milburn asking her son about his recent habits where he pretends to masturbate -- the therapist mostly takes a backseat to all the younger characters on display. Normally, I'd complain more about the actress' sidelining, but Sex Education does look like a pretty solid and fun show with some offbeat charms, so I'm game to try and enjoy it all.

In laying out its narrative thrust -- pun intended -- Sex Education's trailer showcases the gamut of emotions that will be on display. As someone whose home life is revealed to be filled with sexually charged conversations, sex manuals, sex videos and more, Otis becomes his high school's go-to source for information and advice about hooking up. Of course, textbook knowledge doesn't always match up with experienced know-how, so I expect Otis will do some advanced learning of his own as the season progresses.

In a turn of events that feels partially cribbed from a Saved by the Bell writers room, Otis joins his best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and the brilliant "bad girl" Maeve (Emma Mackey) to start up an unofficial sex therapy clinic for other students. We get to hear some of the problems suffered by the other teens, too, such as one girl whose "pubes are out of control," and one dude who wishes he had a "normal dick." Rawr?

gillian anderson rawr face sex education netflix

Don't expect for Sex Education to be solely full of puerile gags and awkward moments for the sake of being awkward. Creator Laurie Nunn seems to be shooting for a more genuine slice-of-life approach to the humor here, as opposed to an American Pie-esque array of shock humor. The new series isn't wholly fixated on jokes and silly situations, either, and it looks like Sex Education will explore the very real issues and curiosities that many teenagers develop upon reaching a sexual awakening.

For instance, the trailer shows us Eric fully made up and decked out in women's clothing, and also teases that his relationship with his father may stand in the way of his genuine desires. And assuming Eric is the person seen punching that other student in the hallway, one could assume that dust-up was also related to Eric's non-curricular interests.

As well, viewers see Maeve dealing with some kind of a medical situation while in the hospital, which could be tied to a slew of different scenarios. Perhaps she's having an abortion following one regrettable night, or maybe she's going through the preliminary stages of getting some kind of sexual reassignment surgery. Or, if I may go out on a limb here, she might just have a really bad case of the flu.

I'll admit that most of my excitement for Sex Education was initially tied to Gillian Anderson's casting, since she tends to pick outstanding TV projects,such as The Fall and Hannibal, among many others. However, the full trailer has convinced me there will be much more to enjoy about the new Netflix series than just the actress' titillating dialogue.

Sex Education will make its debut on Netflix on Friday, January 11, at 12:01 a.m. PT. To see what other big shows are hitting streaming and primetime in the near future, bookmark our 2019 Netflix schedule and our midseason TV premiere rundown.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.