Starring Asa Butterfield as the sexually repressed teen Otis Milburn and
Gillian Anderson as his sex therapist mother Jean, Netflix’s portrays the complicated realities of sex and intimacy in painstaking detail. The British dramedy has been praised for showing teens having honest, progressive conversations about sex and tackling big topics like asexuality, pansexuality, internalized homophobia, and Sex Education sexual assault. It also digs into many of the more uncomfortable aspects of sex, including discussions about erectile dysfunction, STIs, and lube.
At its core, the show is an earnest depiction of adolescence and – more so than sex – relationships and intimacy. But it balances out that tenderness with plenty of lewd jokes, cringe comedy, and signature British humor. Where
else could you watch a bunch of teens put on a horny intergalactic musical or see a sock of human feces hit a passing car? Sex Education most recently aired its third season in September 2021 and has been renewed for a fourth season with a premiere date still to be announced. There may not be another show quite like it, but if you’re looking for more quirky British comedies to fill the void while you wait for more episodes, try these 22. 1 Moone Boy
In this Irish sitcom,
Chris O'Dowd plays the imaginary friend of the painfully awkward 12-year-old Martin Moone (David Rawle), who’s navigating school, family, and friendship while growing up in West Ireland during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. O’Dowd, who rose to fame in the UK after starring in The IT Crowd, created and co-wrote the semi-autobiographical three-season series, which aired from 2012 to 2015. Where to stream: Hulu and Amazon Prime 2 The End Of The F***ing World
dark two-season comedy is based on a mini-comic series and follows two British teenagers who run away from home together. The premise might not sound all that unique, except for the fact that one of the runaway teens, James (Alex Lawther), is searching for an opportunity to murder the other teen — his new girlfriend, Alyssa ( Jessica Barden). Where to stream: Netflix 3 Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge created, wrote, and starred in this wildly popular tragicomedy, which is based on Waller-Bridge’s one-woman play of the same name. The woman at the center of the show, known only as Fleabag, regularly breaks the fourth wall as she messily attempts to process her grief and anger in Season 1, and learns about faith and love (by falling in love with a priest) in Season 2. Where to stream: Amazon Prime 4 Fresh Meat Fresh Meat, a series created by the same people behind the long-running British comedy Peep Show, tells the story of six eccentric roommates just trying to survive university. Many of the cast members can be seen in other popular British comedies — including Joe Thomas, who’s best known for The Inbetweeners, and Jack Whitehall, who went on to star in Bad Education. Where to watch: Amazon Prime 5 Catastrophe Mark Johnson/Amazon Prime Video
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney co-created, co-wrote, and co-starred in
whose lives are turned upside down when they become pregnant after a brief fling and decide to try being in a real relationship. The BAFTA-winning romantic comedy series ran for four seasons — and, like Catastrophe, a sitcom about two single people Sex Education, it certainly doesn’t shy away from conversations about sex. Where to stream: Amazon Prime 6 The Inbetweeners
This cringe-inducing British coming-of-age sitcom kicks off with Will (Simon Bird), the new kid at school, becoming friends with three other social outcasts at his suburban high school. Across the show's three seasons, the four teenage boys awkwardly navigate school and social hierarchy while (mostly unsuccessfully) attempting to charm the girls they're crushing on.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime 8 Crashing
In addition to
Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge also created and wrote Crashing, a mini-series about six people in their 20s living together in a vacant hospital. Not to be confused with Pete Holmes’ HBO series of the same name, the show depicts the relationships, tension, and quirks that result from living in an unusual setting with a group of strangers. Where to stream: Netflix 9 Coupling Coupling, a sitcom written by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat, is basically the . The series, which is set in the early 2000s, centers around six friends who spend most of their time talking about sex and dating each other. Although some of its social commentary is dated, Friends of the UK Coupling remains essential viewing for any British comedy lover. Where to stream: HBO Max and Hulu 10 Miranda fans will be familiar with actor Miranda Hart. This British sitcom, which was developed from her semi-autobiographical radio comedy show, follows a fictionalized version of Miranda during her many, many awkward exploits. Within the first two minutes of the pilot episode, she loses her pants on the floor of a club and pulls them up in time to dance to “Stop” by the Spice Girls. Call the Midwife Where to stream: Hulu and Amazon Prime 11 Lovesick Lovesick (also known as Scrotal Recall) picks up as main character Dylan (Johnny Flynn) sets out to contact all of his past sexual partners after being diagnosed with chlamydia. The sitcom uses Dylan’s unplanned journey down memory lane as a means of flashing back on defining moments in all of his relationships. It also touches on his best friends Luke Curran (Daniel Ings) and Evie Douglas (Antonia Thomas), who he lives with. Where to stream: Netflix 12 Bridget & Eamon
This spoof of an unhappily married couple living in Ireland in the ‘80s provides a particularly wacky and unpredictable look at the inside of a dysfunctional marriage. The four-season Irish sitcom manages to find the absurd within the mundane, and Bridget (Jennifer Zamparelli) and Eamon (Bernard O’Shea) are unlike any couple you've met before.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime 13 Cuckoo
U.S. audiences will recognize a few familiar faces in the British sitcom
Cuckoo, including Andy Samberg (only in Season 1) and Taylor Lautner (who joins in Season 2). At the start of the show, Samberg's hippie character “Cuckoo” causes a plethora of issues for a British family when their daughter unexpectedly marries him during her gap year. Where to stream: Netflix 14 My Mad Fat Diary
Enter the mind of 16-year-old Rae Earl (Sharon Rooney) as she adjusts to life at home after being hospitalized for an eating disorder and struggling with mental health issues in this dramedy. The series is based on the book of the same name, which was written by the real-life Rae Earl. Starring as Rae’s best friend Chloe was
Jodie Comer’s ( Killing Eve) breakout role. Where to stream: Hulu 15 Misfits
In the mood for a comedy with a splash of sci-fi? Check out
Misfits, which is about a group of five young people who manifest supernatural powers after getting stuck in a freak electrical storm while performing community service. Keep your eyes peeled for a young Robert Sheehan ( The Umbrella Academy, Love/Hate) and Iwan Rheon ( Game of Thrones). Where to stream: Hulu and Amazon Prime 16 Derry Girls
coming-of-age sitcom from Being Human writer Lisa McGee, four Northern Irish girls (and one British boy) bumble through their teenage years while attending an all-girls Catholic school. The two-season series is undeniably hilarious but also has political undertones, as it’s set in Derry in the 1990s during the Troubles conflict. Where to stream: Netflix 17 Drifters
Two 20-something cousins and their friend attempt to figure out adulthood after university in Leeds — and it doesn’t take long for the trio to realize it’s going to be tougher than they imagined. This four-season series was created and written by Jessica Knappett, who also stars as Meg.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime 18 The Mighty Boosh
Created by the British comedy troupe The Mighty Boosh, this surreal and fantastical series takes quirky to a new extreme — think
Flight of the Conchords but weirder, more disjointed, and with puppets. Among the Mighty Boosh, you’ll probably recognize Noel Fielding, who is currently a co-host on The Great British Baking Show. Where to stream: Hulu 19 Starstruck
The plot of
Starstruck is the perfect set-up for a screwball comedy: after having a one-night-stand on New Year’s Eve, a 20-something woman (Rose Matafeo) living in London wakes up and realizes that she unknowingly slept with a movie star. Prepare to be charmed by this six-episode series, which premiered in April 2021 and has already been renewed for Season 2. Where to stream: HBO Max 20 Chewing Gum Mark Johnson/Channel 4/Netflix
Created by, written, and starring multi-hyphenate
Michaela Coel in her breakout project, Chewing Gum follows the painfully awkward and sheltered Tracey Gordon (Coel). She’s on a mission to shed her religious upbringing and lose her virginity, with results that are equal parts horrifying and hilarious. If anyone could have benefited from Otis’ advice, it’s Tracey. Where to stream: HBO Max 21 Friday Night Dinner
This six-season British sitcom starts with a basic premise: two parents and their grown adult sons gather each week for Shabbat dinner in their suburban North London home. But the Goodmans are no normal family, and thanks to brotherly pranks, strange (and intrusive) neighbors, and other utterly unpredictable distractions, their weekly dinners are anything but typical.
Where to stream: Amazon Prime 22 We Are Lady Parts
new Peacock sitcom follows Amina ( Anjana Vasan), a socially awkward PhD student who agrees to become the lead guitarist of the all-women Muslim punk band Lady Parts when the lead singer, Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), offers to help her find a husband. As the band attempts to get their big break, Amina finds herself struggling to balance her old life with her bandmate's aspirations. Where to stream: Peacock
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This article was originally published on
Jan. 26, 2019