7 best shows to watch after Sex Education on Netflix, Max and more

 Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn looks at Mimi Keene as Ruby Matthews in Sex Education on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

The horny and heartfelt adventures of Otis, Maeve, Eric and the rest of the Moordale Secondary crew sadly came to an end when Sex Education premiered its fourth and final season on Sept. 21

Centered on Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), the socially awkward son of a sex therapist (the great Gillian Anderson) who decides to start his own sex advice clinic to help his fellow students, the beloved British series charmed with the comedy, candor and compassion with which it treated its characters’ hormonal plights. 

But just because Sex Education has ended doesn’t mean you can’t find those virtues elsewhere. Here are some equally hilarious and heartwarming shows like Sex Education to add to your watchlist.

Never Have I Ever

Jaren Lewison as Ben Gross, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in Never Have I Ever

(Image credit: Netflix)

Loosely based on co-creator Mindy Kaling’s own adolescence, this four-season Netflix series stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, an Indian-American high schooler in Sherman Oaks, California, who must grapple with the sudden death of her father while juggling all of the other growing pains that young life brings. You know, stuff like her complicated romantic feelings for two fellow students—popular jock Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and wannabe mathematician Ben Gross (Jaren Lewinson)—and her friction-filled relationship with her strict doctor mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan). 

The cheery teen series has been praised not only for its humor (notoriously tempestuous tennis great John McEnroe narrates Devi’s inner thoughts) but also its thoughtful depictions of first-generation immigrant life. 

Watch on Netflix

My Mad, Fat Diary

Sharon Rooney in My Mad, Fat Diary

(Image credit: Alamy)

Based on the 2007 novel My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by Rae Earl, this 90s-set teen drama ran on E4 for three seasons from 2013 to 2015, trailing troubled Lincolnshire teen Rae (a BAFTA-winning turn by Barabie star Sharon Rooney) as she navigates all of the cringiness and cruelties of adolescence following a four-month stay at a psychiatric hospital. 

While the series deals frankly with tough issues like mental health, body image and grief, it manages to offset that darkness with plenty of light, including Rae’s renewed friendship with her childhood pal Chloe (a pre-superstar Jodie Comer), a burgeoning romance with dreamy bad boy Finn (Nico Mirallegro), and her eye-opening, life-changing sessions with her therapist, Dr. Kester (Ian Hart). 

Watch on Hulu


Kit Connor and Joe Locke in Heartstopper poster

(Image credit: Netflix)

Like Sex Education, this coming-of-age comedy-drama on Netflix—which debuted its sophomore season this August—gives ample spotlight to characters historically relegated to the sidelines, particularly queer and trans youth. Created by Alice Oseman and adapted from her graphic novel series of the same name, Heartstopper focuses on Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a recently outed schoolboy who falls for popular rugby player Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), kicking off a sweet, swoon-worthy journey of young love and self-acceptance. (Warning: a touching scene between Nick and his mom, played by the always welcome Olivia Colman, will surely leave you reaching for the Kleenex.) 

Their Truham Grammar School pals Tao (William Gao), Elle (Yasmin Finney) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan) round out the group and create a colorful, inclusive picture of all that it means to be a teenager today.

Watch on Netflix

The Sex Lives of College Girls

Poster for The Sex Lives of College Girls

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Another one from co-creator Mindy Kaling, this Max comedic romp might crank up the coming-of-age experience to the college level but that doesn’t meant any of its characters — not sheltered work-study student Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), wannabe comedy writer Bella (Amrit Kaur), sophisticated but secretive Leighton (Reneé Rapp) or soccer star Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) — have any more of a clue than their younger TV counterparts. 

The foursome are roommates at the fictional Essex College in New England, where their learnings extend far beyond the lecture hall, as university life grants each young woman their first real taste of freedom, as well as all of the adventures, anxieties and awakenings that it brings. And with two seasons down and a third already greenlit by the streamer, we can expect many more coed hijinks to come. 

Watch on Max

Derry Girls

best netflix comedies

(Image credit: Netflix)

You’ll likely need to turn on the subtitles while watching this Channel 4 sitcom, not only to decipher the thick Northern Irish accents of its cast but also to keep track of all the quips and quotes you might’ve missed while you were busy still cracking up at the joke prior. 

No, we wouldn’t immediately expect a TV show set against the violence of The Troubles to offer up quite so many hearty laughs, but creator Lisa McGee — who tapped into her own upbringing in the titular British town — does just that with her brutally funny story of five plucky teens (played by Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell and Dylan Llewellyn) and their drama-filled days at Our Lady Immaculate College in mid-1990s Londonderry. Watch it to witness the sardonic glory that is Sister Michael (a scene-stealing Siobhán McSweeney) alone. 

Watch on Netflix


The cast of Skins

(Image credit: E4)

Though largely lighthearted, Sex Education wasn’t afraid of addressing tough subjects over the course of its four seasons, from sexual assault to homophobic bullying to gender transitioning. It’s a taboo-tackling quality that the show shares with the cult-favorite E4 series, Skins, which ran from 2007 to 2013. 

Following an ever-changing group of British teens in Bristol—portrayed by a who’s who of future mega-stars, including Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel and Daniel Kaluuya —the edgy teen dramedy never shied away from controversy, chronicling both the delirious highs (the parties, the promiscuity) and darkest lows (eating disorders, mental illness, substance abuse) of its young characters. Through seven seasons, it brazenly gave us the good, the bad and the messy of growing up. 

Watch on Hulu

The End of the F***ing World

Jessica Barden, Alex Lawther and Naomi Ackie in The End of the F***ing World

(Image credit: Netflix)

This critically acclaimed Channel 4 comedy, which took home a Peabody Award in 2019 and a BAFTA for Best Drama Series a year later, has a far darker premise than Sex Education: 17-year-old James (Alex Lawther) is a self-proclaimed psychopath who wants to graduate from killing animals to killing humans — namely, his classmate and fellow outsider Alyssa (Jessica Barden). 

Yes, it sounds more like something tailormade for true-crime enthusiasts than those looking for some feel-good TV, but despite that pitch-black plot, The End of the F***ing World fits in a surprising amount of sweet romance and hilarious relatability in its 16 episodes. Our young lovers are delightfully droll, dulled by the boredom of British suburbia and, sure, are just a touch homicidal. What teenager isn’t, eh? 

Watch on Netflix

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Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.