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What will COVID guidelines mean for intimate shows? Discover how the Netflix show 'Sex Education' is handling the new guidelines.

‘Sex Education’ on Netflix will be back with plenty of sex despite COVID-19

One of the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the entertainment industry is the shooting of intimate scenes. If we’re going to maintain social distancing guidelines, can we perform intimate scenes on screen?  

It’s been a point to ponder for so many people in the industry that the Directors UK organization even brought out guidelines. “The director, writer, and producer should review the script together and agree which physical interactions need to occur between performers and decide whether substitutions can be made. Does a physical act need to be shown?”

Directors UK further asks: “If working within a series format, can the intimacy be delayed?” It gets only trickier when you consider a show like Sex Education, where the entire theme revolves around sex, intimacy, and making out. As the Netflix series prepares for its comeback with the third season, viewers have a lot of questions.

Sex Education without sex?

Sex Education became so popular because it manages to offer a raw & realistic take on sexuality, self-discovery, and teen awkwardness. We often only see a very glamorized version of sex scenes on television & in movies, so it’s a nice change of pace. 

For the actors in the show, Sex Education’s popularity snowballed them into stardom. The show has come with an unexpected amount of fame for them. And even though they might be taciturn or nonchalant as their characters, they’re still reeling in the aftereffects of the popularity. 

In September, Netflix took to its official Twitter handle to announce that the shooting & production for the third season is underway. They accompanied the announcement with a behind the scenes video of the cast, pandemic-style. 

Mackey’s got answers

Emma Mackey, who stars as Maeve Wiley in the Netflix drama series has spilled some beans in a recent interview. The 24-year old star mentioned that the cast is “still hugging and making out” while observing as many precautions as one can on a set. 

While it’s relieving to know that the pandemic hasn’t botched the plot & plans for the show, we’re equally concerned about the safety guidelines being followed on the sets. Mackey shared the set has become very regimented, and COVID-19 testing is frequent – as often as twice a week – to ensure the safety of every cast & crew member. 

She told PORTER, “We’re all still, like, hugging and making out… and doing intimate scenes.” Before returning to the set, she was in Paris for the duration of the lockdown, shooting for the romantic drama Eiffel

What else does Season 3 have in store for us?

First of all, we’ll get to see Jemima Kirke, of the HBO series Girls fame, stepping into the role of Moordale’s new headmistress Hope. Hope is a former Moordale student, so her plans to revive Moordale to its former excellence will be rather ambitious. 

In other news, Dua Saleh will be joining the students as Cal, a nonbinary student at Moordale, who will not see eye to eye with Hope’s new vision for the school. This will, in fact, be Saleh’s acting debut.

Jason Isaacs (remember Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter series?) will also be joining the cast as a guest just like Kirke. He will play Peter Groff, the more successful & more boastful brother of Mr. Groff.  

The show was recommissioned in February, right before the pandemic hit, so it’s likely with the production underway that the third season will hit the screens early next year. All in a year’s work. 

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