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Call them guilty pleasures, eyebleach, comfort TV… whatever they are, they’re those shows you’re not exactly proud to be watching. So… why are you?

Warning: this article contains spoilers for Netflix’s Sex/Life season 1 in its entirety.

Why Am I Watching Sex/Life

What in the Christian Grey even is this show?

I am not too proud to admit I watch my fair share of low quality things, including self-proclaimed “teen drama thriller” Cruel Summer and gauzy, plasticky The Hills: New Beginnings.

And yes, I read the Twilight series to completion. But I had good enough sense to bail when women turned their lusty eyes to Fifty Shades of Gray.

Sex/Life is a continuation along that trajectory: smut based off of a book by a female author who goes by two initials.

It’s not the gratuitous sex scenes that bother me; I lived for Euphoria. Nor is it the stale themes of stability in marriage and family set in contrast to a wild-child-tearing-through-Manhattan decade. But the confluence of these things results in television that’s both predictable and squeamish, with zero payoff.

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So, why am I watching this?

Two friends recommended it and the completist in me had to finish the season. And even though they teed up a season 2 in the last minute, *Mark Cuban voice* I’m out.

Best part?

Billie’s fashion sense had me Googling a few lewks, specifically a metallic sweaterdress—Missoni obviously—to the recurring foiled pink moto jacket representing her one true self.

But, because I am a critical harpy, I can’t pay that compliment without pointing out that the fashions all look contemporary; those representing an earlier decade did not look dated.

Not to mention, how could a costume designer IN GOOD CONSCIENCE read a script in which a child actor says, “You look like a princess, Mommy,” and dress Mommy in this?

Patricia Fields would never.

Most cringeworthy part?

Cooper Connelly? Sasha Snow?? These character names are preposterous. That’s a superficial answer.

*takes a puff from my Film Studies pipe*

Sex/Life is incapable of allowing true conflict to develop and instead, inserts key scenes into astonishingly implausible environments. After a fistfight with a colleague because his wife S’d his D at a swingers party, Cooper Connelly is put on notice by his sexy boss… then leaves work for an around-the-world theme party at their toddler’s day care to support Billie against a gang of Greenwich mommies. This happened.

Yet, when Cooper read Billie’s digital diary to learn about her graphic desires for her ex, neither yelled, cried, or threw anything.

Reader, are you familiar with the George Washington Bridge? If you aren’t, you should know that SIMPLY DRIVING OVER IT may cause you to do all three.

Rather than explore basic human emotions, Sex/Life resorts to soft core porn and swift, superficial resolutions. It’s cheap.

Anything redeeming?

From its ethnically ambiguous lead Billie (Iranian-American actress Sarah Shahi) to her Black best friend Sasha, Sex/Life casts diverse actors in principal roles. Oh, and the ex, Brad, is Australian. Does that count?

What makes this show addictive?


Will you finish the season?

I torched through episodes 2 through 6 yesterday. Halfway through episode 7, I realized the true purpose for watching this drivel was to force me to write something for once in my lackadaisical little life. I have since concluded this truly awful show.

Jillian Conochan

Jillian Conochan is a professional amateur; writing and editing just happen to be two current pursuits. Opinion range: strong to DNGAF.

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