This time last year, Sex Education became a near-instant smash, going on to become one of the platform’s most-streamed shows of the year.
It also became many young viewers’ first experience of a teen drama, so when HuffPost UK caught up with the cast shortly before the launch of series two, we were keen to hear which teen-based shows they were watching growing up.
Clearly the show that made the biggest impact on the young cast was Skins, which debuted in 2007, when Ncuti Gatwa – who plays Eric in Sex Education – was 14 years old.
“I loved it,” Ncuti said. “It seemed, to me, that it was my generation’s first time [seeing] all these British kids on TV, just doing their thing. And I feel like it kind of shaped a generation a little bit. It had a big impact. You definitely wanted to be as cool as them.”
“They were all just so cool… all of them,” agreed Tanya Reynolds, who plays Lily. “And my life was so different to their lives. I wasn’t out at raves, doing the drugs, having sex… I’m sitting at home with my mum watching Coronation Street, wondering, ‘where’s the party at?’.”
Kedar Williams-Stirling, who plays Jackson, added: “It felt like there wasn’t really anything on TV quite like it. And it was British, man, it felt real. It was fun and exciting and in-your-face and unapologetic, and a bit dirty.”
Break-out star Emma Mackey, better known to Sex Education fans as Maeve, recalled feeling “really bad-ass” when she first started watching Skins as a teenager, but admitted that it was a rather different youth show that stayed with her the most.
“I think I was very, sort of, CBBC-oriented until I was relatively old,” she told us. “It’s weird, I always talk about Tracy Beaker… but Tracy Beaker was such a good show.
“I just thought it was really cool because it was all about foster kids and growing up and putting a bunch of kids with different backgrounds all in one space together and seeing how they grow up together. It’s kind of similar to what we’re doing but… not as much sex involved!”
And while Asa Butterfield, who plays Otis, revealed he was more into “nature documentaries and anime” than teen dramas, there was one in particular that made an impact on him when he was growing up.
Asa said: “If there was one, it’d be The Inbetweeners. It was brilliant, and hilarious. It really stuck out to me because it was set in college, before I’d gone to college… and it was very funny.”
The second series of Sex Education debuts on Netflix on Friday 17 January. Watch our interview with the cast in the video above.