Before Baby Reindeer, Richard Gadd Wrote This Memorable Episode of Sex Education

You probably never thought of actor and comedian Richard Gadd as a TV writer until his show Baby Reindeer landed on Netflix earlier this year. The show was, of course, a runaway hit—thanks not only to the remarkable performances but also to Gadd’s truly nuanced take on mental health, stalking, and fame.

But as it turns out, this isn’t Gadd’s first time writing superb television. Although the comedian is primarily known for his work on stage and screen, he’s no stranger to the writers room. In fact, four years ago Gadd cowrote one episode of Sex Education.

Richard Gadd penned the fifth episode of season two alongside Laurie Nunn, the show’s creator and writer. Other comedians have joined Nunn in the writers room over the years, including Rosie Jones and Mawaan Rizwan.

Teenagers in auditorium on Sex Education

Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Otis (Asa Butterfield), Ola (Patricia Allison) and Lily (Tayna Reynolds) on season two of Sex Education

Sam Taylor/Netflix

Gadd’s episode contained a few pivotal moments—for one, Maureen, Adam’s mother, decides to leave her husband, Headmaster Groff, after a dull, decades-long marriage. Eric also confesses to Otis that he has been secretly dating his former bully, Adam. Later in the episode Ola breaks up with Otis after realizing she is pansexual and has feelings for Lily.

Like Baby Reindeer, Sex Education is a hugely successful dramedy from Netflix. It deals with plenty of thorny subjects—gender identity, mental health, and yes, the complexities of sex—while always maintaining its wry, sharp comedy. If this all sounds a lot like Gadd’s latest show to you, you’re not wrong.

In fact, there are a few interesting similarities between Gadd’s episode of Sex Education and his latest hit show. Like Baby Reindeer, Gadd’s work on Sex Education explores the ups and downs of every individual’s journey with their own sexual identity. Both works also examine the complexities of human relationships—Gadd seems to suggest that our relationships with other people are never merely one thing. Donny and Martha share a complicated bond. On one hand, it is toxic and dangerous—on the other, it is strangely intimate and even caring. While Eric and Adam have a very different relationship in Sex Education, their relationship is also unexpected and complex.

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