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It’s all about the decade revival

Sex education is bringing back the 80s

This past weekend I binge watched the entirety of Netflix’s latest original series ‘Sex Education.’ Great show by the way, definitely recommend! The show follows a socially awkward high schooler (Asa Butterfield) living with his sex therapist mother (Gillian Anderson). The setting up of an unauthorised sex therapy clinic run by British teenagers (Asa and his ‘rebel bad girl’ friend) within the walls of their weirdly Americanised ‘cliquey’ secondary school.

But, what has this got to do with music, you ask. Well, the ‘nowhereland’ setting of the show seems to be all about an 80s-decade revival; the clothes, the cliques and most importantly the music.

I’m not talking leg warmers and tutu skirt inspired music, a la Jermaine Stewart – we don’t have to take our clothes off. I mean the alternative sound of the 80s, think the outcast crowd from The Breakfast Club. The show is a mixtape worthy of ‘80s rebel songs from bands such as The Psychedelic Furs, The Cure, Violent Femmes and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

It’s quickly become one of my favourite tv show soundtracks (I am a sucker for a decade mix…thanks Spotify!) Praise to f_carloto who’s cobbled together the ultimate playlist from the show.


Over the years I’ve found I’m ever so slightly snooty when it comes to TV soundtracks. In my opinion, they can often make or break a show. Obviously, the acting must be spot on too, but music can really hold up a sizeable portion of the metaphorical weight when it comes to storytelling. For me, the ‘Sex Education’ soundtrack lets me fully immerse myself in its quirky modern-meets-80s crossover vibe, and made me want to be part of that effortlessly cool ‘rebel crowd.’

Here are some of my favourite, deliciously decade-revival soundtracks;

1: The End of the F**cking World

Promo image for The End of the F**cking world

This show is fully dedicated to the 60s and 70s road-trip sound. Apt considering much of the show involves two teens on the run, with one trying to figure out if he is in fact a psychopath or not…

Helpfully another fellow music aficionado has created a spotify playlist, happy listening!

2: Mad Men

Mad Men promotional image

This one needs no introduction! Delightfully juxtaposed cheery 1950 and 60s tracks set against the sordid life of gloomy cad, Don Draper.

3: Everything Sucks!

Everything sucks promo picture

This coming of age, one-season wonder is all about the 90s. Revel in the nostalgia with some classic Oasis, Nirvana and Spin Doctors.

Image credit: Netflix

What are your favourite TV soundtracks? Let me know in the comments below…


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