Between “Glee,” “Gossip Girl” and numerous other television shows, the lives of high school socialites and misfits has been widely captured on the television screen, but has that of college students? Created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” follows four roommates as they navigate their first year at Essex College, a prestigious university located in Vermont.
Initially, I expected the show to completely focus on sex and the plentiful amount of hormones that accompany being a college freshman. The opening scene shows two students making out, and Kimberly’s mom (Nicole Sullivan) stating that she can see the male’s erection. This leads me to believe that it may not be the best show to watch with your parents over break, but still entertaining nonetheless.
While there are many sex-fueled scenes, there are many more meaningful undertones surrounding the plot. Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), Leighton (Reneé Rapp) and Bela (Amrit Kaur) are all placed in a suite together and all have very different backgrounds. Leighton comes from a rich family living in New York City, while Kimberly grew up in an ultra-White town with her lower-middle class parents. On the other hand, aspiring-comedian Bela was raised in a traditional Indian household, while Whitney’s senator mother is always on the go in Washington.
I was pleased to see the amount of racial and sexual diversity present throughout the first episode alone. Each member of the quartet is attempting to find themselves while in a new environment, a journey that is both relatable and realistic to the viewer. While Leighton’s character initially seems to be the stereotypical boy-frenzied White girl, the audience finds out she’s exploring her sexuality by joining a dating app and hooking up with girls. On the other hand, Bela’s sex-positive actions may lead her into reckless territory.
As a college senior myself, I looked back at my own freshman year while watching “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” In my opinion, the show perfectly encapsulates the overwhelming amount of change that comes along with starting your first year in higher education. We’re all placed in a new environment with brand new people, and the reality is, many of us don’t know what we’re doing. Kaling and Noble captured the realities of college life — the ups and downs. The yearn to fit in, mixed with the attempt to discover oneself, created a beautiful viewer experience that I will continue to engage in over break. Even better, the comedic undertones of the dialogue create a heart-warming, yet hilariously funny show.
If you’re interested in watching a humorous, yet real depiction of what freshman year of college is like, I highly suggest tuning into “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” HBO Max released the first two episodes on Nov. 18, with three more debuting on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, and the final two on Dec. 9.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars