It’s 2021. Isn’t it past time for a television show about college girls and all the actual problems they struggle with? Well, Mindy Kaling has answered everyone’s prayers. Her new show, “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” is the perfect americanized version of “Sex Education,” with less raunchiness but just as much transparency.
Mindy Kaling is known for many things including her acting and writing on “The Office.” But writing for a show about adults (and mainly men) in a work setting is vastly different than writing about college girls and their sex lives. Regardless, she obviously delivers. And with an almost all female writing staff, it is evident why this show is actually representative of what real college girls are going through. Are some moments predictable? Yes, but that’s what makes it more wholesome and easy to watch. It’s not as serious as one might think.
The show centers around four very different college roommates who are all eccentric. Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) is a new work-study student who is a little nerdish and a little naive after growing up in her predominantly white hometown. Bela (Amrit Kaur) is an aspiring comedian who is also very sex-positive. Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), on the other hand, is a talented soccer player who happens to also be sleeping with the assistant coach, while Leighton (Reneé Rapp), a rich legacy student, is a closeted lesbian. These descriptions alone prove that this show has taken on the classic “The Breakfast Club” trope of putting four different stereotypes together to show that there are more similarities between them than expected, but with even more layers of complexity and nuance.
When most films and shows incorporate the idea and experience of sex, they almost always center the narrative around a male perspective. Apart from “Sex and the City,” very rarely have audiences seen a powerful group of woman candidly discuss their perspectives on sex. Much of this has to do with previous generations telling women that vocalizing their opinions about sex and intimacy was inappropriate. Luckily, today’s society is more adept with openness and has made topics like sex much less of a taboo to bring up. This show fearlessly creates an open space for all types of discussions around sex, intimacy and female relationships in a world of television that so often caters towards the perspectives and experiences of men.
There’s something about watching four girls who are almost in their 20s awkwardly figure out who they are outside of their hometown that makes for an inspiring watch. That’s what makes the college experience such a fascinating and important one. Especially since most networks and streaming services see high school as a more favorable environment for a show. When in reality, a show based around college students and their struggles can often speak to more people. It gives a sense of excitement for those in high school, a relatable experience for those currently in college and a moment of reflection and nostalgia for those who have graduated. Since Mindy Kaling already dealt with all three, she was able to create a show that is the perfect watch for women of any age.
With the show already being renewed for a season two, there’s so much more drama and relatability for which to prepare. Without giving away any spoilers, one only hopes that all four characters will return for season two with just as much flair and quirkiness as they did in season one.
“The Sex Lives of College Girls” is available to stream on HBO Max.
By Cyna Mirzai