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Sex Lives of College Girls poster

The Sex Lives of College Girls

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What it’s about:

Four college freshmen from very different walks of life become roommates at a prestigious university in Vermont, juggling warring personalities, ambitions, extracurriculars, and their sex lives – all of which can get a little awkward.

Names you might know:

Co-created, executive produced, and written by Mindy Kaling (The Office) and Justin Noble. Starring Pauline Chalamet (The King of Staten Island), Amrit Kaur (The D Cut), Reneé Rapp (Broadway’s Mean Girls), and Alyah Chanelle Scott.

Why it’s worth your time:

The Sex Lives of College Girls is, first and foremost, not a romp-fest, as the title might suggest to some. There are two sex scenes in the first episode, but it’s more accurate to call them allusions to sex. (So nothing too raunchy…just yet.) This is all to say that the series is making a commendable effort so far to deconstruct the myths surrounding collegiate cohorts getting it on.

It makes clear that young women have goals and dreams and insights—and they’re horny, too. But instead of being wild, sex-crazed stereotypes, the four main characters feel more authentic precisely because they are so confused, brazen, and awkward sometimes, especially about sex. If that description doesn’t perfectly encapsulate freshman year—it certainly does for me—then I don’t know what will. (It’s also possible that, if it doesn’t describe your experience, then you’re probably the ones the show is making fun of.)

The indelible imprint of creator/executive producer/writer Mindy Kaling is, rightfully, all over the show. Her Saturday Night Live background is embedded in the humor and even parodied, in the snappy one-liner tradition. For example, a magnificent poster of His Holiness Seth Meyers watches serenely over those poor souls losing their virginity. What’s more, no subject is totally off limits—and that includes race, gender, and sexuality. The punchlines, therefore, might be too on-the-nose for some viewers. But really, if you liked Kaling’s take on 30-somethings in The Mindy Project, then you’ll probably like her take on college freshmen’s sex lives here. Think Gossip Girl with a little more self-awareness and self-deprecation.

The takeaway:

The Sex Lives of College Girls is as if Saturday Night Live remade Sex and The City for a younger, woker generation, where the cringe factor overshadows the sex factor. It’s fun, brisk, and bubbly, just like Mindy Kaling.

Watch it with:

Grab your best friend (who could also possibly have been your college roommate) for the most optimal experience. Like the main characters, you’ll laugh and potentially scowl at all the mistakes you remember making, too, at that tender age of 18. Note: If your mom is like mine and doesn’t like watching titties on-screen, here is your warning.

Worth noting:

Fun fact: Pauline Chalamet—who plays Kimberley, a self-conscious work-study student who arrives a virgin—is the older sister of actor Timothée Chalamet (Dune, Little Women).

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