It comes as no surprise that the show my friends and I, a group of college girls, can unanimously agree is spectacular is HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls. I’ve already watched this show in its entirety many times because every time a friend comes over, I can’t resist sharing it with them– and it never disappoints. I was sold on watching this show the moment I heard it was Mindy Kaling’s creation because I found her other recent show, Never Have I Ever, absolutely hilarious. Although the shows deal with similar themes of the lives and struggles of diverse young women, the age difference (high school versus college) and style of acting/filming make both shows uniquely entertaining.
In my years of watching and binge-watching my way through the various streaming platforms, I have noticed a stark shortage of shows that take place in college. As a college student, it is sometimes upsetting to see a lack of shows that truly feel relatable and targeted towards my audience. The Sex Lives of College Girls, however, filled the entertainment gap that I never fully realized existed. It captures the stressful reality of coming to college as a young woman, addressing the fun, exciting experiences alongside those unavoidable moments of extreme awkwardness and hardship.
The show follows four freshmen roommates, Leighton, Kimberly, Bela, and Whitney, as they adjust to their newfound independence and surroundings. Starting with freshmen move-in and some emotional parent send-offs, they are launched right into the crazy world of challenging classes and ridiculously awesome parties. So many different perspectives are seen and heard throughout the show: student-athletes, queer and non-binary students, work-study participants, and even frat boys. All these points of view are shown as valued and multifaceted, creating a mosaic of the unique, extraordinary, and diverse people who make up college communities.
The show touches on so many issues central to many college women’s lives. As the title suggests, sex is a huge focus of the show as the girls experience newfound sexual freedom and navigate the complicated world of college hookup culture. From secret relationships to surprising twists, this show has some great takes on the romantic lives of college students. The show also explores sexuality and the difficulty of being yourself among a huge sea of people you just met. The painful and emotional experiences of these characters come through in the show in such a real and impactful way, including the very pertinent discussion of sexual assault, sexism, and racism on college campuses. This show is able to juggle difficult subject matter with comedy and wholesome moments, something many of us do every day as college students.
The ten-episode first season of this show is now entirely available on HBO, and it is the perfect winter break binge. Although I am sad that my friends will no longer be able to gather weekly as the new episodes come out, I will surely be watching it again very soon (it’s that good!!). I can’t wait to see what the next seasons bring for these characters whom I have grown to love. If you’re like me and are left wanting more after this show, I recommend watching Never Have I Ever, Grown-ish, Genera+ion, or The Wilds, to fill the void.
Cover photo: TV Insider