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A bingeworthy new drama: The Sex Life of College Girls


It’s not very often that television shows take place in college, and fewer that are accurate. “The Sex Life of College Girls” is a refreshing watch after way too many seasons of shows portraying 30-year-olds as highschoolers with unrealistic plots.
Written by Mindy Kaling, the show focuses on the lives and college experience of four roommates: Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), Leighton (Reneé Rapp), Bela (Amrit Kaur) and Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) and obviously, their newfound sexual freedom as they attend Essex College, a fictional university in Vermont.
Before winter break, I had the pleasure of interviewing the four stars of HBO Max’s new show alongside other talented student journalists.
While the title of the show may lead one to believe this show is all about sex, the show does not oversexualize or focus solely on sexual intercourse throughout its 10 episodes. Instead, the show realistically explore sexuality and the  relationships of each character. However, you probably still won’t want to watch it with your parents due to the occasional nudity and sex scene. 
Chalamet says it herself, “There is a lot of not having sex too which is kind of why I like the title of the show. Because sex lives of college girls is not constantly banging or orgasming, it’s also a lot of like ‘what is this?’” 
While scenes can be lighthearted and silly, going to naked parties and awkward dorm meetings, we also see a lot of deep and personal struggles portrayed through the four college girls as they experience sexual identity struggles, sexism, financial problems and more. 
Rapp’s character, Leighton, comes from the Upper East Side and is a legacy student. At first, you would think that she’s just snotty and uppity because of her rich upbringing and lifestyle. However, as the show progresses, we learn that Leighton puts on a mask through her detached personality because she is struggling with her own sexual identity and internalized homophobia.
“I think it’s important that the conversation around sexuality and discovery or how you identify is ever evolving,” Rapp said. “Sometimes there’s a parental barrier or a religious or a value barrier that they’re really struggling with, and that is 100% valid and happens more times than I would like it to. But with Leighton, it’s actually so internal and so homophobic inside her own body, as opposed to outward figures. For me, seeing a different take of where the struggle was, being that it was more internal, was a little more sad.”
On a lighter note, Kaur’s character, Bela is a refreshing break from the stereotypical studious and well-behaving southeast Asian character. Bela is nothing short of interesting with her candor towards sexual relations, her sometimes inappropriate and cringe-filled remarks and her pursuit through the Catullen, Essex’s famous comedy paper, to become a comedy writer. 
Kaur commented her thoughts on portraying Bela saying, “Sometimes we look at one South Asian, and think it’s every South Asian’s experience. I think [our show] expanded and diminished the narrative that South Asians don’t have sex … we are people just like everybody else. Everyone is having sex. We are having sex as well.”
After you watch the first episode and see the drama unfold, you won’t be able to stop watching. It has easily become one of my favorite shows and I’m constantly rewatching the first season as I wait for the second season to be released. 
You can also watch and rewatch the entire first season of “The Sex Life of College Girls,” streaming now exclusively on HBO Max. 

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