The cast of The Sex Lives of College Girls

Mindy Kaling’s Best Comedy Is Back on HBO Max

The girls are back!

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Created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, Sex Lives of College Girls brings us to Essex College, where four roommates find a bond together and explore the ins and outs of their freshman year. In season 1, we saw as Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), Bela (Amrit Kaur), Leighton (Renée Rap), and Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) were all randomly roomed together and how their connection grew throughout the season.

Now into season 2, we’re seeing the aftermath of Kimberly’s whistleblowing (by telling the school board that the Theta frat had all of the tests on-hand to cheat off of) and what it means for both Kimberly and Nico (Gavin Leatherwood). And boy does it feel great to have the show back on HBO Max.

There is something about Kaling’s take on comedy that has always worked for me, but Sex Lives of College Girls has surpassed my love of The Mindy Project and even that of her newer work.

Mindy Kaling’s golden era

Right now, Mindy Kaling has two live-action shows running that are genuinely amazing. Other than Sex Lives of College Girls, she also has Never Have I Ever on Netflix, which follows Devi in her high school journey to boys while navigating the death of her father.

And while I relate to Never Have I Ever and love it very much, there’s something about Sex Lives of College Girls that clicks in a way that feels so fresh and exciting. Maybe it is because all of these girls are so unapologetically unique while still being original and free in their conversations about sex and growing up, or maybe it is just because this cast has managed to find a way to tie these four very different girls all together that works.

Whatever it is, the show is a fun and easy watch if you haven’t watched season 1 yet. But now that season 2 has started airing Thursdays on HBO Max, it has made me want to just keep watching the series. I both never want it to end but also want every episode at once for my viewing pleasure.

The girls of Sex Lives of College Girls

Each of the girls brings a distinctly different perspective to the series, and both Kaling and Noble highlight their status within not only the campus but their friend group, as well. There’s a character like Leighton, the rich popular girl, who ends up struggling with revealing her sexuality to those closest to her throughout season 1 and into season 2.

Renée Rap in Sex Lives of College Girls
(HBO Max)

Then there’s Bela, a comedy writer and woman determined to be open about her sex life despite her friends begging her to put clothes on in their shared space. But with Bela, we also get to see the woman open and willing to share her sex stories while also respecting herself and knowing who she is.

In season 1, when she’s trying to climb the ranks of the school’s elite comedy magazine, she is sexually harassed by one of the men in charge of the magazine and stands her ground and fights back against him and those in charge, only to realize that it is a boys club regardless of being successful in this one fight, so she goes on to make her own comedy magazine with the female comedians who leave in solidarity with her.

Amrit Kaur in Sex Lives of College Girls
(HBO Max)

While the girls are all friends and get along, they are also pointing out the difference between friend groups and the individuals within. Leighton is very much the “princess” type of the group, and while Bela is the comedian and writer, we have Whitney as the athlete. At school for her intelligence and her soccer prowess (as well as her relationship with the assistant coach in season 1), Whitney has a fascinating journey so far in season 2.

For most of her time in season 1, it was about the team and being the best player she could be, but now that the season is over, she doesn’t have much to focus on, and she’s going through different activities she can get into and it is a fun journey for Whitney. Much like Leighton, she comes from money, because her mother is a politician, and it is interesting to see how a lot of Whitney’s concerns for herself come from the image her mother is trying to uphold.

Alyah Chanelle Scott in Sex Lives of College Girls

And then there’s Kimberly. The smart friend who is also a little weird, Kimberly is the one struggling with paying for things. She came to Essex on a scholarship in season 1 but lost it in the cheating scandal, and so far in season 2, she’s been trying to find someone to co-sign her student loans so she doesn’t have to tell her parents about what happened.

Kimberly is funny because she tries so hard to be a perfect friend, ally, student, and woman that she often fails at all four, but her roommates and friends help her to realize her own worth and struggles, and it is why this show is so good.

Pauline Chalamet in Sex Lives of College Girls

Sex Lives of College Girls airs on HBO Max on Thursdays and you won’t want to miss it!

(featured image: HBO Max)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.