We need more Gen-Z media representations like The Sex Lives of College Girls Mindy Kailing may be known for her iconic role as Kelly Kapoor in The Office . But many fans may not know that she actually wrote and produced the show as well. Kailing is a multifaceted, powerful woman, working on and off the screen to produce successful and funny shows. Recently, Kailing created The Sex Life of College Girls, which now is on popular streaming services. This comedy-drama offers a heartwarming story that includes a wide array of representations that everyone needs to see.
The story follows the dynamic paths of four girls who portray a variety of storyline and archetypes in Gen-Z society. They all have pretty differing aspirations and characterizations. Their commonality is attending the fictional, prestigious Essex College in Vermont, but had the luck to be roommates as well. Bela (played by Amrit Kaur) is Indian-American, and is not exactly telling her parents the truth about her career path, as she is trying to join the exclusive comedy club, The Catullan, instead of pursuing a neurobiology degree. Willow (played by Renika Williams) is African American, a daughter of a Senator, and plays for the soccer team. Kimberly (played by Pauline Chalamet) is from a small town in Arizona, and is of lower socioeconomic class. Leighton (played by Renee Rapp) is the daughter of an Essex College alumni, her father, and is exploring her sexuality in relation to her identity. All the girls are from very different backgrounds, with their unique storylines.
This show is so noteworthy in that it tackles real-life topics while exploring four separate narratives, and somehow combining it into one cohesive storyline. This show gets it right, making viewers feel the emotions of humor, seriousness, sadness, and happiness that all the characters go through all in one. The friendships of all four girls don't develop away. The show takes a natural pace. For example, Leighton thought she was going to be roommates with her prep-school friends to the comfort of how things once were. She soon finds out they actually made it a point to not have her as a roommate, so it takes a while for her to accept this situation and warm up to the girls. But ultimately, her colder front takes a turn and she ends up having wholesome relationships with all three of the roommates.
Viewers are taken on all of their separate journeys. Bela’s journey is joining The Catullan, where we get an inside look of this male-dominated, highly-esteemed comedy club that has many internal problems, such as a culture of sexual assault, and misogynistic men. Bela figures out quickly that she has to break a glass ceiling of sorts in order to make way for herself and to pave her own path as a woman of color in comedy. Willow is having an affair with Coach Dalton, her mother worried about what effect this will have on her experience at Essex and her image. Kimberly is managing the adjustment of not being the best among her peers like she was back in Arizona, balancing her work-study job and the rigorous course load at Essex, along with her secret fling with Leighton’s brother, Nico. Leighton is struggling with accepting her sexuality, but ends up meeting Alicia, who brings out a different, softer side of her. The characters are all going through their own struggles, and journeys of self-development.
While watching this show, I felt that it had the perfect balance of shedding light onto real world issues, while maintaining a wholesome and entertaining rhythm. Getting into why everyone should watch this show: it offers genuine representation of so many different groups. As we know, the media has traditionally obscured the stories of certain groups, pushing forward the stories of voices that have always been featured. The TV we watch, whether we’re aware of it or not, has a real effect on our view of the world and of ourselves. Representation of race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and so much more is what young, impressionable teens, and furthermore people who have not seen this same extent of representation earlier in their lives, need to see.
The Sex Life of College Girls on HBO Max is a must-watch. Not only for its amazingly heartwarming and hilarious storyline, but also for its genuine representation and focus on real issues that are not sugar coated. It offers viewers a satisfying blend of meaningful conversations with a development of friendship, romance, and character development.