When something comes from the mind of Mindy Kaling, I have to admit that I am intrigued. I will watch it. I will take it all in. And I will know that I am watching something great, because Mindy gets what everyone wants – a look at real life through humor and sarcasm. People want to see themselves on the screen. People want to be taken into a world where they know that they aren’t alone and they don’t need to feel shame over who they are.
And the thing is Kaling knows how to deliver a story in a compelling way that makes people watching it drawn in, feeling something for the characters, and something for the storyline.
The Sex Lives of College Girls comes from the mind of Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble. The premise – four girls at college living their lives and having sex. Yes, women like to have sex (consensual sex).
Leighton, Whitney, Bela, and Kimberly are four very distinct personalities, but they all fit together in their own way. Four personalities who are away from home for the first time and starting to live their lives their own way. Each having their own way of doing something. Each with their own secrets.
Each finding their way.
The thing that I love immediately about The Sex Lives of College Girls is that it is sex positive. All to often we are fed the narrative that girls need to keep their sex life and thoughts to themselves. If a girl sleeps with someone, they need to keep that to themselves, because this show – from the bat – challenges that and lets the viewer know that having conversations is okay, no matter who you are.
Anyhow, before I keep going off on a tangent, I should focus. But the thing about this show is that it makes you think. It makes you think about all the ways that we expect girls to act when it’s about sex and the ways that we expect them to behave.
College is a unique place. It’s a start of many things in ones life. And for Leighton, Whitney, Bela, and Kimberly, everything is about to change.
WELCOME TO ESSEX
Finding yourself leaving home is an interesting experience. The first taste of freedom is this weird thing. You don’t know how far to take it and you don’t the constraints.
Then there is this weird thing how everyone changes with freedom.
The girls arrive at the dorm and Whitneys Mom, Senator Chase is laying down the rules. She’s a really popular Senator and doesn’t want the girls to mess up whatever chances she has of her political future.
Whitney, Bela, and Kimberly are all listening, when Leighton shows up. She’s pissed. She’s supposed to be rooming with her two best friends from high school and is rather upset by the situation. Her father is trying to remind her that they are assholes, but evidently he doesn’t understand all teenage girls are assholes (I say that being a former teenage asshole myself).
The girls head to their FAF (Faculty Advisor and Friend) meeting, which is completely useless, except for the fact that their faculty advisor makes me fear being honest, cause dude is totally deadpan and his fear is really more like a nightmare.
The girls are all as different as can be, but I think that’ part of what makes this show special.
This is the first episode and we’re setting up to get to know all the girls and watch their growth and their journey. That’s what makes it special. After all not everyone is the same.
MEET THE GIRLS: KIMBERLY
Kimberly, well she’s unique. She’s been sheltered, her parents being helicopter parents, up on her every move. Her Dad cries like a kid whose had all of their Halloween candy stolen when leaving her there.
Kimberly is the only one of her roommates who has to do work study at Essex. She’s not as well off as others, but that doesn’t bother Kimberly. She’s excited to be there and to experience the world.
Though her sheltered life and idea of who and what people are is going to cause some issues. She believes the stereotypes of what she has seen on television and movies. She is trying so hard to be that person that is aware of everyones plight, circumstance, and yet, she knows absolutely nothing about anything. She’s from a very white family. I don’t know how else to put it.
Kimberly just wants to fit in. She’s made a bad first impression with her co-workers, she’s the kiss up to the boss, and she feels a little lost. It isn’t until she’s pushed that she tells some rich frat looking boy off and her co-workers are amazed with her gumption and growth.
MEET THE GIRLS: WHITNEY
Whitney is the Senator’s daughter and a star soccer player. She’s smiling and refined when she needs to be, but she also leads this double life.
The girls on the soccer team don’t like that she’s playing so much as a freshman and she overhears them saying that she’s only getting so much playing time because of who her Mom is. But the reality is that she’s really good.
One has to wonder though what she’s thinking when you see that she’s sleeping with her coach and then your heart will break for her when you see her find out that her coach is married.
Whitney is this strong woman that has lived in the shadow of who her Mom is, but is figuring out who she is.
MEET THE GIRLS: BELA
Bela is coming into her own and she knows it. She’s come to Essex because she wants to be part of Cattalun, a comic society exclusive to the school. She’s so happy to be at college and her hormonal acne not in overdrive.
She is trying so hard to be part of the Cattalun and is pre-rejected by one of the editors. He basically tells her that because she’s a girl, she won’t get in. Someone really needs to slap his nerdy ass, because he needs a don’t be a sexist wakeup call.
She tells her roomies about the situation and Leighton tells her to go to a party and get their attention by showing that she is chill. What Bela took that as was to give six hand jobs. Totally not what Leighton was saying, but Bela is fine with it. She’s sex positive and she enjoyed giving so many of them.
And who are we to judge her?
The hand jobs worked and she got in. Not sure if this is how she wanted to get a spot, or if she gets that this is something that is going to stick with her.
MEET THE GIRLS: LEIGHTON
Leighton is the girl that I hated in high school and college. She was a rich, entitled, and thinks that the world revolves around her. Only it doesn’t and she has to be brought back down to size.
Leighton treats her roommates as if they are beneath her. Her “best friends” didn’t want to room with her and didn’t tell her. They just put it on the applications thinking that would be enough to help them get out of it. But hey, Leighton ain’t putting up with that and she calls them out on her shit.
Her very hot brother has a moment with her where he tells her to show people how nice she can be, and her way of doing that for her roommates – well, buying them all iPads. Impressed, but you can’t buy me – just saying. I would at least require a computer.
Leighton doesn’t let people in. She’s distant and cold.
THE FIRST PARTY
College parties are a right of passage. Frat parties are a whole other story.
Bela decides that they all need to go out and that the best thing for them to do is to gather themselves and go out. She knew of a college party, because while out with Leighton they ran into Leighton’s brother and his friend, and their frat was having one.
The thing that I love about these roommates already is that they can give pretty great pep talks and support each other. I mean, I don’t think that they really have been at Essex long enough to really know anything about each other. But you bond by circumstances sometimes, so bond away ladies.
Leighton’s brother gets them into the party and the girls feel really bad ass. They head in and Kimberly makes the first mistake. She looks at her phone when getting a text message and of course it is from her ex, Max. The douche bag wants to know if he can still use her Netflix password.
Then, things get worse as she gets knocked down from a dude coming down from a keg stand. She spills beer all over her and she’s pissed and embarrassed. She wants to leave. She’s stopped by Leighton’s brother – who is really kind to her and convinces her to stay for a bit.
Bela isn’t having the best time. She’s excited to be part of Cattalun and see’s some girls from the society at the party. She goes to say hi, but is called a slut, as some of the dudes that she gave a hand job to had girlfriends.
She was so sex positive, but didn’t think about the consequences of her actions.
Whitney, meanwhile, is living her life. The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, and she’s decided to live by that saying. She scouts the party, finds the guy that she’s attracted to, and as he tries to talk to her, she tells him what she wants. Just sex. There is no need for all this talking.
SECRETS & ASSHOLE MOVES
- Whitney, poor sweet, innocent (not) Whitney. Now I am not saying that Whitney is perfect, but the way that she found out that her coach was married was harsh. Jogging and thinking that she can be at ease when she sees him, but meeting his wife instead. He tries to rush her away, but his wife walks up on them and she is excited to meet one of his players. Whitney is crushed and she tries to keep it in, but there is only so much she can hide. She runs off.
- Kimberly has a boyfriend that she loves and is committed to. She’s saving herself for him. Her roommates are shocked that they have never slept together and she tells them that her boyfriend isn’t ready. That’s a little suspect. When her boyfriend comes to visit, Kimberly decides to sleep with him and she feels that means that their relationship is stronger. But her boyfriend dumps her the next morning and her roommates take care of kicking him out. What a douche.
- Leighton isn’t the most open person. Even her best friends say that they really never got to know her. When the group goes to a party, Leighton says that she left her phone at home and leaves to go get it. But she had her phone, she just wanted to be off on her own. Leighton heads to a bar, and under an assumed name on a Grindr like app, she hooks up with an older woman.
- Leighton is kinda on my last nerve with her attitude
- Leighton’s brother is hot
- I have a feeling Whitney’s secret life will blow up in her face.
- I don’t know how I feel that Whitney’s coach should pay, cause if I was her, I woulda told the wife. But I don’t know enough about Whitney yet.
- Bela is way over the top – I am interested to see how her character progresses.
The Sex Lives of College Girls streams on HBO Max.