The Sex Lives of College Girls cast.
Jessica Brooks/HBO Max

Culture

‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’ Brings Dorm Life Debauchery To HBO Max

The series follows the escapades of four women on a college campus.

Sex and the City gave us stories about the sex lives of women in their 30s in New York City, and now Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble are bringing us a series about the sex lives of four 18-year-olds at a prestigious New England college — and if the trailer or extended sneak peak for The Sex Lives of College Girls is any indication, it’s going to be really fun.

The trailer begins with the mind-numbing sound of an iPhone alarm, and shows four hungover women — Pauline Chalamet (Timothée Chalamet’s sister!), Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp, and Alyah Chanelle Scott — in four different beds not wanting to get up to turn it off. There’s a montage that shows partying, taking shots out of tiny red cups and making out with dudes. It feels like it’s been a minute since we’ve had some party media (cue the soundtrack to 2012’s Project X) and it feels appropriate that post-lockdown summer give us some salacious, shot-taking, vomit-on-the-sidewalk content.

According to Variety, the women all come from different background and are described as being “a bundle of contradictions and hormones,” and the show is about them bonding as they navigate campus life, relationships and hookups. Kaling says the show touches on various aspects of college life and academia: The characters play club sports, attend a “naked party,” deal with gender and race quotas at a school publication, and it even touches on Title IX and socio-economic inequalities some students face in college, she shared in a panel on September 22 . Oh, and it takes place in a “post-Covid” world, so thankfully, we won’t have to deal with plotlines about someone getting Covid from a stranger make out.

Mostly, it seems fun and horny. “I guess I’m more interested in young women and their horny exploits than I thought,” Kaling said during the panel. “One thing that a lot of my shows and projects have in common are young women who have big personalities and big ambitions. On a regular show you may watch, there may be one character like that [but] I wanted to show four young women who come in with a really strong point of view.”

Kaling says the show — which has a writer team consisting of almost entirely women — is loosely based on hers and Noble’s experiences in college. “If I wrote from my experience, the show would be called ‘The Nonexistent Sex Life of a College Closeted Gay Boy Who’s Only Friends With Girls,'” Noble said. “And that’s just a little more niche.
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HBO Max released the first trailer for The Sex Lives of College Girls on September 23, and followed it up on October 14 with an extended version that serves a good dose of self-aware camp, along with some very of-the-moment cultural references. The titualar college girls do very “college girl” things, like attend an ABC party (Anything But Clothes, for the elderly among us) and point out how young Joseph Stalin’s handsomeness.

“Young Stalin could get it,” one of the girls says. “Dude could have been on Riverdale.” A gulag would fit in perfectly in the already absurd Riverdale universe! The trailer also highlights a sorority rush party, filled with four girls named Ashley (all with different spellings), who received the effective burn: “I look forward to seeing you all on Selling Sunset one day.”

The Sex Lives of College Girls will have a split release schedule that feels like its becoming more common in streaming services — to keep us all on our toes! It will debut its first two episodes on November 18, its next three episodes on November 25, three more on December 2, and the final two on December 9. Watch the extended trailer, below.