Entertainment The stars of 'The Sex Lives of College Girls' on the 'intimacy' of female friendships and how the new HBO show is shaking up the teen sex-comedy genre
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- The stars of "The Sex Lives of College Girls" spoke to Insider about the new HBO Max series.
- Pauline Chalamet said that she was thrilled to see the show depicting authentic female friendships.
- "Women, we're our best allies," she said, explaining that viewers see that reflected in the main characters.
The stars of's " " are opening up about how the show is unapologetically exploring the experiences of women and doing away with dated tropes.
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"I think a big thing is just in the title," actress Pauline Chalamet (Kimberly Finkle) toldduring an interview. "We're so used to seeing sex stories being told and shared from the male point of view and sex is often like, in bed, boom, boom. And that's not really what sex is like. Sex is so much more than that."
"The Sex Lives of College Girls," which debuted on the streamer on Thursday, centers on four freshmen who become roommates at New England's prestigious Essex College: Kimberly, Bela Malhotra (played by Amrit Kaur), Leighton Murray (Reneé Rapp), and Whitney Chase (Alyah Chanelle Scott).
The series is largely influenced by cocreator and showrunner Justin Noble's experience at Yale and cocreator's time at Dartmouth.
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"The Sex Lives of College Girls" joins a meager list of shows that focus on college life from the get-go. Most series starring young adults begin in high school and eventually touch on college as the characters graduate and get older.
But "The Sex Lives of College Girls" dives straight into that specific, complex, coming-of-age period for Arizona native Kimberly, aspiring comedian Bela, Upper East Sider Leighton, and soccer star Whitney.
It's also a drastic departure from male-focused narratives seen in sex-comedies like "American Pie" and "Van Wilder."
"You have four completely different women with very different storylines and very different forays into their sexuality," Chalamet said. "Those are the sex lives of college girls. It's not just getting in bed under the sheets. I think that is a big way in which it changes from the early 2000 series and movies that we had that would focus on college-age students."
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For Kaur who, like her character, is of Indian descent, the show is monumental for her culture.
"Brown girls, you know that there was no conversation in the 2000s about us even having sex," she said. "So it's changed to the fact that we exist on the map now and we're admitting that we do have sex."
Beyond that, the actress said that "once we were admitting that we were having sex a decade ago, those women were Indians that look like models. Now we're just talking about Indians in general, having sex. You don't have to look like a model to have sex."
"Sex Lives of College Girls" also addresses how a young person's socioeconomic status affects how they navigate college.
"For Whitney, I feel like it's something she's so deeply embarrassed by and so deeply wants to disconnect from, but inherently does benefit from the privilege of her mom," Scott said. "And so she can't really disconnect from it."
Rapp said that Leighton, who comes from a family of Essex alums, has always defined her life by her upper-class status and it's "100% the only layer that she presents of herself."
HBO Max’s ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’: TV Review
Mindy Kaling’s half-hour dramedy for HBO Max centers on four freshman roommates discovering (or reinventing) themselves at a private New England college.On moving day at the fictional Essex College in Vermont, four roommates meet for the first time: Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) is a sheltered scholarship student; Leighton (Reneé Rapp) is a preppy legacy; Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) is a senator’s star-athlete daughter; and Bela (Amrit Kaur) is an Indian American comedy nerd.
Though the four women start off on the show as strangers, they quickly forge a friendship in which they have each others' backs.
Chalamet, whose character often looks out for the others, said that she was happy to see the series dismantling "old tropes of females being pitted against each other."
"Many women know that female friendships are like, the most important thing," she said. "There's a real intimacy that's created. The show does a really good job of depicting that because there's a way that you share in a group like that, there's a way you open up and we don't really see it that much.
She continued: "It is the result of the patriarchal society in which we live, where ultimately the structure of the system we live in wants women to be pitted against each other. And it's just not the case. Women, we're our best allies. And I think that's something that we see with these characters."
The first two episodes of "The Sex Lives of College Girls" are now available to stream on HBO Max. The ten-episode first season continues with three new episodes on November 25 and December 2, concluding with the final two episodes on December 9.
'The Sex Lives of College Girls' star Amrit Kaur reacts to the show's 'genius' reference to 'Twilight' and its deeper meaning .
Kaur told Insider that her character introducing herself as "Bela, like in 'Twilight,' but Indian" has a significance beyond surface-level humor.Episode three of the new show, released on Thursday, shows Kaur's character named Bela Malhotra scrolling through Tinder and mulling over the lackluster men on the dating app.