‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’ enters its sophomore season and hasn’t disappointed

Gemma Favaloro

On Nov. 17, 2022, the Sex Lives of College Girls (SLOCG) returned for its second season on HBO Max. Set at fictional Essex College in Vermont, four suitemates embark on their journey into adulthood while balancing a rigorous college schedule, a new party scene and emerging identities. Season one was light-hearted and funny, while shedding light on typical issues that affect students, ranging from sexual assault to affording college tuition. The series encapsulates the college experience and the awkward transition into living independently. 

Well-known comedian and the show’s co-creator Mindy Kaling has developed an incredible cast of characters, which has enabled season two to be just as successful as its first. Kimberly Finkle, played by Pauline Chalamet, is the awkward yet endearing valedictorian from a small town in Arizona. She is at Essex College on a scholarship and is trying to find her place among her typically wealthy peers.

Finally back at the Theta house, the girls are ready to party. (Photo courtesy of HBO Max)

Amrit Kaur portrays Bela Malhotra, many fans’ favorite character who is focused on two things: boys and proving to her parents that she can become a comedy writer. Her hilarious, yet out-of-pocket, one-liners and bursting levels of confidence in her sexuality are refreshing for viewers as she is unapologetically honest. Kaur’s humor allows her to command the screen and may leave you debating whether you want to be her or are annoyed by her.  

Alyah Chanelle Scott fulfills the role of Division I soccer star Whitney Chase, the daughter of a U.S. senator. She struggles with escaping her mother’s shadow while trying to feel welcomed within the predominantly white atmosphere of the campus. In season two, we see her character develop as she steps outside of her jock stereotype and leans into her new academic interests when she enrolls in a challenging neurobiology course.

The girls are back from break and better than ever, watch new episodes every Thursday on HBO Max. (Photo courtesy of HBO Max)

Finally, Leighton Murray, played by Renée Rapp, is a wealthy New York legacy student whose uptight city girl persona has a twist: she’s freshly out of the closet. Murray’s progression throughout this season illustrates the struggles of coming out and accepting yourself, even in current times. After learning to embrace her identity, Murray doesn’t waste any time getting involved with other girls, which leads to some hilarious and awkward situations.

The SLOCG embraces each character’s differences and diversity without feeding into stereotypes, making the representation within the show feel authentic without ‘othering’ the characters. Kaling also manages to discuss and portray sex without exploiting the topic or making it seem overdone. Despite 30-year-olds playing freshmen and the occasional cringey millennial mention of TikTok, the SLOCG remains painfully realistic. The fact that almost all the girls have been cheated on or have done the cheating — Malhotra, we love you, but what are you doing girl — demonstrates the reality and heartbreak that comes with the hookup culture prevalent in college. Yes, you can be going out with someone, sleeping with them, studying with them and talking to them all the time, but that doesn’t mean you are dating, and they might even still have a girlfriend at home!

The SLOCG offers a refreshing glimpse into what college life is like while confronting real issues that students are facing today. So, if you’re looking for a sneak peek into college life, a huge laugh or if you want to feel better about your own embarrassing romantic experiences, tune in every Thursday to watch the rest of season two of the SLOCG!