Season two of HBO Max’s “The Sex Lives of Colleges Girls” is finally here, and just like its first season, it is full of juicy drama, endless entertainment and, of course, sex. While the show picks up right where it left off, the audience is definitely in store for some new steamy plotlines and an abundance of amusement as we continue to live vicariously through our four favorite suitemates.
For those of you who may have forgotten the plot of “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” here’s a recap: Four freshman girls attending Essex College are randomly assigned as roommates. Although they don’t all mesh well at first, they learn to get along while adjusting to the difficulties of college and exploring the new sexual experiences it brings.
Season two kicks off with each roommate returning from Thanksgiving Break. Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet, “The King of Staten Island”), a work-study student from a small town in Arizona, is battling financial difficulties after losing her scholarship. Leighton (Reneé Rapp, debut), who comes from an affluent white family, continues to hide her sexuality. Comedy writer Bela (Amrit Kaur, “The D Cut”) is just trying to have sex with as many boys as possible, and student-athlete Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott, “Reboot”) is struggling to find herself off of the soccer field.
Though the girls have significant differences and individual problems, they can all agree upon one thing: College is a time to work hard and party harder. Unfortunately for them, after being banned from every frat party on campus, the four face a seemingly insurmountable barrier when it comes to achieving their goals of going out and getting laid. Even so, they remain positive, ready to take on whatever Essex and its students throw their way. Between the four of them, it’s safe to say they’ll come up with something just as entertaining and wild to do.
This teen comedy-drama was co-created by actress Mindy Kaling (“Ocean’s Eight”) and screenwriter Justin Noble, who met while working on Netflix’s show “Never Have I Ever.” They wanted to create a show that reflected the college experience from the perspective of young women rather than that of a typical frat guy. While the show glorifies this experience and depicts college in an unrealistic way by emphasizing students’ sex lives rather than their school work, it also empowers its female audience. For example, in every episode, there is at least one scene where the girls are at a party dancing to music, taking shots and flirting with other people. By including this, “The Sex Lives of College Girls” proves that spending these four years going out, drinking and sleeping around are not activities solely reserved for guys. If women desire, they too can partake without judgment.
While this feminist perspective is prominent in season one, it’s only one of many positive characteristics of the series that is carried over into season two. Another strength is the character dynamics: Kimberly, Leighton, Bela and Whitney could not be more different from one another, yet they’ve come a long way since they first moved into the dorms. The friendships the four of them have started to form are not only endearing but comical. For instance, Bela is extremely forward and sex-positive; whereas Kimberly is more hesitant, having only recently lost her virginity, and Leighton is completely closed off out of fear that others might find out she’s gay.
We get a glimpse into this dynamic within the first few minutes of season two’s pilot when the girls return to their dorm room to find Bela already there. She’s sprawled out on the couch in only underwear and a bra. Kimberly’s first response is to put a towel under Bela to protect the couch from her relatively bare butt, and Leighton’s immediate reaction is to question whether the lingerie Bela is wearing is hers. Unfortunately for Leighton, it is. With all that being said, it’s the girls’ varying characteristics, individual quirks and unexpected friendships that make each roommate strangely relatable and undeniably lovable — an important attribute from the first season that is fortunately continued in the second.
So, while this may be a completely new season of “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” the series feels comfortingly familiar even from the very start of season two. Between the unique characters, absurd humor and out-of-pocket sex jokes, it’s like Kimberly, Leighton, Bela and Whitney never left our screens in the first place.
Daily Arts Writer Molly Hirsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.