November 14, 2022

Excellent Modern Sitcom “The Sex Lives of College Girls” Returns in Full Force (Review)

One of the most surprising television premieres of last fall was The Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max — funnily enough, it’s also the show you’re most embarrassed to say you’ve watched or are interested in, especially in public. One might think that the title is specifically engineered to provoke awkwardness, but I see it as a move to normalize sex in pop culture and rid us of taboos that have been prevalent in media and society for centuries.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros

The second season of
The Sex Lives of College Girls picks up very quickly after Season One, when our central Essex College freshmen exposed a cheating scandal spearheaded by one of the school’s fraternities. After Thanksgiving break, they find themselves living with the consequences, including (but not limited to) an informal ban from all campus parties.

After a quick recap of what’s happened to our main characters so far, we’re launched right into a host of new interconnected scenarios that carry through the entire second season. This is what modern sitcoms should be — an effortless transition to a new phase of the characters’ lives, while incorporating what’s happened and with an end goal in mind. These through-lines are both engaging and heartfelt, and emphasize the development of relationships above all else.

Every single performer is on top form once again, specifically Reneé Rapp, who plays Leighton Murray, whose first season journey was figuring out her sexuality. At the season’s inception, she’s still in the closet, but she begins to embrace her newfound status as a lesbian and realizes that this new lifestyle can actually be fun, even as she’s continuing her journey of coming out. Rapp is incredibly naturalistic and the most grounding actor in the cast, and is always a treat to watch. Rapp’s co-stars, Pauline Chalamet (who plays the adorably nerdy Kimberly), Amrit Kaur (who plays prospective comedy writer Bela) and Alyah Chanelle Scott (who plays insecure soccer player Whitney) are also remarkably suited to their roles, and as the stakes continue to rise, everyone is presented with acting challenges that they’re more than up for.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros

Time flies when you’re having fun, and so do the episodes of
The Sex Lives of College Girls Season Two. Every episode is both self-contained and connected to the rest, and the series remains a breezy delight to work through. Don’t be embarrassed; check out this show as soon as you can. It’s more than worth your time.

The second season of The Sex Lives of College Girls premieres with two episodes November 17 on HBO Max. Six episodes of Season Two were screened for this review.

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