In the summer of 2019, a little show called Euphoria dropped on HBO, immediately causing a stir amongst critics and viewers alike, with headlines saying it was “so explicit it makes Skins look positively Victorian,” and asking, “Is Euphoria the most shocking teen show ever?”
But while there was more to the show than just the element of shock, it started an important conversation about how television depicts teenagers, specifically high schoolers.
For years now, the industry has been obsessed with high school-centered dramas that portray graphic sex, partying and scandal amongst characters who are barely old enough to drive. From Gossip Girl to Riverdale, networks continually seek out ways to revamp the same old stories (and usually fill the roles of teenagers with twentysomething actors).
Mindy Kaling's answer to that is The Sex Lives of College Girls, a new comedy series on HBO Max that follows the lives of four women as they begin their undergrad careers and explore a newfound independence. The series, which was created by Kaling and Justin Noble (who worked together on Never Have I Ever), certainly has its own fair share of explicit moments, but it does so from more of an adult perspective, crafting a realistic and laugh-out-loud portrayal of what it is really like to be a college student.