Back to school! Felicity, Grown-ish, Greek and The Sex Lives of College Girls are just some of the television dramas that have captivated audiences — and brought major university nostalgia — over the years.
Keri Russell’s Felicity Porter hooked viewers in on the series by the same name from 1998 to 2002. More than two decades since its premiere, fans are still debating over who she should have ended up with: Ben Covington (Scott Speedman) or Noel Crane (Scott Foley).
Others, however, can’t stop talking about Felicity’s own path and how she managed to sum up what it’s like to find yourself in a whole new world and have no idea what you’re doing.
“The beauty of the show, as always, this really simple idea that I feel is very relatable. This romantic idea … that a lot of times when you’re young of this chance to change your life completely,” Russell said in summer of 2018 while reuniting with her castmates at the ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas. “Everyone can look back on that one moment: I wish I would have chosen him or taken that chance. That’s was the sweetness, beauty and the truth of the show. And that’s what we got to live out through Felicity. She did, she took the risks. She jumped. That was the strength and core story of the show.”
In the years that followed, the college experience became more prevalent on TV with Greek highlighting fraternity and sorority life and Boy Meets World crossing over from high school to upper education.
When Grown-ish first premiered in 2018, fans were able to watch as Black-ish character Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) switched from being a teenager to an adult while dealing with sex, drugs and drama at college.
That vulnerability — and raw sense of finding one’s self — is a big part of HBO Max’s hit drama, The Sex Lives of College Girls. Mindy Kaling cocreated the show in 2021 with Justin Noble and has since gushed over how well season 1 came together.
“In this first season … there’s obviously so much fun stuff that happens to them, but they are really a lot of trials that they have to go through, each of them. We wanted them to go through serious s—t and traumatizing s—t, and seeing how they deal with it,” the Office alum told Collider in November 2021. “By putting those characters through the ringer like that, it helped us have them depend on each other a little bit more.”
Kimberley Finkle (Pauline Chalamet), Bela Malhotra (Amrit Kaur), Leighton Murray (Renee Rapp) and Whitney Chase (Alyah Chanelle Scott) portrayed the roommates at the center of the show, and they embodied the differences that college campuses bring together.
“They’re randomly assigned roommates, and some of them say, ‘I don’t wanna be living with you,’” Kaling explained. “Life can be really hard on campuses for young women and we wanted to show all of that, and not just the fun, sexy part, but the parts that were a little uglier, to be honest.”
Scroll down for the must-see college-centered TV series: