The HBO Max comedy — cocreated by the Emmy nominee and Justin Noble — premiered with its first two episodes on Thursday, November 18. Season 1 consists of 10 episodes: Three new installments will drop on November 25 and December 2, and two more will be released on December 9.
The series follows four college roommates — played by Pauline Chalamet (Kimberly), Amrit Kaur (Bela), Reneé Rapp (Leighton) and Alyah Chanelle Scott (Whitney) — as they arrive at New England’s prestigious Essex College. “A bundle of contradictions and hormones, these girls are equal parts lovable and infuriating as they live out their new, free lives on campus,” according to the synopsis.
Ahead of its release, Kaling detailed her inspiration for the show and whether her experience as a student at Dartmouth College was similar to that of the fictional characters.
“In terms of the sexual parts of the show, virtually nothing [is the same],” she confessed to The Hollywood Reporter in October. “That’s all my imagination or the experiences of my more romantically advanced writing staff. All the fear about grades and not fitting in, that I pulled from my own experience. That’s the reason I wanted to do the show. It’s called The Sex Lives of College Girls, but we wanted to tell a story of four passionate, bright girls in college. The romantic stuff just felt like a good hook.”
Kaling also teased her distinct vision for the core four earlier this month. “I wanted to show young women who come in with a really strong point of view,” she told Parade. “Kimberly wants to be a Supreme Court justice. Leighton will be in [Phi Beta] Kappa. Whitney wants to go pro [soccer]. None of them are demure, standing in the shadows. They come in with real purpose, and one is to have a lot of sex.”
As for the cast, they connected instantaneously despite the COVID-19 protocols in place. “The first time the four of us saw each other, we sat outside basically on the freeway, a balcony that overlooked on the freeway, and we wore masks and were six feet apart,” Chalamet recalled to E! News earlier this month. “Alyah had these card games and we would play cards.”
Scott chimed in: “You know the questions, ‘We are not really strangers,’ those card questions? I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m so anxious, I don’t know how to meet people. Also, I’ve been inside for, like, months, I don’t know how socializing works. Do you want to play a card game?’ We just started talking about our moms and crying and it was nice.”
Scroll through the gallery below to meet the cast of The Sex Lives of College Girls.