Many have said that your college years are the best years of your life. While that's up for debate, Mindy Kaling at least thinks those years are drama- and comedy-filled enough to make a stellar TV show. The comedy mastermind took a walk down memory lane to co-create and executive produce the new series The Sex Lives of College Girls (watch new episodes Thursdays on Crave). Picture Sex and the City, but instead of NYC, it's a preppy college campus with girls 20 years younger.
According to the four main leads, it's about time for a diverse cast of college-aged ladies to get an opportunity to tackle the raw (and honestly, funny) topics of sex, relationships and GPAs.
“It has been a while since the world has seen young women on television discussing sexuality with a sense of humour,” Kaur shared with Etalk’s Chloe Wilde. The last show of that ilk was Girls (which aired from 2012 to 2017), so TSLOCG is really bringing that type of experience to a new generation.
One thing lead Amrit Kaur appreciates about the series is that it showcases a range of different experiences through its multi-racial cast. Most visible minorities have felt unheard by the stories told on television, and Kaur hopes this show will make at least some young women feel seen.
“Canada’s so multicultural, and we have a multicultural cast,” Kaur shared. “There’s a lot of Brown girls, especially in Brampton and Vancouver, that have not seen a Brown girl exploring her sexuality on screen, so this will be great for them.”
The Markham, Ontario native has Canadian roots, which gets her even more love from us (in our totally unbiased opinion). Acting has always been a passion of Kaur’s, so much so that she studied at the competitive Acting Conservatory at York University. Talk about being qualified for the job in both education and real-life experience.
Fun Fact: you can also see her in the Crave limited series, The D Cut, which tells the story of a real-life queer pay-what-you-can hair salon fighting to stay open during a gentrification blitz in its Montreal neighbourhood.
The Sex Lives of College Girls focuses on four female college freshmen entering a new stage of adulting at an affluent college. While being away from home for the first time in their lives, the ladies are obviously focused on their education but are also trying to figure themselves out mentally, emotionally, and sexually.
Kaling is no stranger to creating television shows that highlight multifaceted minority stories that are rarely done justice by the mainstream. Her track record — beloved shows like The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever (starring another Canadian, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) — was one of the key reasons the stars of the new coming-of-age comedy were eager to work with her.
“She’s very humbled and collaborative in asking ‘Do you think this character would say that?’” Amrit shared. “When you’re such a big name, you don’t have to do that, but that humility is fantastic.” Kaur's character Bela is an aspiring comedy writer and is more than likely inspired by Mindy Kaling's own life (if you've read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, you KNOW).
“You immediately feel that she is a woman that really earned her place in the industry,” Alyah Chanelle Scott agrees.
“That was probably the coolest thing to see,” she continues, “just how smart she is and how on top of the game she is. How she is a woman of colour and doesn’t shrink herself to be in the position she’s in.”
It seems the cast also found it pretty easy to connect with their multi-dimensional characters. Take it from Alyah Chanelle Scott. “We’re more alike other people than we are different, in the sense where we’ve all had similar experiences – we’ve all felt the same emotions,” Scott explains.
“I can easily tap into Whitney because I have been a young Black girl on my own for the first time going to college, so there’s that aspect that is really the same.”
This will be one of the rising star's first major appearances on television, but theatre fans know that Alyah has musical experience starring in The Book of Mormon in Los Angeles. So, not only can Alyah sing like an angel, but she can also deliver great comedic timing with that stage production under her belt. In TSLOFC, she plays student-athlete, Whitney.
Reneé Rapp, who plays the privileged (but deeper-than-she-looks) legacy Leighton, explains that she can relate to her character’s insecurities and self-discovery.
“I relate to her in being super insecure and trying to figure myself out, and I don’t know if I’ll ever figure myself out, but I know myself better than I did yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow than I did today.”
And Alyah isn't the only one with musical theatre experience -- Rapp has worked with another comedic mastermind, Tina Fey on the Broadway adaptation of Mean Girls. Reneé played Regina George so you can be sure she's not only a talented actress, but her vocal pipes are through the roof.
Pauline Chalamet plays the quirky character of the friend group, Kimberly, and shared her excitement for playing an awkward character that is not afraid to show the world when she's angry.
“When I was 18, I was so angry about things and did not know how to express it. So, I was like, ‘Yes, I get to f**king explode and be angry!’” Pauline shared. She also felt a kinship with her character through their shared experience paying their own way through college.
Pauline may be known for being Timothée Chalamet’s sister, but do not sleep on her artistry. The talented young actress is paving her own path in this new comedic series.
“You can look at each one of these four girls and find yourself in some way in each of them, which I think is really strong,” Reneé explained. “It also speaks to the kind people they are, the kind of actors they are, and the kind of work that they do more than everything else.”
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