The Sexual Life of University Students: sex as a joke among women

The name Mindy Kaling might be strange to you. But if you’re a fan of The Office, you will certainly remember Kelly Kapoor, the somewhat foul-mouthed employee, eternally tangled up with her colleague/boyfriend, who was played by Mindy in this celebrated NBC series. Not everyone knows, but she is a showrunner quite talented. His latest venture is the comedy series The sex life of university studentsfrom HBO, in which he enters a universe that has already been visited and revisited by American fiction: the student environment.

Unlike some well-known series that covered the high school years (such as Euphoria, Gossip Girl, Riverdaleand the cult and little known My so-called life), here we are – as the name makes clear – in the four years of university life. But the big balcony of The sex life of university students is, precisely, to bring a kind of slapstick comedy of a sexual nature, very common in the 80s (who remembers classic films like the last virgin american e Porkys?), for the conversation between the women.

Yes, we need about 40 years before we can take the sex life of teenagers and young women away from the discourse more focused on romanticism, on discoveries (always with a man), and start making fun of what they live.

And this is no small thing. Recall, for example, phenomena such as the movie American Pie, from 1999, the first great success to rescue the wave of comic works about sexual maturation that filled cinemas during the 1980s. disappointments that usually affect young people at that time. But the focus was obviously on the relationship between men, and girls ended up becoming accessories around the plots of Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs’ character) and his friends.

The confusions of university life

(Source: HBO)(Source: HBO)Source: HBO

I could say, then, that The sex life of university students it’s kind of a American Pie with girls. The series takes place in a fictional university called Essex. There, four young women, new to adulthood, end up sharing an apartment in a college residence. They are strategically designed to symbolize types of women in their age group. Bela (Amrit Kaur), who is the daughter of Indian immigrants, aspires to be a comedian and seems to have a laid-back obsession with sex and toned bodies, almost as if she represents a male stereotype now embodied in a woman.

Kimberly (played by Pauline Chalamet – sister of famous actor Timothy Chalamet, from Danube) is someone who belongs to a simpler social class and has unsophisticated parents, and who intends to become the first person in the family to have a university education. Whitney (Alyah Chanelle), the only black woman among her classmates, is a sports star, and the daughter of an important senator who has high expectations and demands on her. Finally, we have Leighton (played by Reneé Rapp), who is perhaps the most interesting character: she is a snobbish and wealthy heiress, and adept at an elitist style (in other words, she is a beautiful preppy); however, she suffers from being cloistered in the closet, feeling unable to come out with her homosexuality.

Together, they enter the university environment with a thirst for life and are dazzled by the possibilities it brings. But the series is less about his professional ambitions and much more about his desires to discover and try new things. Sexuality, in this way, appears as a gateway to a new world, in which they can confront themselves and the place where they lived and grew up.

If sex always involves some kind of rebellion, it can be said that the four colleagues are trying to cut ties with something: Whitney, from her domineering and powerful mother; Bela, from conservative parents; Kimberly, of the disparaging view she has of herself, and Leighton, of the social ties she imagines she has because of her class.

sex as metaphor

(Source: HBO)(Source: HBO)Source: HBO

Mindy Kaling’s great insight in her new series is that, as much as sex appears in the name, it’s not exactly the center of the story – as it was in American Pie, as those who watched it must remember. the bid of The sex life of university students is that sexuality appears here as a metaphor, a kind of rite of passage that girls must go through to discover, little by little, who they really are.

Maybe not the funniest show in the world, but The sex life of university students It has its good points there. Kimberly, for example, has some really funny scenes with her co-workers (she’s the only one with a job) at a coffee shop. Bela, who dreams of becoming a comedy star, can’t get a sentence out that doesn’t contain a joke. His somewhat masculine posture is a counterpoint to the more typical female characters of fiction series.

The most interesting character, however, is perhaps Leighton, the preppy who is excluded by her childhood friends in the first episode. Leighton is always grumpy and rude to her peers – a mood that is clearly related to her living a “parallel” life, hiding her sexuality. Gradually, she gains confidence and disarms with her new friends, whom she ignored. The scenes where she talks to her friend Kimberly about it is the most touching scene of this first season.

Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that the motto of The sex life of university students is to discuss the friendship and maturation that arises between women who support each other. Because of Mindy Kaling’s good insight, here we’re not talking about sweet and romantic girls looking for a boyfriend (even an important detail is that none of them is looking for commitment), but about young women who talk about various subjects – and , among them, sex. The sex life of university students has already been confirmed by HBO for a second season.

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