Getting candid. HBO Max’s Sex Lives of College Girls created a conversation with its depiction of intimacy among young adults.
The hit series, which debuted in November 2021, follows four college freshmen as they explore their sexualities while navigating life at the fictional Essex College in Vermont. Sex Lives of College Girls was created by Mindy Kaling and stars Pauline Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp and Alyah Chanelle Scott.
Chalamet quickly opened up about how her family — including younger brother Timothée Chalamet — reacted to the show’s NSFW content. “My brother loves it,” she told E! News in November 2022. “You’ll have to get the story from him, because I believe he did watch it with one of my parents. So that is that.”
The New York native, for her part, opted out of watching the more risqué scenes with her mom and dad, adding, “No, I don’t watch this with my parents. Are you kidding?”
Throughout season 1, viewers fell in love with the romance between Kimberly (Pauline) and Nico (Gavin Leatherwood). However, Us Weekly exclusively confirmed in March 2022 that Leatherwood would not be reprising his role.
“There is a season 2, but I’m not going to go back,” he exclusively told Us at the time. “It was such an incredible experience. I think Mindy is brilliant and the cast, everyone’s lovely. But with so many amazing opportunities out there, we want to keep spreading our wings and leading ourselves to other projects so that’s the move.”
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina alum noted that although he was “happy to do the first season,” he was looking to branch off in “a different direction.” A source close to the streaming platform later confirmed to Us that Leatherwood would not return to Essex.
Leatherwood’s onscreen love interest reflected on how the show addressed Nico’s absence before introducing newcomer Jackson (Mitchell Slaggert) in season 2.
“I enjoy that it’s two people whose paths would’ve never otherwise crossed. I think it’s important to have those experiences in life, at that age and older, where you get close to people who are different than you and have different beliefs and just see things differently. It helps reinforce your own personhood because you’re forced to ask yourself questions,” Pauline told Collider in December 2022. “With Jackson, it’s a very different relationship than with Nico, so I don’t really think we can compare them. When we meet Jackson, Kimberly’s in such a different place in her life because of needing to come up with money to stay in school that we see it for what it is, which is a story that’s very different than the one with Nico.”
Scroll down for the Sex Lives of College Girls cast’s most candid quotes about creating their more provocative moments: