The women at Essex College, the setting of The Sex Lives of College Girlswould definitely be aware of the changing status of Roe v. Wade.
“Especially the character Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet), who came to Essex because she wanted to become a Supreme Court justice. She literally said she wants to be like the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” show co-creator Mindy Kaling told Yahoo Entertainment on Wednesday , days before the Supreme Court was expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, cutting off access to safe abortions for millions of American women. “I think especially at this campus, which is a really big mix of, like, you know, ideologies and stuff, I do think it is something that they talk about.”
Kaling, who also co-wrote and executive produced the first season of the HBO Max comedy, promised that the show would not be heavy-handed with the topic when it returns. Viewers should expect the show to address the subject as it’s previously broached controversial issues — with humor.
“Obviously we try to deal with political stuff with the patina of comedy… just to make it more enjoyable, but I do think that those are things we talk about in the room all the time,” Kaling said at a Los Angeles event to promote her partnership with mobile payment platform Zelle. “I mean, the first season we dealt with Title IX stuff, we dealt with sexual assault, we dealt with characters coming out in hostile environments. So it’s something that we really care about and, again, doing it in the comedy, I think , is the most effective way to get points across.”
The idea, she added, is to follow the example of stand-up comedians and get your point across without making people feel like they’re being preached to.
While the show has yet to announce a release date for its second season, Kaling dropped a photo of the cast — Chalamet, Amrit Kaur, Reneé Rapp and Alyah Chanelle Scott — and crew at a table read in April.
She promised that round two of the women’s on-campus adventures will show them beginning to come into their own as they adapt to their still new world.
“The biggest thing in this season, I would say, is that the girls came in the first season, so much of it, they were so innocent. And they were from their specific worlds, they had an idea of what college was gonna be like, and the whole first season was just like constantly throwing them through the wringer of, no, it’s not at all what you thought. What you thought was gonna happen is not gonna happen to you,” Kaling said. “And so this season is a little bit about them… they have like a savvy energy to them, as we move into the second half of freshman year. They’re not cynical or anything but they are definitely more used to what college is like. They’re not as naive, especially Kimberly.”
One of Kaling’s other TV projects, Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, which is loosely based on her own early life, is set in high school, so it’s scheduled to end after four seasons. When asked, though, Kaling said she would be interested in taking that show to college, too.
“I mean, I love the character [Devi]and, you know, we love working with [lead actress] Maitreyi [Ramakrishnan], so I would love to see that character in college,” she said. “I don’t know what Netflix’s plans are. Maybe she can go to the college from [The Sex Lives of College Girls] and it can be a big crossover. That’d be easy for me. But I would love to see what that character is doing for the rest of her life, so anytime Netflix would want to see that character again, I would gladly revisit her life.”
First, the third and fourth seasons have to air; the third premieres Aug. 12.
“I’m actually writing the finale now, the series finale, because we’re shooting Season 4,” Kaling said. “We’re finishing that soon. And I think that from where the characters started, this character Devi, who is going through so much grief, who is not wanting to deal with it, only wanting to have a boyfriend, only wanting to lose her virginity… where she is four years later, this season is about growing up. Because she’s gonna head off to college and, you know, coming to terms with some of her more immature things, so she can go off and face the world. That’s what we’ve been talking about a lot, [with] this last batch of episodes.”