HBO Max’s new streaming comedy The Sex Lives of College Girls really wants us to know how woke and “virtuous” they are. They may have even hit a new record for the most liberal name-dropping by mentioning six different prominent liberals in just the two episodes that premiered on Thursday. To be fair, there was a mention of Melania Trump, but it was in a negative context. Because, of course.
Created by Mindy Kaling, the show is about the lives of four young freshman girls experiencing college for the first time together as they share a dorm at fictional Essex College in New England. Despite the title, the show manages to be less extreme and graphic than other HBO offerings about high schoolers.
Wasting no time, the first liberal name is dropped near the beginning of episode 1, “Welcome to Essex,” as the dorm’s supervisor asks the students to share something they’re afraid of. One student answers, “I'm scared of my stalker. I'm kind of a big deal on TikTok. Malia Obama follows me.” Of course, all the students gasp in surprise and awe.
Over lunch, the four main characters sit together and share why they chose Essex. Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) drops the second and third names as she explains her future plans:
Kimberly: I'm gonna graduate summa, and then I'm gonna go to a tier one law school, and then Max and I are gonna move to DC where we're gonna become a power couple like Kamala [Harris] and [husband] Doug [Emhoff].
Bela (Amrit Kaur) desperately wants a position on the school’s comedy magazine, but she doesn’t get very far with the male editor who complains that they have enough females working on the publication already. He attempts to hide his sexism as he drops the fourth name, claiming he wishes Elizabeth Warren were president.
Leighton (Renee Rapp) is the mean girl in the group. As Max and Kimberly take a walk, Max drops the fifth name, saying, “Well, Leighton is basically Melania, but the rest of them seem pretty nice.”
Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) is somewhat famous in the group because her mother is a high-powered senator. Whitney has been dating her soccer coach Dalton (James Morosini), but suddenly discovers he’s married when she runs into him and his wife Michelle (Kim Matula) while out for a run. Michelle adds to the show’s woke vibe by bashing the NRA:
Michelle: Babe, is this one of your players? Hi, I'm Michelle. I'm Dalton's wife. It's so nice to meet you.
Dalton: This is Whitney.
Michelle: Oh, my God, of course. I'm sorry, not to be a stalker, or anything, but I'm a big fan of your mom. The way she gives it to the NRA-- I just love her.
Whitney: Thanks, she's great.
By the end of the first episode, Max breaks up with Kimberly - you knew that relationship was doomed once she aspired to the lowly goal of being like "Kamala and Doug" - so Bela tries to cheer her and Whitney up by suggesting a fun night out, during which she drops the sixth name. Bela proclaims, “Look, we don’t have power over when guys treat us like shit. But what we can control is how much we let it affect us. I think Hillary Clinton said that.”
Episode 2, “Naked Party,” was half as long as the first, but the writers still found a way to name drop and virtue signal at the same time less than ten minutes into the episode. As students in French class share what they did over the summer, one girl drops the seventh name, proudly announcing that she interned with an environmental activist in San Francisco. “Nancy Pelosi called our ideas, ‘revolutionary,’ and she even tweeted a picture with us,” she says smiling ear-to-ear, barely able to contain her excitement.
Phew! That’s certainly enough liberals for one night! Is it too much to hope the writers got all their woke virtue signaling out of their system to keep the rest of the season politics-free? Only time will tell.