Mindy Kaling certainly has her finger on the pulse of the small screen! After spending nearly a decade writing and starring in the hit NBC series “The Office,” the prolific Hollywood multi-hyphenate has turned her talents into a successful producing career, churning out such staples as “The Mindy Project” and “Never Have I Ever” for Fox/Hulu and Netflix, respectively. And now the powerhouse’s latest offering, “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” which she co-created with writer/producer “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Justin Noble, hit HBO Max to rave reviews, leading to a quick second season renewal.
Set at Essex College in Vermont, the comedy-drama follows the academic hardships and romantic tribulations of housemates Kimberly Finkle (Pauline Chalamet), Bela Malhotra (Amrit Kaur), Leighton Murray (Reneé Rapp) and Whitney Chase (Alyah Chanelle Scott) as they navigate their freshman year at the fictional Ivy League school. Though it draws comparisons to HBO mainstay “Sex and the City,” “Sex Lives” leans far more on the comedic side of things, despite exploring decidedly serious subject matter, the ten episodes of season 1 turning out to be giggles- loudly hilarious, not to mention frenzied.
Filming for the series was an ambitious undertaking that took the cast and crew from the East Coast to the West, with the vast majority of exterior scenes captured at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. As the Poughkeepsie Journal reports, the production used a plethora of large campus locations, including “the main gate, athletic fields, the President’s House, the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Rockefeller and Blodgett Halls. and several quads”. as well as the interior of the magnificent Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library.
After filming for three weeks in Poughkeepsie, “Sex Lives” moved to Los Angeles, settling at Warner Bros. Studios. in Burbank, where the show’s elaborate sets, including the dining room where the girls regularly congregate, were built. While in town, the series also used several real-life locations, including the Sheraton Universal Hotel, which was transformed into a bustling casino for the first episode, “Welcome to Essex”. The girls host a fancy dinner party for their parents at The Derby restaurant in Arcadia in episode six, “Parents Weekend”. And South Pasadena’s Torrance-Childs House repeatedly appears in interior scenes involving the Catullan Comedy Club. (The exteriors were shot at the President’s house in Vassar.)