Get ready to fall in love with Leighton, Bela, Kimberly and Whitney
BY NIC CROSARA
Since it first aired on HBO at the end of 2021, viewers across the pond have been obsessed with this hilarious show written by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble. In excellent news, this hit comedy/drama is coming to our screens in the UK. Premiering on 24 April at 10pm on ITV2. The story follows Leighton (Reneé Rapp), Bela (Amrit Kaur), Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) and Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott), four radically different room mates, as they explore their new found freedom on the prestigious campus of Essex College.
Here’s your teaser for what’s in store:
There’s some wonderful LGBTQI characters to look forward to meeting in the show, including Tova, played by non-binary icon Vico Ortiz (The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night).
We got the chance to hear from the cast at a junket ahead of the launch of season one. They spoke about representation within the show and why discussing women’s sex lives is important.
These storylines are often told from the male perspective and it was refreshing to see it portrayed through the female lens. “Sadly patriarchy is rooted in literally everything we do,” Reneé said. “I’m hoping this show will encourage young women to talk about their own experiences as well as feel empowered.”
It is rare for shows to address young women’s experiences with sex. Alyah shared why it was important to be a part of. “The reality is that sex is odd. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. The show is less so about the act of sex and more so about everything surrounding it. That’s something that’s really important,” she says. “A lot of times we do see sex presented from the male gaze, you see a woman who is dressed a certain way and often hyper-sexualised, especially Black girls.” Alyah expressed how great it was that these girls just got to be girls. “It’s a very accurate representation of what it is like to be a young woman on that journey of exploring sexuality.”
On what it was like working with Mindy, Pauline had this to say: “It was the exact type of fun that I love, which is serious fun. We might goof off and have a laugh but ultimately we’re here to do the work. That’s the vibe I got especially when Mindy was on set.”
Amrit addressed the representation within the show. “Even though it’s multicultural, it’s not tokenised,” she said. “My character Bella is so excited to be entering the world of comedy. she’s learning about the reality of being in comedy as a brown woman. That reality means that if it takes one year for a white woman/man to get something, it will take 10 years possibly for a Black or brown woman.”
The show’s co-creator Mindy Kaling spoke about why having a writers room made up of predominantly women was important to her. “We really wanted to writer’s room to reflect the characters in the show. So we have queer writers, Indian writers, Black writers and people who had never written for TV before but we thought their experience made it good for the show.”
If this hasn’t sold you, I don’t know what will. Save the date (24 April), sit back and enjoy rooting for these excellent characters.
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