10 Shows Like 'The Sex Lives of College Girls' to Watch Next

While you wait for classes to be back in session at Essex, visit these other female friendship comedies.
by Taylor Freitas — 

'The Sex Lives of College Girls'


Much like its name suggests, The Sex Lives of College Girlschronicles the sexual (and non-sexual) exploits of four young women at a prestigious New England university. The HBO Max series, which was created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, takes place at the fictional Essex College in Vermont, where four freshmen girls meet for the first time after being randomly assigned as roommates.

The show's main characters include Kimberly Finkle (Pauline Chalamet), a hard-working but sheltered scholarship student; Bela Malhotra (Amrit Kaur), an aspiring comedy writer; Whitney Chase (Alyah Chanelle Scott), a soccer star and daughter of a U.S. Senator; and Leighton Murray (Renée Rapp), a wealthy closeted lesbian coming to terms with her sexuality.

Despite hailing from vastly different backgrounds, the roommates become fast friends as they help each other through the many ups and downs of collegiate life. While living together on campus, the girls help each other through their struggles and new experiences, which include everything from Kimberly losing her virginity, to Whitney having her first one-night stand, to Leighton coming out.

The Sex Lives of College Girls offers an interesting (and funny) take on sexuality and intimacy while also highlighting issues related to race, class, and gender. If you're a fan of this series and have already binged the first two seasons, there's a good chance that you'll also enjoy one of the similar shows we've highlighted below.

Here, Metacritic brings you 10 shows to watch after The Sex Lives of College Girls, ranked by Metascore.


The cast of 'Derry Girls'


Derry Girls 

Metascore: 86
Best for: Fans of laugh-out-loud coming-of-age comedies set abroad
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 3

Created and written by Lisa McGee, Derry Girls is a comedy that follows five teenage friends living through the turbulent political landscape of 1990s Northern Ireland. As pupils at Our Lady Immaculate College, the group — which includes Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her cousin Orla McCool (Louisa Harland) — constantly get into hilarious teenage high jinks, many of which go against the strict policies of their Catholic school. Even Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan), the most conservative member of the group, finds herself influenced by their hard-partying and free-spirited friend, Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), leading to highly amusing outcomes.

"Gratifyingly profane but also profound." — Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian


The cast of 'Dear White People'


Dear White People

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of college comedies that explore social issues
Where to watch:

, , , Netflix,
Seasons: 4

Based on the 2014 movie of the same title, this Netflix seriesrevolves around a group of Black co-eds fighting for change at the fictional (and predominately white) Winchester University. In the middle of it all is Samantha White (Logan Browning), who's hoping to spark conversation about race with her radio show (also called Dear White People) and expose the truth behind Pastiche, a satirical magazine run primarily by her white peers. Across campus, Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell) has his sights set on becoming Winchester's first Black student body president, sometimes going head-to-head with Samantha in the process.

"It's arch, playful and pop literate." — James Poniewozik, The New York Times


The cast of 'Broad City'

Comedy Central

Broad City 

Metascore: 82
Best for: Fans of rowdy sitcoms that focus on female friendship
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 5

If you appreciate the characters' rambunctious antics on The Sex Lives of College Girls, then Broad City might be up your alley as well. The showchronicles the chaotic lives of New York twenty-somethings Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler (played by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, respectively, who also created and executive produced the series). As the women juggle work, love, and friendship in the city (often under the influence of recreational drugs), they frequently wind up in ridiculous and cringe-worthy situations. Memorable examples include Abbi's drug-fueled night with Kelly Ripa and Ilana's rollicking sexcapades with NBA star Blake Griffin.

"A delightful, knockabout new sitcom." — Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times


The cast of 'Never Have I Ever'


Never Have I Ever 

Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of witty teen dramedies that don't shy away from dark topics
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Although it's set in high school rather than college, Never Have I Ever has quite a bit in common with The Sex Lives of College Girls — including Kaling as a co-creator. In this show, which is based on Kaling's childhood, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays Devi Vishwakumar, a teenage girl and first-generation Indian-American trying her best to fit in at her Southern California high school, process her father's recent death, and overcome trauma-related health issues of her own. Things get even more complicated when Devi develops romantic feelings for two boys at school, creating a messy love triangle.

"The show continues to be a realistic and empathetic portrayal of what being a teenager looks like." — Radhika Menon, Decider


The cast of 'Girls'



Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of female-focused comedy-dramas
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 6

Girls is another production that centers around four female friends at the start of their adult lives. In this case, those women are Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham, who is also the show's creator), Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke), and Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet). While living in New York, the main characters of Girls rely on each other's friendship to get through the ups and downs of twenty-something life as they build their careers, fall in and out of love, and deal with family problems.

"Most of the time, Girls remains impressive." — Ken Tucker, Yahoo TV


The cast of 'Community'



Metascore: 74
Best for: Fans of sarcastic sitcoms that play with meta-humor and pop culture jokes
Where to watch:

, , , , , Netflix,
Seasons: 6

Set at a community college rather than a four-year university, Community tags along with a quirky and diverse study group at the fictional Greendale Community College. Led by disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), the mismatched crew consists of students from all walks of life, including the strong-willed psychology major Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), the ever-observant pop culture fanatic Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), and the ex-star athlete Troy Barnes (Donald Glover). Despite their many differences, the group members grow quite close as they become more involved at Greendale and in each others' personal lives.

"Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off." — Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times


Yara Shahidi in 'grown-ish'



Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of black-ishand sitcoms that depict the highs and lows of collegiate life
Where to watch:

, , , , ,
Seasons: 5 (so far)

This spin-off of black-ish follows Zoey (Yara Shahidi), the Johnsons' oldest daughter, as she heads off to college at the fictional California University of Liberal Arts (or Cal U). Although she finds a new group of friends fairly quickly, Zoey deals with many of the challenges that college women commonly face, including balancing partying and academics, developing romantic feelings for emotionally unavailable men, and chasing internships and future career opportunities. In its fifth season, grown-ish began focusing on Junior (Marcus Scribner), Zoey's younger brother, who follows in his sister's footsteps and enrolls at Cal U.

"A compelling companion to black-ish — funny, charming and thought-provoking — only here the social discussions, characters and humor are packaged for a younger audience." — Kelly Lawler, USA Today


The cast of 'Sex and the City'


Sex and the City 

Metascore: 64 
Best for: Fans of late '90s/early aughts romantic dramedies
Where to watch:

, , , , ,
Seasons: 6 and two movies and a revival

Based on the book by Candace Bushnell, HBO's Sex and the City is more geared toward adults than The Sex Lives of College Girls, but there are some similarities between these two shows, including the basic premise of four women managing life and love. In Sex and the City, those ladies are columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), art-dealer-turned-housewife Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), public relations pro Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), and lawyer Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon). Each woman brings a different perspective to the series as they navigate the New York dating scene, career life, and friendship.

"More social satire than sitcom, it looks openly at relationships steeped in ambivalence, fear, and the games people play." — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe


The cast of 'Greek'

ABC Family


Metascore: 62
Best for: Fans of lighthearted and funny teen dramas and former members of the Greek system
Where to watch:

Seasons: 4

Greek takes place at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University, where fraternity and sorority life dominates the social scene. It follows Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar), a freshman engineering major who tries to shed his nerdy image by joining the unruly Kappa Tau Gamma fraternity. Also at CRU is Rusty's older sister Casey (Spencer Grammer), a member of the popular Zeta Beta Zeta sorority who's caught in a love triangle between Evan Chambers (Jake McDorman), a wealthy and privileged member of the Omega Chi Delta fraternity, and Cappie (Scott Michael Foster), a mononymous slacker and Rusty's "big brother" in Kappa Tau Gamma.

"A decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera." — Ginia Bellafante, The New York Times


The cast of 'Scream Queens'


Scream Queens (2015)

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of satirical comedies with murderous twists
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 2

Scream Queens, like The Sex Lives of College Girls, revolves around a group of young women in college — but it's less romantic comedy and more comedy horror. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, Scream Queens takes place at the fictional Wallace University, where the devious Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) heads up the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority and finds herself at odds with Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis). Things take a dark turn, however, when a serial killer named the Red Devil starts to target the women of Kappa Kappa Tau.

"The writing is sharp, but sharp-edged too. Overwhelmed with venom, Queens tends to be more mean-spirited than free-spirited." — Verne Gay, Newsday