After a tragic and traumatic first year in high school, all Devi Vishwakumar is determined to do is not to get herself in a sophomore slump this time. Armed with her friends Eleanor and Fabiola, they navigate the messy, sometimes angst-ridden, and crush-laden self-discoveries of teenhood, but not without a few laughs and bumps along the way.
Watch it if you:
Are a fan of teen comedies (think Jenny Han’s To All The Boys series), the genius comic that is Mindy Kaling, or all of the above choices. Mindy described the show as a personal project of hers, one that is close to her heart so if you want to peep a little bit into preteen Mindy, this is the show to go for. If you also knew her from The Office as Kelly Kapoor or the eponymous Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project, this might just be the cherry to your Mindy-filled sundae.
What I think:
‘Never Have I Ever’ cried this much in a teen rom-com series before, mainly because of the breadth this show just about covers. It managed to pull together a story of family, Indian-American values and virtues, angsty teenage whine-ups, the crushes in between, and the effects of trauma, all wrapped up perfectly in ten episodes. More than its wise-crack storytelling, every scene unfolds like Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream,’ with visions of crossed fingers, the messy and the murky decisions that we made when we were young – and all the while knocking down every stereotypical romantic comedy trope and character ever existing.
What I also liked about the series was its fair and brilliantly done ‘love triangle,’ which is as far as I will go in terms of the tea here. ‘Never Have I Ever’ seen such a well-crafted teen love story that makes good use of two boys competing for the love of one lucky Devi, and honestly, both boys plead their cases very well. But the heart of the story will always have Devi at the center, whether her friends like it or not (and believe me, this comes up often) because despite all the prayers she throws to her gods about changing to a whole new ‘her,’ she is always rooted back to her identity. And as much as she squirms in her shoes sometimes, the revelations come forth when she stands her ground (Watch out for her conversations with her mom, those were the real tearjerkers).
With its relatable content that throws back to the crazy and zany adventures worth looking back to, here’s hoping that when you play your own game of Never Have I Ever, you better not have ‘not watched this show’ to your list because it's not fun missing out on something as great as this.
Never Have I Ever is now streaming on Netflix. Watch it here.