Never have I ever is a teenage rom com original Netflix Series which I happened to watch recently. Second season was released yesterday and I have finished watching it. This series is a high school teen drama but with lot of interesting characters.
I wish to reflect on few things from these series. This may include spoilers from both seasons.
Let me start of by saying I absolutely welcome a Netflix Series where lead characters (partly) belong to a brown Indian family. It is about first generation Indian American family, and absolutely handled well. All the family members are females with strong voices /opinions. In this latest season bringing Patti (grandma) in the season just helped the general agenda. Now there are four generations of Indian women with different yet progressive ideas. Devi is the teenage girl who is the central character and around whom the story keeps revolving. Mostly high school drama managing the hormonal urges of this girl to score a boyfriend. She has two best friends who are also equally interesting and keep the series upbeat. I love Devi’s mother’s character. She is a doctor, single parent and handling a firecracker teenage daughter. So is Devi’s cousin Kamala who is a doctoral student. Original storyline in first season about Devi constantly trying to get a boyfriend the entire first season, trying to ignore her unresolved issues about her father ‘s death. Second season ends with Devi actually getting a boyfriend but deals with lot of times where Devi has to acknowledge she was wrong.
I feel as if this series has a checklist of representing everyone that might not be usually represented. So I thought I should right them down. I absolutely just loved seeing them on screen. Many times it was so “relatable” as current generation says.
- Indian family with only women as main drivers of the show ✅
- Smart brown girl addressing and actually working on fact of getting a boyfriend as main storyline ✅ It’s hilarious and unheard of even in Indian cinema.
- Also handling it well in a storyline making it believeable ✅
- Devi’s mother is a doctor handling her husband’s untimely death really well ✅ She handles her Indian community well in US as well in India ✅
- Devi’s mother is stereotypical in parenting but learning to let go ✅
- Kamala who is Devi’s cousin Indian woman working as a doctoral student ✅ faces work politics and finds herself in a male dominated lab✅ (been there, done that)
- Kamala is facing prospects of getting into arranged marriage and she is elegantly finding her way out everytime ✅ no drama nothing. She plays along but is on her own track to find the right partner ✅
- Devi’s friends are Fabiola and Eleanor. Fabiola is mixed race black queer woman ✅ who has interests in robotics ✅and Eleanor is from Asian community but excels and has interests in arts and stage instead of just maths✅
- Lead guy Paxton is mixed race to who is athletic and in this season decides to try and study hard with and without Devi’s help ✅
- Ben the other lead from a white family is a perfect student, son and friend ✅
- (spoiler alert) Devi’s grandmother actually being a supportive mother in law to Devi’s mom and asking her to stay in US ✅
- Fabiola feeling struggle to even adjust in queer community ✅ It’s good to see that at the end of the day being part of any community can lead to peer pressure and one has to be true to themselves ✅
- Aneesa the new Indian girl in this season 2 is perfect nemesis for Devi ✅ Brought up all the insecurities perfectly while bonding at the end ✅
- Lily D Moore playing Rebecca and representing down syndrome community ✅ She is focused, knows how to give her brother Paxton the necessary burns and keeps him in check ✅
- Addressing teenage issues like anorexia in this season ✅ I feel more issues needs to be addressed.
This series constantly struggles to pass the Bechdel Test though. Girls talking about the boyfriends is not a easy plot to move around. Here is wiki link to understand https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test
In all it is an entertaining series and keeps you glued. Just an honest Mindy Kaling attempt to make a series with what she knows is normal and trying to represent it in main stream OTT platforms. More power to all kinds of representations. Do watch it on Netflix