You NEED to watch the Netflix Original "Never Have I Ever"

If you have not already binged this series, I am here to convince you that you should (Don’t worry, this is a spoiler free zone)! When I first saw that Mindy Kaling was producing a show with a South Indian girl as the lead role, I was ecstatic. The amount of south asian representation I had seen as an Indian who spent her whole life growing up in America was slim, and ACCURATE representation was probably next to nothing. I was REALLY hoping they would do a good job with the show because this was something I had rarely seen on TV- that is, until I saw the trailer for "Never Have I Ever".

From what I saw, I assumed this would be an over-the-top, coming-of-age show with quirky characters whom I would most likely not relate to at ALL. It has everything which is predesigned for a teen comedy, and I was skeptical that it would be filled with heavily exaggerated stereotypes (ex. in the trailer, Devi is told that she looks like an Indian Kardashian, which just seemed like an implication that the only way for an Indian girl to be beautiful is when she looks like the indian version of a white woman). From the trailer itself, it seemed like the show was definitely going to attempt to kill stereotypes by replacing them with opposite extreme stereotypes (no shade but the trailer made the main character, Devi, seem like an overly sex crazed individual).

Despite my initial impressions though, I was actually PLEASANTLY surprised. I honestly did not think that the show got off to a good start, and it definitely took until midseason for viewers to connect and understand the characters. "Never Have I Ever" does follow the usual pattern of a typical coming-of-age TV show, but it does compel viewers with a better cultural understanding. It mixes in multiple issues that teenagers face in our society in lighthearted ways so that important messages are still transferred to viewers without making it the primary focus of the show. Devi does not initially embrace her heritage but throughout the series, but you are able to see character growth and witness her love with her life as both an Indian and an American.

The sub-characters were developed well too. Devi’s best friends were fully realized characters with lives and issues of their own. The romantic subplot goes from superficial to grounded as you watch Devi grow. The plot line was fairly predictable, but that can be comforting especially if you enjoy teen comedies/dramas. "Never Have I Ever" is amusing, rather than "laugh out loud". The episodes each carry different themes that mirror the titles of the episodes. Admittedly, there is still some cringe-worthy dialogue, jokes, and acting but the show has heart and strong layers. making it an enjoyable show to binge.