If you know me, you know that I absolutely love teen dramas. So, when I saw that Netflix came out with a new comedy-drama called Never Have I Ever, I knew I had to watch it. The series follows Devi Vishwakumar, a 15 year old high school student who wants to become "cool." During a pretty traumatic freshman year, spoiler alert, Devi's father tragically passed away, and she lost the use of her legs for three months, but with the start of a new school year, and full use of her legs, Devi was excited for people to think she was finally a cool girl.
Even though this season had 10 episodes, I binge watched all of them in one day. I thought that the show was really interesting in the way that it showed a sneak peak into the life of a 15 year old Indian girl, because with many teen dramas, the characters all look and act the same way. She also had an all women of color best friend group. This is a really important part of the show because Devi and Devi's family being Indian is a major part of the storyline that we would not get if Netflix had cast the typical white cast. I think that seeing POC men and women in television will help a lot of us understand that there is a large amount of misrepresentation in media as well as teach us about their different cultures and identities that we would not get if there was a predominately white cast. Because many POC children and teens who are often more vulnerable watch television, it is good for them to be able to see a group of characters that look like them and have the same interests as them as well. The diversity of the entire show was honestly one of my favorite parts, so if you're looking for something with a cast full of diversity, this is definitely a show for you!
The show also tackles a lot of difficult topics, such as therapy, death, sex, sexuality, and mental health. I think it is important to talk about these kinds of things, especially in teen shows, because so many teens go through the same problems, even when we were in high school. There are so many different things that people go through that I think the show handles really well. Devi has some serious anger problems after her father died. The way that they don't glorify her anger or outbursts at her friends is really refreshing, and it reiterates the fact that it's okay to take breaks from friends and to tell them when you are angry with them. While I do think there were some topics that could have been handled better, such as the relationships that Devi has with the boys in her school, there were many topics that were covered well that you don't typically see in teen shows.
Overall, I would give the show a 7 out of 10. I definitely wish they didn't leave the season on a cliffhanger, and I think that there are some topics that could have been better elaborated on, such as Fab's sexuality and the importance of coming out on your own with no pressure. While it is a topic that is covered, they make pressure from another person one of the only reasons she came out when she did. I also think there are moments where it does glorify liking a person who isn't necessarily nice to you, which happens in many young adult tv shows. While this happens in real life, and her love interest is eventaully kind to her, I think that it can be damaging to tell people to like people who are mean or unfriendly to them. However, I'm am still excited for season two to come out, hopefully sometime at the beginning of next year. If you're looking for a little something new in your life, I think this show is definitely for you!