Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age series co-created and co-written by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. It is written through the eyes of an Indian-American High School Sophomore who is desperately trying to lead ''the cool life''. We have Devi Vishwakumar who is our leading lady played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
Devi is a stubborn and headstrong girl who is still recovering from her father's sad demise at her concert last year. The death came as a shock to Devi and she spent the rest of the year paralyzed waist down in a wheelchair. She soon recovered and now was ready for a new year at high school trying to change her name from a nerdy, know-it-all Asian to a cooler high schooler and she termed it as 're-branding'.
Devi, being the first generation Indian-American finds it difficult to juggle between "too much Indian" and "not Indian enough". She wants to get over her father's trauma, but instead of embracing it, she is running away from it (more like running into further trouble). The relationship that Devi shares with her mother is rather complicated, which is entirely believable due to the past experiences they faced and also kudos to the brilliant acting.
I wasn't a fan initially when I started watching Never Have I Ever. I came across certain stereotypes on the show that didn't go down too well with me. The part where the mother shouts at Devi to 'not throw the book because it has been blessed by the pundit' or the scene where Devi has to wear a top underneath her sleeveless dress for a TikTok, are a little too extreme. In some places, they went overboard with stuffing Indian-ness into Devi's family. Kamala's arranged marriage video call and the "preparations" for her husband-to-be's arrival were a little too difficult to digest, especially in today's times (also why does Kamala have that accent?). The last but not the least, the awfully wrong pronunciations of words like Ganesh, puja, and pundit by tennis star John McEnroe were difficult to ignore.
On the other hand, it's good to finally see a brown representation. A show with a brown teenager as a protagonist is groundbreaking and I know many who were waiting eagerly for their story to be told through this show. Maitreyi being a newcomer has truly left a mark on the screen. She played the character of feisty Devi so well that sometimes it felt as she could resonate with character to a level where it felt like she's just being herself whilst playing Devi. The queer representation and their struggles of realizing and coming out was portrayed beautifully. Another character portrayal that I liked was Rebecca (the girl with down syndrome), she's kind, smart, and fashionable.
Despite the good, the bad, and the cultural appropriation in places, while watching Mindy's Never Have I Ever, I managed to shed a few tears towards the last episode. The end was heartwarming and emotional. The story, however stereotypical in the beginning, all came down to being worth the watch in the end. We just had to give a tiny bit of our times to Mindy to take us through her story and end it with a beautiful ending that we all rooted for.
Tell me your views about the show and don't forget to binge watch it if you haven't already.
If you liked this article, then make sure you check out our other articles as well. Follow us on social media to get notified of our latest articles. :)
Get the best we have to offer right in your inbox