‘Never Have I Ever’ thought I would see a show like this

By Grey Stephens
May 10, 2020

New Netflix show "Never Have I Ever" has all the typical American teen  qualities with realities of Indian culture portrayed through main character, Devi Vishwakumar
New Netflix show "Never Have I Ever" has all the typical American teen qualities with realities of Indian culture portrayed through main character, Devi Vishwakumar
New Netflix show “Never Have I Ever” has all the typical American teen qualities with realities of Indian culture portrayed through main character, Devi Vishwakumar

“Never Have I Ever” is a show I wish existed when I was in high school. It tells the story of an Indian American high school sophomore named Devi and the struggles she goes through with her strict Indian mother as she lives in Sherman Oaks, California. She rejects the stereotypes associated with being an Indian American teenager–acing all her classes and being the smartest one in the room– because in high school that means you’re a loser.

Although she has the brains, there is something that she wants much more. She wants to be with the hottest boy in school, named Paxon. Every girl can relate to crushing on the hottest boy in school and many can relate even more to not being noticed by him at all. On top of this, Devi lost her father to a heart attack during one of her school performances playing the harp. While she is facing tragedy, she’s still trying to balance school and gain the one thing she desires most: popularity.

When I think about Devi’s story, I think about my own. Usually when series like these come out, they star a typical American white teenager, but this one has brought a new cultural experience for viewers.

After Devi loses her father, she becomes paralyzed for three months and starts struggling with being a good friend to her two best friends Eleanor and Fabiola.

In high school, I faced many of the same issues Devi goes through in the show. Although I am not Indian, I felt like I was watching my own story through hers. I am Puerto Rican and black and many times I got asked if I was Indian in high school. Like Devi, I had thick, dark hair and hairy arms. In elementary school, my mom would supervise lunch time, and everyone would always question why she was so light, and I was so dark. There are countless times I remember feeling out of place in my race and feeling out of place being American even though I was both.

Never have I ever dove into the realities of being a high school teenager; that is why I find joy in watching it now as a college student. Being older, I realized there was so many insecurities I had about who I was that I didn’t need to have. And I realize I even struggle with some of those insecurities still today.

Co-creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher produce a show where teenage realities are portrayed through an unfamiliar culture and it seems popular in different countries so far. Kaling posted an Instagram image showing the series being number 1 around the world on Netflix.

Mindy Kaling posts her excitement as her show is number 1 in 10 countries

This show was released on April 27th and currently has a 98% on the tomato meter on Rotten Tomatoes and a 92% from the audience.

“Never have I Ever” has not been cleared yet for a second season but it is likely because of the shows high ratings.

Many can agree “Never have I Ever” is one of the Netflix shows unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Grey Stephens

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