In April of this year, Netflix released a series starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi called Never Have I Ever. In the series, Devi is not only coping with the loss of her father, the aftermath of a traumatic medical mystery with her legs but also battling with herself internally attempting to discover where and how she really fits in. The series has received amazing reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and also Metacritic which in turn has boosted the popularity and viewership of the series. Since its initial release, Netflix calculated that a whopping 40 million households have viewed this series
What makes this show so different from the rest is that the main character is struggling to find her Indian identity and in doing so educates watchers about not only the traditions of the Indian culture but also the negative stereotypes that they face. Devi wants so badly to be the girl that will make her family and most importantly her father proud but can’t help but test the waters of the unknown with boys, partying, and mischief. She endures many difficult situations that truly challenge her abilities as a friend which I saw as very relatable and authentic. I enjoy that this show doesn’t follow the standard plotline for a series about a girl in high school who is boy crazy and rebellious. Of course, we are able to see those elements from Devi but I appreciate that she is a unique character with a little bit of a different background that shapes how she goes about her life. One of my favorite episodes touches on the Indian tradition of arranged marriage and how Devi and her cousin have to face their strict uncle stuck in his ways.
I personally enjoyed the series for its humor and relatability as someone who struggled to find themselves in high school. Co-creators Mindy Kalin and Lang Fisher were sure to include authentic messages but snuck in comic relief often. It was recently renewed for a second season which can only get better with the cliff hanger the show left you on.