Never Have I Ever (TV series)
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|Never Have I Ever|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Production locations||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||22–31 minutes|
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Original release||April 27, 2020 –|
Never Have I Ever is an American romance comedy-drama television series starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. Though it takes place in the San Fernando Valley, the show has been reported to be loosely based on Kaling's childhood experiences in the Boston area, while Kaling herself has said it is based "in the spirit of my childhood". It premiered on Netflix on April 27, 2020, and is about an Indian-American high school student dealing with the sudden death of her father. The series received generally favorable reviews.
The series has been described as a watershed moment for South Asian representation in Hollywood and has been praised for breaking Asian stereotypes. On July 1, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on July 15, 2021. Netflix renewed the series for a third season on August 19, 2021, which was released on August 12, 2022, and consists of 10 episodes, and a fourth and final season set to premiere in 2023.
This section needs expansion with: more details about the sub-plots. You can help by adding to it. (September 2022)
The story centers around Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old Indian-American Tamil girl from Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. After her father, Mohan, dies suddenly, Devi loses the sensation in her legs. This happens due to the psychological trauma of the event and she is unable to walk for three months. However, one day she miraculously recovers and stands on her legs, in an attempt to see her crush Paxton Hall-Yoshida. After having a socially horrible freshman year, she wishes to change her social status, but friends, family, and feelings do not make it easy for her. Meanwhile, Devi's friend Eleanor deals with learning her absentee mother has been back in town for months with no contact, while Devi's other friend Fabiola struggles to come out as gay. Also, Devi's live-in cousin Kamala tries to hide her college boyfriend from her family, as her family expects her to wed Prashant, an Indian man she's never met, in an arranged marriage.
The following year, Devi tries to deal with her grief, her identity, and school life. At the same time, her relationship with her mother, Nalini, becomes strained. Devi also has to deal with her feelings for Paxton and Ben, after she cheats on both of them with each other. Adding to the mix is a new entrant in school, Aneesa Qureshi, whom Devi starts to feel jealous about and starts a rumor about, although she apologizes and they befriend each other. Devi also finds her mom with Dr. Jackson, and is upset that she moved on so quickly from the death of her dad. Paxton gets over Devi's betrayal and the two become romantically interested again. Meanwhile, Kamala experiences sexism at her job in STEM, while also becoming close to Prashant before starting to dislike him.
Paxton doesn't refer to Devi as his girlfriend, and publicly refuses her when she asks him to the dance, which makes Devi think that he is using her. They later talk, and Paxton says that they cannot date publicly because Devi cheated on him. Devi agrees to privately date him, but she later changes her mind and breaks up with him. Paxton realizes his mistake and goes to the dance with Devi, apologizing to her. The two begin to date publicly, but Devi starts to feel insecure due to others gossiping about them. When Paxton has a friendly reconciliation with a girl he wronged in the past, Devi's insecurity turns to jealousy, causing Paxton to break up with her.
Never Have I Ever is mostly narrated by professional tennis player John McEnroe for Devi, with the latter often showing flashes of McEnroe's legendary temper. Three of the episodes narrated by Andy Samberg for Ben, and another by Gigi Hadid for Paxton.
Cast and characters
- Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, initially a 15-year-old high school sophomore who wants to improve her life and harbours feelings for both Paxton Hall Yoshida and Ben Gross. (She is based on the show's creator, Mindy Kaling).
- Poorna Jagannathan as Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar, a dermatologist and Devi's mother with whom she has a mixed relationship.
- Richa Moorjani as Kamala Nandiwadal, Devi's cousin. She is staying with Devi's family while completing her PhD at Caltech.
- Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida, a popular 16-year-old high school junior and Devi's crush, later love interest.
- Jaren Lewison as Benjamin (Ben) Gross, also a high school sophomore. Initially Devi's nemesis at school, he becomes a good friend for whom she has complicated feelings.
- John McEnroe as himself, the narrator of the series and Mohan's idol.
- Ramona Young as Eleanor Wong, one of Devi's best friends who has a passion for acting and struggles with the fact her mother is absent (season 2–present; recurring season 1).
- Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola Torres, one of Devi's best friends who is on the robotics team and struggles with her sexuality (season 2–present; recurring season 1).
- Megan Suri as Aneesa Qureshi, a new Indian student at Sherman Oaks and Devi's new acquaintance (season 2–present).
- Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohan Vishwakumar, Devi's deceased father
- Niecy Nash as Dr. Jamie Ryan, Devi's therapist.
- Eddie Liu as Steve, Kamala's boyfriend (season 1).
- Christina Kartchner as Eve Hjelm, Fabiola's love interest (seasons 1-2; guest season 3).
- Alexandra Billings as Jennifer Warner, the college counselor (seasons 1–2).
- Benjamin Norris as Trent Harrison, Paxton's friend, and later Eleanor's boyfriend.
- Dino Petrera as Jonah Sharpe, a boy who comes out as gay.
- Jae Suh Park as Joyce Wong, Eleanor's absentee mom who is a bumbling actress (season 1).
- Adam Shapiro as Mr. Lyle Shapiro, a history teacher.
- Cocoa Brown as Principal Grubbs.
- Martin Martinez as Oliver Martinez, Eleanor's boyfriend in season 1.
- Jack Seavor McDonald as Eric Perkins, an unpopular student and member of the robotics team.
- Lily D. Moore as Rebecca Hall-Yoshida, Paxton's sister who is interested in fashion design.
- Rushi Kota as Prashant, Kamala's ex-boyfriend who was a date for an arranged marriage.
- Hanna Stein as Shira Liedman, a popular, shallow student and Ben's girlfriend in season 1.
- Angela Kinsey as Vivian Gross, Ben's mother (season 1).
- Michael Badalucco as Howard Gross, Ben's father (seasons 1, 3).
- Donna Pieroni as Patty, Ben's housekeeper (season 1, 3).
- Dana G. Vaughns as Marcus Jones, Paxton's friend.
- Aitana Rinab as Zoe Maytag, Shira's friend.
- Tyler Alvarez as Malcolm Stone, a former Disney actor and an elementary school friend who transfers to Sherman Oaks (season 2).
- Utkarsh Ambudkar as Mr. Manish Kulkarni, an English teacher who is friends with Devi and also coaches the girls' soccer team.
- P. J. Byrne as Evan Safstrom, a head research assistant at Caltech (season 2).
- John Mawson as Dr. Elgin Peters, Nobel prize-winning scientist at Caltech (season 2).
- Common as Dr. Chris Jackson, a dermatologist who works with Nalini and has an interest for Nalini (season 2).
- Tohoru Masamune as Kevin Hall-Yoshida, Paxton's father (season 2, 3).
- Kelly Sullivan as June Hall-Yoshida, Paxton’s mother (season 2, 3).
- Ranjita Chakravarty as Nirmala Vishwakumar, Mohan's mother, Nalini's mother-in-law and Devi's paternal grandmother (season 2-present).
- Clyde Kusatsu as Ted Yoshida, Paxton's paternal grandfather (season 2).
- Helen Hong as Sharon Wong, Eleanor's stepmother (season 2).
- Sarayu Blue as Rhyah, Nalini's new Indian friend and mother to Des (season 3).
- Anirudh Pisharody as Nirdesh "Des", an Indian student who goes to an elite private school; Rhyah's son and briefly Devi's boyfriend (season 3).
- Markus Jorgensen as Boris Koslov, a Russian exchange student.
- Gilberto Ortiz as Alex Gomez, a young man interested in Fabiola.
- Chelly as Parvesh, Vishwakumar family friend.
- Peter James Smith as Mr. Chan, the orchestra teacher.
- Kikéy Castillo as Christina Harrison, Trent's mother.
- Atticus Shaffer as a young man who participates in model UN as Russia.
- Iqbal Theba as Aravind, Mohan's brother and Devi's Paternal Uncle.
- Mark Collier as Andy, Vishwakumars' neighbor.
- Adriyah Marie Young as Carley, Shira's friend.
- Andy Samberg as himself, the narrator for Ben Gross's thoughts in two episodes.
- Pragathi Guruprasad as Preethi's sister.
- Anjul Nigam as Raj, a pandit at the Ganesh Puja celebration.
- Gigi Hadid as herself, the narrator for Paxton Hall-Yoshida's thoughts in one episode.
- Pooja Kumar as Noor, Aneesa's mother.
- Andrew Tinpo Lee as Paul Wong, Eleanor's father.
- Sunit Gupta as Karthik, Nalini's father, and Devi's maternal grandfather.
- K.T. Thangavelu as Charu, Nalini's mother, and Devi's maternal grandmother.
- Deacon Philippe as Parker.
- Jeff Garlin as Len.
In an interview with The New York Times, Kaling said that Netflix was open to have a show "set in the ’80s or the ’90s, but I’d seen that done so well with shows like Fresh Off the Boat and Everybody Hates Chris. I really wanted to speak to kids now". The show's name, Never Have I Ever, was created by co-creator Lang Fisher, and Kaling said it was chosen because "[Devi's] ego is so caught up in the things she hasn’t done yet, hasn’t been exposed to yet. And that felt really kind of natural to her personality". Speaking to The Hindu, Kaling said the show was "definitely not based on my childhood but it is in the spirit of my childhood", adding "I was a shy nerd, but did not have the confidence Devi has".
In July 2019, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was reported to be cast as Devi after Mindy Kaling put out an open casting call and received over 15,000 responses. John McEnroe was offered the role of narrating the series after Kaling had approached him during an Oscar party hosted by Vanity Fair.
All the actors met at the first table read and no "chemistry reads" were done between characters.
Principal photography of season 1 began on July 14, 2019, with production wrapping up on October 31, 2019. Season 2 commenced on November 10, 2020, at the Universal Studios in Los Angeles and wrapped at the end of March 2021. Season 3 began filming on November 29, 2021, and wrapped on March 1, 2022. The fourth and final season wrapped filming in early August 2022.
|1||10||April 27, 2020|
|2||10||July 15, 2021|
|3||10||August 12, 2022|
Season 1 (2020)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"Pilot"||Tristram Shapeero||Mindy Kaling & Lang Fisher||April 27, 2020|
|After her father's death and being confined to a wheelchair for her freshman year, Devi becomes determined to have an exciting sophomore year. Devi also attends therapy to cope and deal with her feelings. She pleads with best friends, Eleanor and Fabiola, to get boyfriends too so that the group becomes cool, doing many things such as dressing revealingly to impress her target. However, when she discovers that Eleanor has a boyfriend, she has a breakdown, throws her math textbook out the window, and asks classmate Paxton, for whom she has a crush, if he would like to have sex with her, which he surprisingly accepts. Devi's cousin Kamala is told that her marriage is being arranged.|
|2||2||"... had sex with Paxton Hall-Yoshida"||Tristram Shapeero||Justin Noble||April 27, 2020|
|Devi refuses to talk about her father to her therapist, Dr. Ryan. While Eleanor and Fabiola think Devi is crazy when she mentions her plans to have sex with Paxton, Nalini decides to sell Mohan's motorcycle because she thinks it clutters the garage and the memory is painful. Meanwhile, Kamala feels conflicted about her arranged marriage and is coached by Nalini on what to say to her future in-laws. Devi leaves orchestra practice early to go to Paxton's house after triggering memories of the concert at which her father died; however, she leaves when she does not feel ready to have sex. Kamala meets with her secret boyfriend, Steve, and reluctantly breaks up with him due to her arranged marriage. After gaining a newfound confidence, Devi returns to Paxton's house to have sex but runs into his sister, Rebecca, and begins conversing. This irritates Paxton and he asks Devi to leave.|
|3||3||"... gotten drunk with the popular kids"||Linda Mendoza||Amina Munir||April 27, 2020|
|Paxton apologizes to Devi, saying he's overprotective of his sister, then decides things are now too weird to have sex with her. In her father's old garden, Devi sees a coyote who picks her father's tennis ball up, leading her to believe that it is her dad's reincarnation. In Facing History, Devi is delighted when Paxton asks her to join his group but learns that he did it to achieve good grades. Eleanor and Fabiola team up with Ben and Eve, the latter of whom Fabiola has a crush on. Fabiola breaks up with her boyfriend and realizes she is a lesbian. She tries to talk to Eve, but fails out of fright. Devi attends a party where she sees Paxton flirting with Zoe and gets drunk in response. Intoxicated, Devi sees a coyote outside and talks to it, believing it is her dad but gets attacked and scratched badly on her arm. Paxton takes her to the hospital. Later, he affirms their relationship's platonic nature and starts following her on social media. When Nalini discovers that Devi got drunk, she gets angry at her and Paxton for their irresponsibility and grounds Devi from leaving the house. Inspired by a Riverdale scene, Kamala reconciles with Steve.|
|4||4||"... felt super Indian"||Linda Mendoza||Mindy Kaling||April 27, 2020|
|At a Ganesh Puja celebration held at the high school, Devi's mother Nalini asks Devi to smooth-talk Ron, a college admissions advisor. Nalini also dreads talking with other Indian aunties because they take fake pity on her and endlessly brag. Devi talks to a friend, Harish, now at Stanford, and he tells her that she should embrace her Indian roots, not mock them like they both did before. Ron asks Devi to use her father's death and her temporary paralysis as a story to get into college to stand out, but she refuses. While at the festival, Kamala meets Jaya Kuyavar who is ostracized due to refusing her arranged marriage and instead marrying a Muslim-American man whom she later divorced. She encourages Kamala to go ahead with her marriage to avoid being shunned as well. Later, Paxton compliments Devi on her outfit, further proving they are friends now.|
|5||5||"... started a nuclear war"||Kabir Akhtar||Chris Schleicher & Akshara Sekar||April 27, 2020|
|Fabiola gathers her family members to come out, but changes her mind, not feeling ready. Eleanor tells the group that her mom got a job on a cruise as an actress but Paxton says that her mother, Joyce, served them in a restaurant. Fabiola accompanies her there, where they see Joyce. Shocked and hurt, Eleanor runs out. Afterward, Fabiola comes out to Eleanor, who supports her. Devi joins Model UN to escape Nalini's punishment and fuels the lie that she and Paxton are sleeping together; another girl on the bus overhears her and spreads the rumor. She and nemesis Ben join forces to get the members alcohol. The next day, Devi turns against him in UN for accidentally spreading the rumor to the other members, and gets them to stand alongside her. Paxton gets mad when he hears the rumor and stops interacting with Devi.|
|6||6||"... been the loneliest boy in the world"||Kabir Akhtar||Aaron Geary & Ben Steiner||April 27, 2020|
|Ben returns home from Model UN to his mother leaving for a self-realization resort. Initially planning to see a game court-side with his girlfriend Shira and father, both cancel on him, so Ben gives the tickets to his housekeeper for her sons. Feeling lonely, he meets with a friend from Reddit who has bonded with him about old Rick and Morty cartoons, but the person turns out to be a 50-year-old man. Ben sees Nalini about a pimple that has been growing, and after having a small breakdown from his loneliness, she invites him to dinner with her family. Initially upset with Ben coming over, Devi is pleasantly surprised when he does not expose her behavior at Model UN. Voiceover by Andy Samberg.|
|7||7||"... been a big, fat liar"||Anu Valia||Erica Oyama||April 27, 2020|
|Devi tries to reconcile with Eleanor and Fabiola, who now spend time with Jonah, another student struggling to come out. She visits Joyce at work and encourages her to talk to Eleanor. When Joyce does, the three reconcile but Devi feels that Eleanor and Fabiola are replacing her with Jonah. She holds a sleepover to bond and everything seems to be going okay. Joyce comes to the school and watches Eleanor rehearse, but leaves midway through to return to Broadway after realizing acting is her true passion. Distraught, Eleanor drops her colorful personality and quits the school play, and acting all together. Fabiola asks Devi to support Eleanor, but she goes to Paxton's house instead when he texts her to model for Rebecca.|
|8||8||"... pissed off everyone I know"||Anu Valia||Chris Schleicher||April 27, 2020|
|Eleanor and Fabiola decide to take a break from Devi, so she goes to see her therapist who tells her that all the drama that stems from grief over her father is impacting her social life. Devi consequently decides that she wants a new therapist after thinking Dr. Ryan isn't helping her. Ben throws a party for his birthday, but Devi is still grounded. She stays home, studying, but then walks in on Kamala with Steve. She blackmails Kamala into sneaking her to the party. A slightly drunk Ben and Devi converse, but he tries to kiss her, repulsing Devi. Upon learning that a classmate spiked the punch, Devi sees Fabiola about to drink it and attempts to warn her, but accidentally spills it over her. Fabiola argues with her in front of the crowd and accidentally comes out. Eve, who overheard, arranges a date with her. After Devi falls into the pool trying to cool down from the argument, Paxton drives her home and kisses her. When Devi gets home, she hallucinates about father.|
|9||9||"... had to be on my best behavior"||Tristram Shapeero||Matt Warburton||April 27, 2020|
|Kamala's potential husband meets with the family over lunch for the first time. Devi enters Kamala's room to place a present only to find that Steve is present, waiting to rescue Kamala from her arranged marriage. At Devi's behest, Kamala talks with Steve to sort things out. Nalini walks in on them and reveals that she knew about the two as a couple. Paxton arrives to return Devi's dress from the party and accidentally reveals that Devi secretly attended Ben's party and that she and Paxton kissed. Nalini, enraged, yells at Paxton for "ruining" Devi's life. Devi's uncle reveals that Nalini is planning on moving them both to India. Devi gets in a fight with Nalini and refuses to move.|
|10||10||"... said I'm sorry"||Tristram Shapeero||Lang Fisher||April 27, 2020|
|Paxton avoids Devi following the incident with Nalini. Devi moves in with Ben so that she cannot be moved to India. Nalini visits her on Mohan's birthday and asks her to spread her father's ashes with her, but she refuses, thinking it is a ploy to move her. Ben, concerned at her actions, urges Fabiola and Eleanor to help Devi and they reconcile their friendship. Devi is encouraged to go to Malibu, but she has no means of transportation, so Ben drives her. At the beach, Devi encounters John McEnroe who helps her find her family. Devi, Nalini, and Kamala spread Mohan's ashes and she agrees to move back in with them. Afterward, Devi finds Ben still waiting in his car to make sure she is okay; touched by his kindness, she kisses Ben and he reciprocates. Meanwhile, Paxton, at Rebecca's urging to reconcile with Devi, leaves her a message while waiting at her front door as Devi returns.|
Season 2 (2021)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|11||1||"... been a playa"||Kabir Akhtar||Mindy Kaling||July 15, 2021|
|Devi and Ben are interrupted by Nalini who berates her for making out with him. After returning home, Devi finds Paxton waiting outside her house and they agree to have a date at his house, leaving Devi indecisive about whether to date him or Ben. At Eleanor and Fabiola's behest she decides to break up with Ben but fails to do so and ends up dating him. However, she decides not to date Paxton after an awry first date. Despite this, she gets back together with him, meaning Devi is dating Ben and Paxton at the same time. Kamala is enthusiastic about working under Dr. Elgin Peters, a prominent cytologist but gets frustrated after having to deal with his sexist assistant, Evan. Whilst planning to move back to India, Nalini tries to sell her patient roster to Dr. Chris Jackson, a prominent but arrogant dermatologist who coldly rebuffs her.|
|12||2||"... thrown a rager"||Kabir Akhtar||Akshara Sekar||July 15, 2021|
|Devi decides dating two boys is fine because she is leaving for India in a month. She plans to throw a small, intimate party and invites only Paxton at first because of his fake ID, so he can bring alcohol. Eleanor accidentally invites Ben too, so Devi decides to now invite almost everyone in their school, in the hopes that the crowd will prevent her two boyfriends from running into each other. Eventually, Ben finds out that Devi is dating both of them, and tells Paxton. Paxton angrily leaves. When Devi follows him into the street, a distracted Paxton gets hit by a car. Nalini has an eye-opening trip to India where she finds out she will not be supported by her parents if she makes the move, which was her primary reason for wanting to go back. After talking it over with her mother-in-law, Nalini decides against moving to India, meaning Devi has to face both Paxton and Ben at school.|
|13||3||"... opened a textbook"||Kim Nguyen||Erica Oyama||July 15, 2021|
|After the chaotic party, both Paxton and Ben avoid Devi. Paxton now has a broken arm from the car accident, preventing him from being able to swim, which effectively ends his chances of getting into college with a swimming scholarship. Paxton soon learns he must bring up his grades substantially to get into college at all. For revenge, he makes Devi do all of his homework, blaming her for his broken arm. Paxton's sister and a visit to his grandfather convince him to stop acting coldly towards Devi, leading to him reconciling with her. Devi then tutors him, and Paxton gets a "B" on an exam soon after. Voiceover by Gigi Hadid.|
|14||4||"... had an Indian frenemy"||Lena Khan||Amina Munir||July 15, 2021|
|Devi finds herself resenting the new Indian girl at school, Aneesa, but later, they have a sleepover, and Devi and Aneesa get acquainted. They sneak out in the night where they meet up with a few boys including Ben and Malcolm, Eleanor's crush. Devi gets a nose ring on a dare by Ben, who gets a tattoo, only later revealing that it isn't real, in revenge. The next morning when Nalini discovers Devi's nose ring, Aneesa covers for her. Kamala struggles to be respected and be treated as an equal at her research lab.|
|15||5||"... ruined someone's life"||Maggie Carey||Aaron Geary & Ben Steiner||July 15, 2021|
|During a 24 hour relay, to boost her PE grade back to an A, Devi realizes Ben and Aneesa will be together the entire time. Paranoid, she constantly tries to separate them by forcing the other to run the relay lap. After she sees them going into Trent's tent assuming they will have sex, Devi complains to some of the popular girls that she thinks Aneesa could be anorexic. Later, she sees a distraught Aneesa and finds out that she indeed does have anorexia, and that she transferred to Sherman Oaks High School because of being humiliated for it. Devi leaves the relay feeling guilty about her actions. Fabiola finds out that her mother and Eve will be at the same relay so she tries to distance them from each other, fearing that her mother will be weird to Eve. However, after Fabiola introduces them to each other, her mother and Eve actually get along. Relating that Fabiola's father and herself were Cricket King & Queen at the school's winter dance, Fabiola's mother suggests that Eve and Fabiola run for Cricket Queen & Queen.|
|16||6||"... betrayed a friend"||Lena Khan & Anu Valia||Marina Cockenberg & Vance Stringer||July 15, 2021|
|Aneesa reports the rumor to the principal, after which she and Devi are enlisted to investigate who spread the rumor. Devi frames Zoe and Shira for spreading the rumor, but later confesses out of guilt and consequently gets suspended from school for one week. The fake search caused Devi to miss a lunchtime appointment to tutor Paxton, leading to Paxton angrily blaming Devi when he fails his test. Enraged over being suspended, Devi tells him that he just needs to be a better student. After Evan tells Kamala and the research team that they will be published in an upcoming article, Kamala later sees that the draft of the article credits everyone except for her, even though she made the key discovery that is the basis for the article. She uses a mentorship meeting with Evan's superior to complain, but the professor seems indifferent. At a retirement party for her mentor, Dr. Morales, Nalini bonds with Chris. Fabiola and Eve register to run for Cricket Queen & Queen.|
|17||7||"... begged for forgiveness"||Lena Khan||Dave King||July 15, 2021|
|During her suspension, Nalini grounds Devi and forces her to help Nirmala in her chores. Ben later visits Devi's house and tells her that Aneesa will transfer to another school. He implores Devi to apologize to Aneesa to prevent her from leaving. Unsure of how to apologize, Devi enlists Eleanor and Fabiola to help her, but the over-the-top apology causes Aneesa to reject it, and does not change her mind about leaving. Devi eventually returns to school a second time and delivers a more sincere apology to Aneesa, but finds out that Aneesa's mother insists on transferring her. After Devi begs Nalini to speak with Aneesa's mother, they convince her to keep Aneesa at school. Meanwhile, Prashant suggests that Kamala get over being snubbed on her team's research article, saying that making waves could hurt her more. Later, using advice she received from Devi and Setseg, a fellow scientist, Kamala puts her name on the article and stands up to Evan. Elsewhere, after praising Chris for his parenting advice, Nalini shares a kiss with him.|
|18||8||"... been Daisy Buchanan"||Claire Scanlon||Asmita Paranjare & Christina Hjelm||July 15, 2021|
|After Manish has his class prepare for a mock trial on whether or not Daisy Buchanan was responsible for the murder of Jay Gatsby, Devi teams up with Ben and Aneesa to take the side of proving Daisy's innocence. However, Ben and Aneesa's constant flirting tests Devi's vow to handle her emotions maturely. After seeking advice from Manish, Devi manages to bear Ben and Aneesa flirting. During the trial, Aneesa messes up due to not being prepared, causing her team to lose. Ben gets angry, as he's not used to losing academic competitions. Meanwhile, Fabiola sees texts that suggest Malcolm is cheating on Eleanor, and shares this with Devi. The two stage an intervention for Eleanor. However, Eleanor gets back with Malcolm after Malcolm makes an excuse, and she scorns her friends. Later, after taking a car ride from Paxton, Devi finds her mother making out with Chris in his car.|
|19||9||"... stalked my own mother"||Claire Scanlon||Chris Schleicher||July 15, 2021|
|Devi unsuccessfully prods Nalini, attempting to learn about her relationship with Chris. That night, Devi takes Kamala to his house to spy on Nalini and Chris but gets caught. Nirmala later slaps Devi and tells her that it is her mom's decision but later helps the two reconcile. Afterwards, Devi comes to terms with her feelings and Dr. Ryan diagnoses with psychosomatic weakness. Meanwhile, Malcolm breaks up with Eleanor, who consequently vows to spend time with people who care about her and bonds with Sharon and her dad, later reconciling with Devi and Fabiola per Sharon's advice. Paxton, taking Devi's advice about not relying on her for good grades, brings his grandfather to explain his experiences in Japanese internment camps, for his extra credit assignment in Facing History. That night, he sneaks into Devi's room to make out with her, only to call her "pal" in the school hallways the next day. Nalini visits Chris and says it's probably best that they don't pursue a relationship right now. Fabiola returns to the robotics team after missing several meetings to attend events with Eve, and Eric informs her she is no longer team captain.|
|20||10||"... been a perfect girl"||Lang Fisher||Lang Fisher||July 15, 2021|
|Devi asks Paxton to the winter dance but gets rejected. When she has an emotional breakdown, Ben, who saw Paxton's rejection, consoles Devi. With his, Fabiola's and Eleanor's encouragement, Devi breaks up with Paxton. At the winter dance, Eve asks where Fabiola is. Devi and Eleanor find her having an emotional meltdown. Devi, Eleanor and Jonah convince Fabiola that she can embrace her lesbian identity without assimilating to others' standards. Soon after, Eve and Fabiola are crowned as the school's first Cricket Queen & Queen. As they dance, Fabiola tells Eve she loves her, which Eve reciprocates. After Trent asks Eleanor to dance, a lonely Devi decides to leave, but Paxton appears and tells Devi he's there as her boyfriend. They reconcile and dance in front of an astonished crowd. Ben becomes dejected seeing this, after which Eleanor apologizes for pressuring Devi into choosing Paxton. Anticipating Prashant's proposal, which she isn't ready for, Kamala flees dinner with her family and future in-laws to sing karaoke with Manish.|
Season 3 (2022)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|21||1||"...been slut-shamed"||Maggie Carey||Mindy Kaling||August 12, 2022|
|Devi and Paxton have now become an official couple much to the school's shock. However, after being slut-shamed in the girl's bathroom and given advice by Dr. Ryan, Devi realizes that being in a relationship will not solve all her problems. After a confrontation with Zoe, she realizes that Paxton might not stay in a relationship with her if she doesn't have sex with him. After a conversation with Kamala, she realizes she is not ready to lose her virginity and Paxton supports her as well. After Kamala's departure from Prashant's engagement dinner, the latter decides it is best for them to break up, much to Devi's grandmother's dismay. Fabiola realizes that a long-distance relationship with Eve is taking a toll on her grades, and decides to break up with her.|
|22||2||"...had my own troll"||Maggie Carey||Marina Cockenberg||August 12, 2022|
|Devi discovers that she has a troll who warns her about Paxton's intentions. After research, she realizes her troll is Haley, one of Paxton's exes who's in the orchestra club with Devi. Devi convinces Paxton to make peace with the girls he was involved with in the past, including Haley. Aneesa, realizing that Ben may have underlying feelings for Devi, impulsively kisses Fabiola after a game of soccer. Nirmala hosts a party to find a new fiancé for Kamala. During the party, Nalini makes acquaintances with a nutritionist named Rhyah while Kamala decides to date Manish, to Nirmala's disappointment.|
|23||3||"...had a valentine"||Smriti Mundhra||Asmita Paranjape||August 12, 2022|
|On Valentine's Day, a compatibility test reveals that Devi is compatible with Eric while Paxton is compatible with Haley, engendering Devi's jealousy towards Haley. Later, Devi and Eleanor have dates with Paxton and Trent respectively for Valentine's Day, but their perception of their boyfriends is damaged. Due to her growing paranoia about the compatibility test, Paxton breaks up with Devi, saying he can't date a girl that doesn't love herself. Eleanor and Trent repair their relationship after revealing their insecurities to each other. Aneesa breaks up with Ben after deeming him to be too condescending and suspecting he's still hung up on Devi. She then apologizes to Fabiola for kissing her. Kamala struggles to gain Nirmala's acceptance of her relationship with Manish. Nalini and Rhyah become friends after spending time together after Valentine's Day.|
|24||4||"...made someone jealous"||Smriti Mundhra||Akshara Sekar||August 12, 2022|
|Seven months after breaking up with Devi, Paxton has a new girlfriend named Phoebe, which upsets Devi because she does not have a new boyfriend. Trent asks Eleanor and Paxton to throw a birthday party for him and invite the entire school, but Devi declines an invite because of her family's Navaratri celebration. Kamala secretly invites Manish to the household’s holiday festivities, much to Nirmala's annoyance. After Nalini learns from Rhyah that her son, Nirdesh ("Des"), does not have any friends, she asks Devi to accompany him to Trent's party. Devi expects him to be a nerd, but finds herself attracted to him after they meet. Devi and Des dance, catching Paxton's eye. At the party, Fabiola scolds Ben for being so condescending about his intelligence. She challenges him to a knowledge drinking game, where she is able to beat him.|
|25||5||"...been ghosted"||Kabir Akhtar||Gabe Liedman||August 12, 2022|
|Several weeks after Trent's party, Des ghosts Devi. Believing that her flirting skills are rusty, Devi attends a charity event hosted by the school's drama club, hoping to improve. At the event, she eventually kisses a student named Alejandro who wows everyone with his guitar playing. While volunteering at the event, Fabiola receives relationship advice from Paxton. Having learned that Nirmala will never respect her choice to date whom she wants, Kamala moves into her own apartment. It turns out to be a building primarily made up of child actors and their parents, but she decides to stay after learning that she cannot get her deposit back, and after receiving encouragement from Nalini to stay. After the charity event, Aneesa asks Fabiola out on a date.|
|26||6||"...had a breakdown"||Kabir Akhtar||Amina Munir||August 12, 2022|
Hoping to attend Columbia University to impress his father, Ben ignores advice from Patty and Principal Grubbs about not working too hard. However, after Ben experiences abdominal pain, Paxton takes him to a hospital where Ben receives an emergency surgery for fecal impaction. During his hospitalization, Ben helps Paxton on his college essay about how he looks after his adopted sister. The quality of the essay impresses Principal Grubbs. After the experience, Ben takes the advice given and decides not to overwork while improving his relationship with his father, who tells him that he is proud of him. Ben even decides not to stress over Devi, giving her good advice about approaching Des for a date. Des ultimately tells Devi he didn't text her because he could see she was interested in Paxton. Devi assures him she and Paxton are over, and the two agree to a date.Voiceover by Andy Samberg.
|27||7||"...cheated"||Kim Nguyen||Aaron Geary & Ben Steiner||August 12, 2022|
|Nirmala tells Kamala that she disapproves of Kamala's relationship because she fears Manish's potential irresponsibility. Desperate for her team to win a debate against Des' elite private school, Devi disposes of Des' binder during a fire drill. Having seen Devi acting suspicious, Manish makes her team switch from the pro side to the con side. Devi ends up helping Sherman Oaks win the competition anyway. However, Manish still scolds her for cheating. He decides not to tell Principal Grubbs and instead bring the matter to Devi's family, an act that gains him Nirmala's admiration. Using Trent's and Paxton's help, Eleanor records a video in which she recites Jennifer Lopez's monologue from Hustlers to send to talent agents. Paxton finds his relationship with the shallow Phoebe to be boring and breaks up with her. Meanwhile, Fabiola and Aneesa struggle to make the transition from being friends to being a couple.|
|28||8||"...hooked up with my boyfriend"||Kim Nguyen||Christina Hjelm & Beth Appel||August 12, 2022|
|Devi sends Nalini, Kamala and Nirmala away to watch Shen Yun so she can host a game night between her and Des' friends to bond with him. However, Devi finds Des' intoxicated friend Parker, damaging her father's favorite tennis racket in the garage and Des leaves after finding Paxton consoling Devi in her bedroom, believing she is cheating on him. After the game night, Fabiola and Aneesa mutually break up after noticing the former's attraction towards Des' friend Addison and still remain as friends. Using Dr. Ryan's advice, Devi's repairs the tennis racket and searches for a place to hang it in honor of her father. She later reconciles with Des and they begin making out in his bedroom, but Rhyah walks in on them. In art class, Ben struggles to draw a pear but improves after being tutored by a peer named Margot.|
|29||9||"...had an Indian boyfriend"||Erica Oyama||Erica Oyama||August 12, 2022|
|Rhyah, Nalini, Des and Devi have an open conversation about Des and Devi's relationship. To everyone's surprise, Nalini allows Devi and Des to date as she considers him to be from a "respectable family". However, after seeing Devi have an anxiety attack at the orchestra show because she hallucinated seeing her father there, Rhyah orders Des to break up with Devi, calling Devi "crazy". Nalini later finds out about this and terminates her friendship with Rhyah. A dismayed Trent believes that his relationship with Paxton will end to due the latter's acceptance at Arizona State University, but realizes with Eleanor's help that Paxton will always be his friend. Fabiola begins dating Addison.|
|30||10||"...lived the dream"||Lang Fisher||Lang Fisher||August 12, 2022|
|Devi is accepted into Shrubland, a school for competitive students who are "academically gifted." Nalini and Devi initially agree to not send Devi to Shrubland. On Kamala’s advice and after remembering why Mohan wanted to come to America, that is to give the best education to Devi, Nalini decides to visit Shrubland. After an initial hesitation, Devi flies to Colorado with Nalini to visit the school, and decides she wants to go. Disheartened, Ben attempts to persuade her not to go, which Devi initially misinterprets as jealousy. She talks with Ben about her inability to keep a boyfriend, after which Ben half-jokingly gives her a pass for "one free boink". Eleanor discovers at the senior graduation ceremony that Trent will be repeating his senior year, much to her excitement. During the ceremony, Paxton makes a speech in which he recognizes Devi's help in getting him into college. Devi realizes that she doesn't need to travel to fit in, as she already fits in at Sherman Oaks and was not ready to leave her mother yet and decides to stay with her mother. After a emotional conversation with her mother, they both agree that Devi doesn't have to attend Shrubland. Devi learns that Fabiola had sex with Addison, making Devi the only virgin among her friend group. She visits Ben, hands him the pass he gave her, and the two begin to kiss as the bedroom door closes behind them.|
|Title||Directed by||Written by ||Original release date |
|35||5||TBA||TBD||Christina Hjelm & Carley Whitt||2023|
|39||9||TBA||TBD||Aaron Geary & Ben Steiner||2023|
|40||10||TBA||TBD||Mindy Kaling & Lang Fisher||2023|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 95% based on 61 reviews, with an average rating of 7.80/10; the second season holds a 94% based on 35 reviews and an average rating of 8.30/10; and the third season has a rating of 91% and an average rating of 8.50/10 based on 22 reviews. The website's critical consensus for the first season reads, "Never Have I Ever's fresh take on the coming-of-age comedy is hilariously honest, sweetly smart, and likely to have viewers falling head over heels for charming newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan" while the website's critical consensus for the second season reads, "Though Never Have I Ever's sophomore season at times suffers from tonal commitment issues, nuanced writing and an utterly charming cast make it easy to forgive and enjoy." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100 based on 32 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Rohan Naahar from The Hindustan Times described the show as "something like Fresh Off the Boat, but it does a much better job at balancing the comedy and the drama", along with praising how Devi, Nalini, and Kamala were "written with depth". Naahar also praised how Devi's "repulsive [behavior] makes her a real person". Petrana Radulovic from Polygon stated that it was "easy to invest in [the] characters because they feel like real teenagers with real specificities", also praising the series for "highlighting little details in the Indian-American, first-generation immigrant, and Gen-Z high-school experiences", along with praising the "specific humor, which then fold into the plot and turn from just funny bits into meaningful commentary". In contrast to most other critics, Pallabi Dey Purkayastha from The Times Of India described the show as going "overboard with stereotyping", mentioning "clichés circling the Indian diaspora that would have held some relevance if this were the 80s or 90s", although still rating the series 3.5 out of 5 stars and describing John McEnroe's narration as "hilarious".
Reviewing the second season, Nahaar from The Hindustan Times described the show as being "clearly the creation of someone who is separated by a palpable generational distance from their culture. But then again, this conflict is what Devi, and perhaps Kaling herself, are hounded by". Joshua Rivera from Polygon described the second season as "continuing to nail a tricky balance between heartfelt realism and Disney Channel absurdism". Divya Kala Bhanavi, writing for The Hindu, said the season "forces us to look at ourselves and acknowledge how much, during our teens, we were more problematic than we like to admit", along with praising how the season "tells the story of different shades of brown feminism across generations. Nalini’s notions of what she must do for her family clash with that of her mother’s, while Devi’s beliefs in expressing her independence varies to those of Kamala". Candice Frederick from TV Guide felt it was "increasingly clear" that the narrator John McEnroe was "merely reciting lines with little authenticity". Inkoo Kang from The Washington Post felt the season was "crowded with characters", with conflicts that made it feel "bloated and weighed down".
Reviewing the third season, Meera Navlakha from Mashable criticized it for the "sheer number of relationships examined", stating that it meant some were "given less brevity and depth" and that plotlines were "often discarded too quickly". However, Navlakha also praised the season for "the idea of "being Indian" [being] explored in a nuanced storyline" and for "some fantastic one-liners and scenarios that blend culture in a way that's rarely seen on screen", along with noting a "thematic shift in the series, focusing more on identity, self-esteem, and change". Sonikka Loganathan from The Hindu praised Devi's character development, while adding that there were "arguably too many subplots afoot".
Some critics have described the depiction of the Jewish character Ben Gross as being anti-Semitic. Meena Venkataramanan from Harvard Political Review wrote, "The show’s anti-Semitism is exacerbated by [Devi's] academic rival's characterization as a Jewish caricature and the jokes his religion and wealth generate at his expense". Mira Fox from The Forward says "[Ben Gross is] a wildly rich nerdy suck-up, with an absent, workaholic Hollywood lawyer for a dad and negligent Jewish-Buddhist type for a mom. He falsely cries anti-Semitism when his classmates reject his (objectively terrible) idea for a class project. And he’s dating a painfully stereotypical Jewish American Princess named Shira, who he doesn’t even like, in order to raise his own social clout; Shira, he tells Devi, is dating him for his money." By contrast, most of the supporting characters, such as Fabiola or Paxton, have been written to defy their ethnic stereotypes.
Evan Greenberg, writing for the feminist Jewish culture site Hey Alma, lodged similar complaints about Gross's character being "rooted in lazy stereotypes". Greenberg highlights Kaling's response to possible jokes being sensitive in an NPR interview, "...because I think the lead is what people would call, like, a marginalized person, like a young Indian American girl, I think we’re able to get away with stuff because of a certain powerlessness that that demographic has in society [laughter], honestly," as problematic for a "young, impressionable audience."
In contrast, writer for Jewish parenting site Kveller, Lior Zaltman, praised the show, saying that Gross's character, set up as a typical high-achieving assimilated Jew, breaks into surprising depth and compares Devi's assimilation struggle between her cultural heritage and wanting to be a "cool American teen" to being raised Jewish in a secularized American education.
At their Q2 report meeting in July 2020, Netflix reported the series had been viewed by 40 million households globally since its release.
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