‘Never Have I Ever’ review: Teen cast shines in stereotype-breaking Netflix comedy series

Anusheh Asif
  • Indian American teenager Devi deals with many issues in this coming-of-age tale
  • Caught in a tricky love triangle, who should she choose: Ben or Paxton?
Anusheh Asif |

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'Never Have I Ever' is a binge-worthy watch on Netflix.

Finding a decent show with an original plot can be difficult, but Netflix’ Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age drama that fits the bill. It follows Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), an Indian American student dealing with regular teen issues, as well as a tragic loss.

The show starts on the first day of term with Devi asking God for a few wishes. She wants to be invited to a “grown-up” party and most importantly she wants a boyfriend.

Devi is dealing with many conflicts: accepting her father’s death a year ago, recognising her Indian identity, choosing between her friends and love, and an ever-worsening relationship with her controlling mother.

Devi definitely ties the show together. She is incredibly smart, but very rebellious. She defies the typical Indian stereotype by ignoring her mother’s expectations and creating her own future. Another highlight is Devi’s classmate Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). His acting is impeccable and his story really entertaining.

The show has disappointing moments. The plot isn’t mind-blowing, and focuses too much on typical high school love. It would have been nice for there to have been more originality in the other characters, particularly Paxton, who is a typical rude jock.

Fortunately, on balance the show is binge-worthy and utterly enjoyable, and gives you more of an insight into Indian culture.