Review: Never Have I Ever, season 2

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever, season 2, was better than season 1, in my opinion. This coming of age tale from Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher took the high school kids we got to know before and ran them through some funny but enlightening experiences. The series is streaming on Netflix.

Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is the main character in Never Have I Ever. Around her are family, friends, boyfriends, teachers, a therapist, and several others. This array of characters bring different perspectives to the many themes such as grief, anger, love, betrayal, friendship, dating, sticking up for yourself, learning to apologize, the immigrant experience, and more.

Ramona Young, Lee Rodriguez, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in Never Have I ever

Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) are still Devi’s best friends. The friends try to help each other through their mistakes. Devi screws things up with such frequency that it takes a lot of work for her to right her wrongs. Grieving for her father keeps her entire life off balance.

Devi has two (TWO) (2) (1+1) guys interested in her! The school hunk Paxton (Darren Barnet) and her old nemesis Ben (Jaren Lewison). For a while she tries dating both of them. A disaster in the making.

Christina Kartchner and Lee Rodriguez in Never Have I Ever

Fabiola is dating Eve (Christina Kartchner) again this season. Learning to be a part of the lesbian community at her school is almost harder than being in the closet. Fabiola knows lots about robots but nothing about The L Word or Carol.

Eleanor meets Malcolm (Tyler Alvarez), a Disney channel actor who transfers to their school. Eleanor is a theater nerd. She’s starstruck and they start dating. Both Faviola and Eleanor learn a lot from their dating experiences in season 2.

Another new student is important in season 2. Aneesa (Megan Suri) transfers in. She’s also South Asian. At first Devi is jealous of her, then she realizes that Aneesa has all the same issues as a first-generation Indian American that Devi has. They get each other. But Devi still manages to mess up the new friendship.

Devi’s mom, Nilini (Poorna Jagannathan), has her growth experience with a colleague, Dr. Jackson (Common). Devi’s cousin, Kamala (Richa Moorjani), learns and grows as she moves into a professional role. Devi’s grandmother comes from India and lives with them.

All these women and teen girls struggle with the same questions – who they are, what they want from life, and how to demand the respect they deserve. The entire plotline of the series is an ode to feminism.

John McEnroe once again does voice over narration for most episodes. McEnroe actually gets some of the best lines.

Overall this series has a lot going for it. An inclusive cast, a clever storyline, and a sense of reality about life’s problems. It manages to be full of light and fun on top of that.

This series reminds me in many ways of One Day at a Time (the 2017 version developed by Gloria Calderón Kellett). Three generations of a newly immigrated family who don’t always speak English at home. They retain strong cultural values, traditions, and food preferences. The professional mom in the sandwich generation supports the whole family. Both series touch on powerful and important topics and do it in a way that makes a point with humor.

Poster for season 2 of Never Have I Ever
Paxton broke his arm in season 2. Does that explain where his foot went?

Here’s the trailer.

Did you see season 1 of Never Have I Ever? Are you planning to catch season 2?

Author: Virginia DeBolt

After many years as an educator and writer, Virginia retired from working life. She's always loved a good movie or TV show and wants to use her free time to talk about them with you now. She's Old Ain't Dead!

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