‘Never Have I Ever’ Netflix series is mediocre

Stellar plot, subpar acting builds three-star show


Fair use from Netflix. "Never Have I Ever" character Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) interacts with friends Jonah Sharpe (Dino Petrera), Eleanor Wong (Ramona Young) and Fabiola Torres (Lee Reodriquez). The Netflix series was created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher.

Noah Orloff

As I was missing the noisy halls of high school and the feeling of a real classroom, watching “Never Have I Ever” provided a reminder of the high school experience.
Season one of Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever” details the journey of sophomore Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), who is overcoming the trauma of her father’s death. The intricate plot stretches far beyond grief, including love, sexual orientation, discrimination, friendship, culture, popularity and rivalry. Devi’s parents moved from India to Los Angeles before she was born, so she provides an insight into what her experience as the child of immigrants is like. As a student, Devi is high-achieving and has academic competition with Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison), a wealthy and equally ambitious student who struggles with not having caring parents. She also is interested in a potential relationship with junior Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), a popular student. Additionally, the show examines Devi’s evolving friendship with Eleanor Wong (Ramona Young) and Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez).
There were multiple moments where strong comedy was displayed in the series. For example, Trent Harrison (Benjamin Norris) was a funny depiction of a cliché high schooler. Although most of the jokes were well done, the acting was mediocre. There were instances where I thought Devi was going to start laughing in the middle of the show, instead of staying in character.
It was a nice change of pace to have a storyline centered around a first-generation American. All of the themes I mentioned above are seen within Park, making them relatable for many. The plot also had a couple interesting twists, many of which surround Devi’s own confusion as a teenager who is going through the ups and downs of high school. In addition, were a few moments that were really meaningful regarding Devi’s father. “Never Have I Ever” was a little all over the place, as those scenes were paired with times of laughter.
In the end, I really loved the overall idea of the ten episode series, but the execution could have been better.

“Never Have I Ever:” ★★★☆☆