Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever,” starring newcomer Meitreyi Ramakrishnan as a high school sophomore looking to reinvent herself after her father’s death. The show, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, is heavily influenced by Kaling’s own life.
Over the course of ten episodes, “Never Have I Ever” follows a cast of mainly high-school characters tackling real-life issues in a refreshing way. The struggles of grief, coming out, applying to college, healing, unrequited love, single parenthood, and familial ties are all delicately and fairly covered in this show.
The cheesy high-school-drama moments are incredibly cheesy, but almost make you nostalgic for the good ole days, when competing with your academic enemy was the sole driver of your motivation.
“Never Have I Ever” dropped at the end of April and provides a simple distraction from the craziness of the world right now. It is an easily bingeable show lacking depth in many ways, from the shallow actions of the main character to the complicated half-lives of the supporting characters.
Many things are unique to this show, the characters are diverse and real, unlike almost any other high-school-based sitcom.
The real star of this show is Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini Vishwakumar, the mother of the main character. Jagannathan plays Nalini with such weight and reality that I felt she deserved to be the star of this show – there’s too many high school dramas out there already anyway.
Jagannathan’s portrayal of a grieving widow doing her best to raise her daughter is incredibly moving; she is funny with a fantastic sense of humor, an intelligent dermatologist running her own practice, and easily the best character from the show.
Overall, If you can get past the overwhelming selfishness of Ramakrishnan’s Devi Vishwakumar episode after episode, it’s worth watching.