Never Have I Ever Season 2 Review: An Intelligent Netflix Teen Comedy
Never Have I Ever is essentially a coming-of-age drama TV series that is infused with comedy. Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher have created the show and stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in the lead role. Much of the humor in the series has been inspired by Mindy’s own childhood experiences in Boston.
The first season of the TV series released on Netflix on April 27, 2000. It received great reviews for breaking several Asian stereotypes in western culture. Owing to the success of the first season of the series, Netflix announced its renewal. The second season released on July 15, 2021.
The story of the Never Have I Ever TV series revolves around a first-generation Indian American teen girl who lives in California and finds it difficult to navigate the experiences of teenage and school life.
The second season of Never Have I Ever is, in many ways, more nuanced, wittier, and more interesting than the previous season. In short, season two of the series is better than its predecessor. It seems that until the release of season 2, the series was not sure about its unique voice and style.
After the release of the second season, the series seems to have found what it wants to be. The series is similar to The Office and Parks and Recreation in the sense that the later seasons of all of these shows were significantly better than their first seasons.
An Uplifting Portrayal Of The Different Shades Of Brown Feminism
What impressed most people in the first season was Devi’s fascinating personality. For example, Devi was as eager to get straight A’s on her mark sheet as she was devoted to trying to experience her first sexual encounter. The first season of the series showcased how she deals with an overprotective mother and the grief of recently losing her father.
In addition to these things, as if these were not enough problems to deal with, she also had to deal with the American high school experience. All these elements, which made the first season a success, are also present in the second season of Never Have I Ever.
In addition to all the above-mentioned elements, that made the series endearing to most people in the first place, the second season of the series also involves some fresh elements. Some of these new elements are Devi’s navigation of dating shenanigans and curfew, and the introduction of a new character in the series.
The new character is the grandmother of Devi who flew to California from Chennai to live with Devi’s family. The Plot of the series may sometimes feel slightly predictive, but the series more than compensate for it by its intelligent and witty dialogues.
Never Have I Ever Deserves to Run and Run For Many Seasons
In addition to having intelligent and witty dialogue, the series also infused with many pop culture references. Mindy Kaling is famous for heavily using pop culture references in her works. Owing to the heavy use of pop culture references, the series can be served as a crash course in American pop culture.
Besides the liberal use of pop culture references, the series also infused with the trademark humor of Mindy Kaling. Some of the references used in the series are from K-Pop, Beyonce, Ferrero Rochers, Harry Styles, Jodie Foster, the Kardashians, LeBron James.
There is a very funny scene in the second season where Aneesa, a fellow Indian-American student classmate, describes that Devi’s choice of piercing her nose is her way of decolonizing her nose. The scene also helps to break the stereotypical view of female beauty in western culture. The story of the series is loosely based on Kaling’s own teenage experience of growing in Boston. And perhaps this explains why Kaling was able to write the show with so much nuance and emotion.
The second season of Never Have I Ever is overall a great watch. No show is perfect though. Major problems with the show includes its use of a pronounced Indian accent in an attempt to make it look authentic. Or perhaps more appropriately, sound authentic. It made some dialogues sound jarring, and thus diminished the quality of a beautiful show.
The performance of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi was brilliant. The series guarantees to refresh the memories of your high school days. The series also manages to raise awareness regarding several important teenage issues such as teenage anxiety and depression.