Two Bwoggers, Aditi Misra and Eliza Staples, unpack why Never Have I Ever should be your next quarantine binge.
Never have I ever… felt more represented in mainstream television.
As someone who often struggles with the dilemma of being “too Indian” or “not Indian enough,” I found that Mindy Kaling painted a very accurate portrayal of the struggle for South Asians to fit in. There are so many details in the show that feel as if they were pulled out of my own life, and I have never felt this way while watching anything; it’s a fantastic feeling to have. I’ve seen a lot of criticism regarding the cheesiness of the storyline, but it’s personally one of my favorite aspects of the show. It’s a classic coming-of-age story, except with minorities as the stars. Until this point, I’ve always watched shows that show white teenagers struggling with crushes or high school drama and now I can turn on Netflix and watch a funny (albeit, sometimes cringey) representation of someone like me going through what I went through. On the same train of thought, I have been reading a lot of criticism of the actual representation in the show. While it’s not possible to write one series that accurately depicts the experience of every South Asian-American person, I think Kaling did a great job in displaying at least some of them, which is more progress than we had before this show was released.
Overall, I think this is the perfect quarantine binge. I finished this show in a day, and immediately became attached to the stories and characters. Tears were shed and laughter was shared! And did I accidentally fall in love with Ben Gross? Yes, but that’s neither here nor there.
Never have I ever…seen teen love represented so accurately.
I am so sick of teenagers flawlessly flirting with each other! Never Have I Ever shows what teenage love is really like: awkward, embarrassing, and intense. Devi wants to have sex, but she struggles to know if she’s mature enough for it: she reads One Direction fanfiction in the same episode where she attempts to seduce her classmate, Paxton. Teenagers often have learned everything they know about romance from Wattpad, and this show acknowledges this. These characters don’t know shit! Truly heart-warming.
The show doesn’t just show the clumsiness of straight teen romances. Devi’s best friend, Fabiola, is incredibly awkward around Eve, the girl she likes. The Fabiola-Eve scenes at first made me cringe with their awkwardness (and relatability…been there, Fab) but I loved watching them. It made me feel 16 again. Not to be soft, but I did cry a little bit. Where was this show when I was 16? Fab and Eve reminded me so much of being lonely in high school and realizing that for the first time, there’s someone that you like, but you’re too awkward to know what to do about it.
If you’re gonna be stuck at home in quarantine, feeling like you’re in high school again, possibly pining at a distance for someone, lean into that feeling and watch this show.
Never Have I Ever is available on Netflix streaming. We are not being paid to endorse this show, but @MindyKaling, hit us up for a sponsorship deal.
How we watched Never Have I Ever via Pikrepo