Never have I ever… been more intrigued

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photo by Netflix

In never have I ever, a notorious party game, each participant holds up five fingers and puts them down if they relate to a phrase that the speaker claims to have “never done”. Although lots of Netflix Original shows have been tailored to their audience, their new show “Never Have I Ever” is the first that would make someone put their finger down as a to show it was the first Netflix show that could pass as relatable.
The show arrived on Netflix April 27 as a comedy with ten episodes. Narrated by John McEnroe it focuses on the tragedies of a sophomore girl in high school as she tried to overcome the passing of her father during her freshman year orchestra concert.
Played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the main character Devi Vishwakumar is a first-generation American Indian. However as with many other teenagers, Devi is trying her hardest to be cool this year and to her, her cultural heritage does not fit into her idealized lifestyles.
After her father’s death that was followed by even more trauma in her freshman year, Devi struggles to overcome the embarrassment and grief she experienced.
What makes this show so interesting is the way the main character is normalized. The way Devi deals with her father’s death is unique. But somehow, she still manages to relate to other teenagers her age. The drive to be popular and get the hottest guy in school are not new themes, however, the way this show goes about it makes this out-of-reach high school dream realistic.
Although Devi is the focus of the show, everyone has their own unique challenges. Even if Devi is not relatable to her audience, it is not hard to find someone else who is.
Each character is given a background as the audience gets to experience part of their home lives outside of Devi. This is especially the case with Ben Gross, played by Jaren Lewison, Devi’s educational adversary, who gets his own episode narrated by Andy Samberg.
While the show mainly focuses on Devi making consistently bad decisions, the underlying theme of culture helps to balance the coming-of-age storyline and makes it into the great show it is.
In one episode titled ‘Never Have I Ever… Felt Super Indian’ the Hindu ritual of Ganesh Puja is both explored and explained. Seeing a student try and balance both their American lifestyle and cultural background is something that appeals to a wide audience.
The show is rated TV-14 and targets a high school audience. Additionally, to promote the show three of the main characters, Devi, Eleanor, and Fabiola, [TBA17] created the “#neverfitin” challenge on Tik Tok to the sound “My Fit”. Featuring some of the main characters doing a dance in the hopes it goes viral.
Never Have I Ever is the coming-of-age story that makes sense even with all of its dramatizations. It can be watched quickly but does have a lot of cliffhangers. With announcements of a supposed season two, now is the time to watch.

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