Never Have I Ever (TV series)
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|Never Have I Ever|
Coming of age
|Created by||Mindy Kaling|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Production location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||22–30 minutes|
|Original release||April 27, 2020 –|
Never Have I Ever is an American coming of age comedy-drama television series starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. The comedy is partially based on Kaling's childhood in the Boston area. It premiered on Netflix on May 21, 2020, and is about an Indian American high school student dealing with the death of her father. The series received positive reviews.
The series has been described as a watershed moment for South Asian representation in Hollywood and has been praised for breaking Asian stereotypes. On July 1, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.
The story centers around Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a 15-year-old girl from Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. After a socially horrible freshman year, Devi wants to change her social status, but friends, family, and feelings do not make it easy for her.
After Devi's father, Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy) passes away, Devi loses the use of her legs for three months. The following year, she tries to deal with her grief, Indian identity and school life, also struggling with her relationship with her mother, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), her beautiful cousin, Kamala (Richa Moorjani), her two best friends, Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez), her high school crush, Paxton (Darren Barnet), and her nemesis, Ben (Jaren Lewison).
- Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old high school sophomore who wants to improve her life
- Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida, a 16-year-old high school junior and Devi's crush
- Richa Moorjani as Kamala, Devi's cousin. She is staying with her family while completing her PhD at Caltech.
- Poorna Jagannathan as Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar, a dermatologist and Devi's mother
- Jaren Lewison as Ben Gross, a high school sophomore student and Devi's nemesis at school
- John McEnroe as himself, the narrator of the series and Mohan's idol
- Ramona Young as Eleanor Wong, one of Devi's best friends
- Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola Torres, one of Devi's best friends, who is struggling with her sexual identity
- Niecy Nash as Dr. Jamie Ryan, Devi's therapist
- Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohan Vishwakumar, Devi's father
- Eddie Liu as Steve, Kamala's boyfriend
- Christina Kartchner as Eve, Fabiola's love interest
- Benjamin Norris as Trent Harrison, Paxton's friend
- Dino Petrera as Jonah Sharpe, a boy who comes out as gay
- Jae Suh Park as Joyce Wong, Eleanor's mother
- Adam Shapiro as Mr. Shapiro, a history teacher
- Cocoa Brown as Principal Grubbs
- Martin Martinez as Oliver Martinez, Eleanor's boyfriend
- Jack Seavor McDonald as Eric Perkins, an unpopular student
- Lily D. Moore as Rebecca Hall-Yoshida, Paxton's sister
- Hanna Stein as Shira, Ben's girlfriend
- Angela Kinsey as Vivian, Ben's mother
- Michael Badalucco as Howard, Ben's father
- Donna Pieroni as Patty, Ben's housekeeper
- Dana Vaughns as Marcus Jones, Paxton's friend
- Aitana Rinab as Zoe Maytag, Shira's friend
- Markus Jorgensen as Boris Koslov, an Russian exchange student
- Gilberto Ortiz as Alex Gomez, a young man interested in Fabiola
- Chelly as Parvesh, Vishwakumar family friend
- Peter James Smith as Mr. Chan, the orchestra teacher
- Kikéy Castillo as Christina Harrison, Trent's mother
- Atticus Shaffer as Russia, a young man who participates in the UN model
- Iqbal Theba as Aaravind, Vishwakumar's uncle
- Mark Collier as Andy, Vishwakumar's neighbor
- Adriyah Marie Young as Carley, Shira's friend
- Andy Samberg as Himself, the narrator for Ben Gross's thoughts
- Rushi Kota as Prashant, Kamala's date for an arranged marriage
- Pragathi Guruprasad as Preethi's sister
- Anjul Nigam as Raj, a pandit at the Ganesh Puja celebration
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was cast after Mindy Kaling put out an open casting call and received over 15,000 responses. All the actors met at the first table read and no "chemistry reads" were done between characters.
The series began filming on the 14th of July 2019, with production wrapping up on October 31, 2019.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Pilot"||Tristram Shapeero||Mindy Kaling & Lang Fisher||April 27, 2020|
|After her father's death and being confined to a wheelchair for her freshman year, Devi becomes determined to have an exciting sophomore year. She pleads with best friends Eleanor and Fabiola to get boyfriends, so that the group become cool. However, when she discovers that Eleanor has a boyfriend, she has a breakdown and asks classmate Paxton if he wants to have sex. Devi's cousin Kamala is told that her marriage is being arranged.|
|2||"... had sex with Paxton Hall-Yoshida"||Tristram Shapeero||Justin Noble||April 27, 2020|
|Devi leaves orchestra practice early to go to Paxton's house, but leaves when she does not feel ready to have sex. Kamala meets with her secret boyfriend, Steve, and reluctantly breaks up with him due to her arranged marriage.|
|3||"... gotten drunk with the popular kids"||Linda Mendoza||Amina Munir||April 27, 2020|
|In history class, Devi is delighted when Paxton asks her to be in his group, but overhears him saying he asked her in order to achieve a good grade. Eleanor and Fabiola team up with Eve, who Fabiola has a crush on. Fabiola then breaks up with her boyfriend and realizes she is a lesbian. Devi invites herself to a party, and sees Paxton flirting with Zoe. A drunk Devi sees a coyote at the party, and believing it has the spirit of her dead dad, she talks to it. It attacks her, and Paxton takes her to the hospital. At the hospital, Paxton affirms that they are just friends. Inspired by a Riverdale scene, Kamala reconciles with Steve.|
|4||"... felt super Indian"||Linda Mendoza||Mindy Kaling||April 27, 2020|
|At a Ganesh Puja celebration held at the high school, Devi's mother Nalini asks Devi to smooth-talk Ron, a college admissions advisor. Ron asks Devi to use her father's death and her temporary paralysis as a story to get into college, but she refuses. While at the festival, Kamala meets Jaya Kuyavar who is ostracized due to refusing her arranged marriage and instead marrying a Muslim-American man whom she later divorced. She encourages Kamala to go ahead with her marriage to avoid being shunned as well.|
|5||"... started a nuclear war"||Kabir Akhtar||Chris Schleicher & Akshara Sekar||April 27, 2020|
|Fabiola gathers her family members to come out, but suddenly changes her mind. Paxton tells Eleanor that her mother, Joyce, served them in a restaurant, despite her being told that she is working on a cruise as an actress. Fabiola accompanies her to the restaurant, where they see Joyce. Afterwards, she comes out to Eleanor, who supports her. Devi joins Model UN, and fuels the lie that she and Paxton are sleeping together. She and nemesis Ben join forces to get the members alcohol. The next day, Devi turns against him in UN for accidentally revealing that she is sleeping with Paxton to the other members, and gets the members to stand alongside her. Paxton then confronts her about using him.|
|6||"... been the loneliest boy in the world"||Kabir Akhtar||Aaron Geary & Ben Steiner||April 27, 2020|
|Ben returns home from Model UN to his mother leaving for a self-realization resort. Planning to see a game court-side with his girlfriend and father, both cancel on him, so Ben gives the tickets to his housekeeper. Feeling lonely, he meets with a friend from an online forum, who turns out to be a 50-year-old man. Ben sees Nalini about a pimple, and she invites him to a dinner with her and the Vishwakumars. Initially upset with Ben coming over, Devi is pleasantly surprised when he does not expose her behavior at Model UN. Voiceover by Andy Samberg.|
|7||"... been a big, fat liar"||Anu Valia||Erica Oyama||April 27, 2020|
|Devi tries to make it up to Eleanor and Fabiola. She visits Joyce at work and encourages her to talk to Eleanor. Joyce comes to the school and watches Eleanor rehearse, but leaves midway through to return to Broadway. Distraught, Eleanor quits acting. Fabiola asks Devi to support Eleanor, but when Paxton texts Devi, she goes to his house instead.|
|8||"... pissed off everyone I know"||Anu Valia||Chris Schleicher||April 27, 2020|
|Eleanor and Fabiola decide to take a break from Devi, so she goes to see her therapist. She tells Devi that all the drama stems from the grief over her father, and Devi decides she wants a new therapist. Ben throws a party for his birthday, and after Devi walks in on Kamala with Steve, she blackmails Kamala into sneaking her to the party. Upon learning that a classmate ruined the punch, Devi sees Fabiola about to drink it and attempts to warn her, but accidentally spills the bowl of punch over her. Fabiola argues with her in front of the crowd, and accidentally comes out. Eve, who overheard, arranges a date with her. After Devi falls into the pool, Paxton drives her home and kisses her.|
|9||"... had to be on my best behavior"||Tristram Shapeero||Matt Warburton||April 27, 2020|
|Kamala's potential husband meets with the family over lunch for the first time. Devi enters Kamala's room to place a present only to find that Steve is in there, waiting to rescue Kamala from her arranged marriage. At Devi's behest, Kamala talks with Steve to sort things out. Nalini walks in on them and reveals that she knew about the two as a couple. Paxton arrives to return Devi's dress from the party, and accidentally reveals that Devi secretly attended Ben's party and that she and Paxton kissed. Nalini, enraged, yells at Paxton for "ruining" Devi's life. Devi's uncle reveals that Nalini is planning on moving them both to India. Devi gets in a fight with Nalini, and refuses to move.|
|10||"... said I'm sorry"||Tristram Shapeero||Lang Fisher||April 27, 2020|
|Paxton avoids Devi following the incident with Nalini. Devi moves in with Ben so that she cannot be moved to India. Nalini visits her on Mohan's birthday and asks her to spread her father's ashes with her, but she refuses. To convince Devi to spread the ashes with Nalini, Ben enlists the help of Fabiola and Eleanor, who reconcile their friendship. They encourage Devi to go, so Ben takes her to Malibu. Devi, Nalini and Kamala spread Mohan's ashes and she agrees to move back in with them. Afterwards, Devi finds Ben waiting in his car to make sure she is okay; touched, she kisses Ben and he reciprocates. Meanwhile, Paxton, at his sister's urging to reconcile with Devi, leaves her a message while waiting at her front door.|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 96% based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Never Have I Ever's fresh take on the coming-of-age comedy is hilariously honest, sweetly smart, and likely to have viewers falling head over heels for charming newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
At their Q2 report meeting in July 2020, Netflix reported the series had been viewed by 40 million households since its release.
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