It celebrates cultural nuances, customs, and traditions.
Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that centres around Devi Vishwakumar, a first-generation Indian-American teenager living in California.
The series, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, beautifully captures the experiences and challenges faced by South Asian youth growing up in a multicultural society.
One of the reasons why Never Have I Ever is a must-watch for South Asians is its authentic representation.
The show portrays the complexities of navigating between two cultures, highlighting the clash between Devi’s Indian heritage and her American upbringing.
It delves into the struggles of balancing traditional family values and societal expectations while striving for personal growth and independence.
The series also tackles relatable immigrant experiences, addressing the challenges of identity, belonging, and the pressure to preserve cultural roots.
Devi’s journey resonates with many South Asians who have experienced the tug-of-war between honouring their heritage and embracing the opportunities and freedoms afforded in their adopted countries.
Moreover, Never Have I Ever boasts a diverse and talented cast that brings the characters to life.
The show not only showcases the experiences of Indian Americans but also portrays the rich diversity within the South Asian community.
It celebrates cultural nuances, customs, and traditions while exploring universal themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery.
Witness the absolute best of the hit Netflix show as we present 10 unforgettable moments that will leave you in awe.
Healing her Grief
Throughout the series, a central theme in Never Have I Ever revolves around Devi’s profound grief following her father’s untimely passing during her freshman year.
While the initial two seasons delve into the challenges this grief poses, season 3 showcases Devi’s journey towards embracing healthier ways to live and cope with her loss.
A highly relatable moment arises when Devi opens up to her therapist, expressing her guilt about occasionally forgetting her father amidst the enjoyment of her busy life.
The therapist offers reassurance, validating her emotions and emphasising that experiencing joy doesn’t diminish the significance of remembering her father.
Second Guessing her Relationships
Devi yearns for two things: her late father’s return and a remarkable high school romance that would redefine her image.
Despite numerous chances, she constantly undermines her relationships due to deep-seated insecurities.
Her lack of self-worth becomes a significant hurdle in pursuing a relationship with Paxton, despite his unwavering reassurances.
This moment not only exemplifies a couple striving for goals but also resonates with the relatable anxieties of inexperienced individuals in their first relationship, fearing they may fall short of their more experienced partner’s expectations.
Making Bad Choices
Devi often faces criticism from casual viewers of Never Have I Ever due to her recklessness and impulsiveness.
However, it’s important to consider that she is a teenager grappling with one of the most devastating losses of her life.
It’s natural for her to make significant mistakes while navigating the processes of healing and maturing.
Devi’s authenticity as a teenage character is what makes many of her moments highly relatable.
Whether it’s splurging $80 on a celebratory cake for finally having a boyfriend, or confronting her online detractor instead of ignoring her, Devi encapsulates the genuine experience of being a Gen-Z teenager.
Her Disguise at School
When Devi discovers that her fabrication about sleeping with Paxton has become public, he rightfully expresses his dismay over her spreading such false information.
As she returns to school, Devi anticipates widespread awareness and hilariously attempts to conceal herself using sunglasses and a hoodie.
This relatable moment captures the instinctive reaction many would have in a similar situation, seeking a makeshift disguise to navigate the potential embarrassment.
Fighting with her Mother
Devi engages in ongoing conflicts and acts of defiance against her mother, Nalini, especially struggling to comprehend her perspective following the loss of Mohan.
The first season of the show takes viewers on an emotional journey as Devi and Nalini navigate their strained relationship, filled with arguments and ultimately leading to a poignant reconciliation by the season’s end.
This portrayal of their dynamic resonates with audiences due to the relatability of familial relationships.
While disagreements are common within families, the presence of love and concern often paves the way for reconciliation and healing.
Overthinking about Paxton
Devi finds herself captivated by Paxton, an older classmate, causing her to meticulously overthink his every action and word.
The audience is granted insight into her analysis through the voiceover of John McEnroe.
This relatable aspect of Devi’s character highlights the tendency many individuals share of over-analysing every aspect of their crush and romantic encounters.
It underscores the familiar experience of obsessively dissecting the nuances of a love interest and their love life.
Jealous of Kamala
In the early stages of the series, Devi holds Kamala in high regard, seeing her as the embodiment of the perfect relative within her family.
Devi believes that Kamala possesses all the qualities and characteristics her mother has always desired in a daughter – someone who upholds traditional values and adheres to societal expectations.
This perception of Kamala leads Devi to make comparisons between herself and her cousin.
Devi’s self-esteem takes a hit as she measures her attributes against Kamala’s seemingly impeccable qualities.
She becomes aware of any perceived shortcomings she believes she has in contrast to her cousin, which amplifies her feelings of inadequacy.
Pretending She’s Fine
Despite enduring significant traumas, Devi puts on a brave front when discussing her life with her therapist.
This response is relatable, as it mirrors the common inclination of many individuals to maintain a facade of strength, often hesitating to openly address their hardships.
Devi’s reluctance to discuss her struggles with her therapist reflects the natural desire to present a composed image.
This desire stems from societal expectations that dictate the need to be perceived as strong and capable.
Many people can relate to the inclination to downplay their emotional pain, fearing judgment, pity, or an overwhelming sense of vulnerability.
Planning out her Sophomore Year
In the early episodes, Devi reveals her plans for her sophomore year to her closest friends, Eleanor and Fabiola.
Given the recent traumas she has experienced, it is understandable that Devi seeks to regain a sense of control in her life.
Planning out her sophomore year provides her with a semblance of direction, allowing her to exert influence over her circumstances.
The desire for control is a relatable aspect of human nature, particularly during times when individuals feel powerless or overwhelmed.
By meticulously planning her future, Devi embodies the universal longing for a sense of control over one’s own life.
Needing to be Seen
Devi experiences a profound sense of frustration, perceiving that she hasn’t made a notable impact and goes unnoticed by others.
However, in the eyes of some, she is defined by her temporary paralysis or the loss of her father to a heart attack during a school event.
As she finds her footing, Devi yearns for a time when people will recognise her for her authentic self beyond the shadow of her past traumas.
This longing resonates with the universal human desire to be acknowledged for one’s true identity, unencumbered by past hardships.
Beyond its cultural significance, Never Have I Ever is an entertaining series for all audiences.
It blends witty humour, heartfelt storytelling, and relatable characters that resonate with viewers of various backgrounds.
The show captures the ups and downs of adolescence, addressing themes of friendship, romance, and personal growth with authenticity and charm.
Never Have I Ever is a must-watch for South Asians due to its representation of their experiences, exploration of immigrant challenges, and celebration of cultural diversity.
However, its universal themes and engaging storytelling make it a compelling series for anyone seeking an entertaining coming-of-age story.