Never Have I Ever S3

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Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in Never Have I Ever.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi in Never Have I Ever.
Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix

SHOW:

Never Have I Ever S3

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

OUR RATING:

5/5 Stars

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

In Season 3 of the coming-of-age comedy Never Have I Ever, Indian American teenager Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) continues to deal with the everyday pressures of high school and drama at home while navigating new romantic relationships.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

My love for Mindy Kaling and her work knows no bounds; it's true. But after every season of Never Have I Ever, which I binge just as soon as it's available to stream, I'm reminded of just how hilarious she is while bringing so much heart to her shows. Her chaotic but lovable Devi Vishwakumar, I've said before, is the awkward teen girl I needed to see growing up. As the series approaches its end, she's finally starting to come into her dorky, nerdy own.

Season three of the Netflix series picks up with Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) coupled up with her dreamboat boyfriend, Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet). That's right, you heard it hear first, straight from the mouth of Aunty Whistletown – a friend of Lady Whistleboy: your girl's dating the most popular guy at Sherman Oaks High – put that in your vape pens and vape it, loser single girls.

Of course, not even Devi can believe she's dating Paxton, and so begins her downward spiral. This makes for another truly cringe-worthy but hysterical season of seeing our girl descend into complete and total chaos while everyone watches.

While this is Devi's world, with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan pulling off this dorky, thirsty girl so well, Paxton, Ben (Jaren Lewison), Kamala (Richa Moorjani) and even Devi's mom, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), go threw so much character growth and development this season. Apart from the more heartfelt moments Devi inevitably provides, you can't help but root for and fall in love with everyone else this season too. I'm talking real swoon-worthy stuff from Paxton; you'll better understand full-of-shit Ben, while Nalini finally makes a friend after years of feeling alone. I still feel Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez), Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Aneesa (Megan Suri), particularly, who we were introduced to last season, could've gotten a bit more – it felt as though they didn't want to commit to Aneesa's storyline fully. Trent (Benjamin Norris) on the other hand, was a total stand-out this season. As far as the new guy, Des (Anirudh Pisharody), a.k.a, Indian Ken doll, goes, well, he's a 10, but... let me rather not give too much away.

Back to Devi.

While some of our characters' fates are a bit clearer going into the fourth and final season, with Paxton graduating, making for one of the more emotional scenes this season, Devi's future is unknown. But this season saw her realise she's more than just a dorky-dork and set up her senior year perfectly. We get a sense she'll come full circle and get the character development she deserves as her story concludes.

There are so many themes this season as Devi deals with your usual coming-of-age teen drama. But this is also a show about trauma and grief, dealt with in such a sensitive and understated way that you could easily miss it in all Devi's antics. But you get some of the most tender TV moments when it does take centre stage and sees Devi realise she's not ready to grow up and move on just yet.

In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Mindy Kaling says of avoiding the Euphoria-approach of including more R-rated high school content in the series:

I love Euphoria, and I think [creator] Sam [Levinson] is like a genius. I think he has a lot to say about things like sex and drug use and addiction, and those are incredibly interesting, but we [Kaling and Lang Fisher] don't have a ton of experience in that. I watch that show on the edge of my seat, vicariously, but I feel like nerds lusting over guys is more what we feel comfortable writing about, so that's why we do this. We write about strivers and dorks and people who are underestimated.


With that, it's pretty clear the kind of show Never Have I Ever is: one that'll have you laughing hysterically one moment and bawling your eyes out the next. It's wholesome content for the dorks and nerds stretched out on their beds with their boyfriends – watching TikToks, obvi – and required viewing for the underdogs.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

Never Have I Ever is available to stream on Netflix.


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