Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!
Early this morning, Netflix released the 10-episode first season of the new half-hour coming-of-age comedy Never Have I Ever, from creator Mindy Kaling. Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is a 15-year-old Indian-American girl from Sherman Oaks, California. She’s about to start her sophomore year of high school and is looking to reinvent herself and become one of the cool kids, especially after her awful freshman year. She is hoping to shed her image as “the paralyzed Indian girl whose father dropped dead at a school function.” However, her only two friends are Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez, Class of Lies), who’s captain of the high school robotics team, and Eleanor (Ramona Young, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), who’s president of the drama club.
Devi has decided that, as the first step of rebranding themselves, they all need to get boyfriends – though Devi sets her sights set a bit high, eyeing Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet, Turnt), “the hottest guy in school.” Meanwhile, Devi and her squad are constantly given a hard time by Devi’s longtime academic rival, Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). Ben is always name-dropping his father’s celebrity clients as a way to prove he’s better than Devi and is constantly expressing how annoying he finds her – though it feels like he’s just trying to mask feelings he might have for Devi.
Devi never really dealt with the sudden death of her father and is seeing therapist Dr. Jamie Ryan (Niecy Nash, Claws), who doesn’t really seem shocked by anything Devi says to her. Devi lives at home with her more traditional Indian mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan, Defending Jacob) and very attractive cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani), who moved in after Devi’s father (Sendhil Ramamurthy, Heroes) passed away, while she completes her PhD at CalTech. Devi is determined to be a reckless teenager and get into all the typical trouble teenagers get into… She’s just not very good at it.
I binged through the first three episodes of this series and only stopped so that I could write up this recommendation. I will be continuing with my binge as soon as I finish with this! This show is so entertaining, and newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is so charming. The characters are a lot of fun, and the ensemble works really well together. While each episode is some new “never have I ever…” statement that Devi is trying to accomplish, the episodes really flow into one another, telling the larger story of Devi’s family and friends and how they are each dealing with their own personal issues and obstacles. There is also this hilarious narration provided by John McEnroe (yes, the tennis superstar), who also provides a really funny and sarcastic commentary on the action that’s taking place. This juxtaposition of an older, white American male narrating the life and troubles of a teenage Indian girl brings the humor to another level.
In addition to the comedy, the show also has a lot of heart, such as during a flashback, when we get a glimpse into Nalini’s life and her loss. The series also does an excellent job of exploring different cultural traditions and clashes. For example, we see Kamala trying to figure out how to tell her family that she wants to live a more American way of life rather than go the traditional arranged marriage route. I am thoroughly enjoying this hilarious series, and I can’t wait to resume watching!
Catch the entire first season now on Netflix.
I’ll also be watching/recording The Baker and the Beauty, 9-1-1, Prodigal Son, and Almost Paradise.