TV Review: 'Never Have I Ever' Been More Charmed On Netflix

Never Have I Ever Devi Vishwakumar Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Netflix
Image by Lara Solankine / Netflix
“Never Have I Ever” has been out on Netflix for a while, and I watched the series premiere shortly afterward to happy results. Unfortunately, it has taken a while to get this review up. That said, it is never too late to put the spotlight on a worthy show, especially one as charming as the series co-created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, so here it goes.

As the title for this review largely hints, “Never Have I Ever” been more charmed by a series premiere on Netflix. The coming-of-age teen dramedy follows Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a high school student returning for her sophomore year after a traumatic time in her life dramatically upended it.

Devi has been through a lot. Her dad, Mohan (the always delightful Sendhil Ramamurthy), died before “Never Have I Ever” begins, and she is trying to navigate life as a teen. She has crushes, enemies, a marvelous mom (Poorna Jagannathan), and two wonderful friends, Eleanor (Romona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez).

Recovering from a rough year, Devi sets out to claim new ground in her social status after a tumultuous spell. In the series premiere, John McEnroe narrates those circumstances to shed light on that period. Yes, the tennis star John McEnroe (recently portrayed by Shia LeBeouf in “Borg vs. McEnroe”). On paper, it does not sound like something that would work.

Strangely, it does. Narration is a tricky technique powerfully leveraged in Netflix’s “You.” In “Never Have I Ever,” it gives viewers insight into all of the context surrounding Devi’s life and her choices. Speaking of, I can actually somewhat relate to what Devi experiences, which is a loss of sensation in the legs. Devi’s is caused by the trauma of losing her dad.

My case (including its cause) was nowhere near as severe and passed within several hours when I was below ten. So, while it is not an identical situation to Devi’s, it is nevertheless pleasantly surprising to see such a thing discussed on a TV series and have Devi navigate its fallout when “Never Have I Ever” begins.

The power points of the Netflix dramedy lie with its incredibly crisp dialogue and the spectacular, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. Her turn as Devi is relatable, sharp, funny, and so natural it is easy to get lost in the world of “Never Have I Ever.” As this viewer continues to watch the show, I look forward to seeing how Devi evolves, and what that will mean for Ramakrishnan’s performance.

The ensemble is excellent, and “Never Have I Ever” is teeming with fun dialogue and interesting contemplations on multiple fronts. I am not a big comedy person, but this Netflix original has left me curious to continue watching. As of its premiere, it is a feel-good show that leaves you feeling as refreshed as it does happy.

Rating: 9/10

The first season of “Never Have I Ever” is currently streaming on Netflix along with lots of other excellent television content.