With everyone stuck at home, many people are looking for new shows to watch. A show called “Never Have I Ever” was released and soon became the #1 show in 10 different countries. This was created and directed by Mindy Kailing and Lang Fisher.
Mindy Kaling is best known for her role as Kelly and being a writer in the hit comedy show “The Office.” Lang Fisher was an executive producer of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They had both worked on “Mindy Project”, so when Netflix approached them with this new idea for a show, they decided to come together and produce the soon-to-be popular-show. The idea of the show was from Netflix executive Brooke Kessler who read Kaling’s book and enjoyed the parts of her life during high school. So Kaling and Fisher got a crew of young Indian writers and started finding their cast.
The casting for the role of Devi was not an ordinary one. In April 2019, Mindy Kaling had an open call for the role of Devi, Devi’s cousin Kamala, and Devi’s mother Nalini. Kaling initially had a closed audition, but she grew tired “of seeing the same ‘28-yea-old, gorgeous bollywood stars’” according to NY Times. She posted a cast search on social media and more than 10,000 people emailed their auditions. After watching thousands of audition tapes, they finally found Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, an 18 year-old Candiain who was attending York College at the time, to play the role of Devi. She only had experience in acting through school. They also found Poorna Jagannathan to play Devi’s mother and Richa Moorjani to play Kamala, Devi’s cousin.
This show is about Devi, a 15-year old Indian-American high school sophomore in Sherman Oaks, California, hoping to have a better year of high school than what occurred last year. She is a straight-A student who dreams of going to Princeton and plays the harp. This show deals with heavy issues as well as traditional issues. In the previous year, her father, Mohan, had passed away during her Spring orchestra concert from a heart attack.
A week later, her legs stopped working without any medical reason and she was forced to be in a wheelchair, however she didn’t have to deal with this on her own. Her friends Fabiola, who has a high interest in robotics, and Eleanor, who loves drama class, stick by her side. Three months later, her legs began to work again.
Her cousin, Kamala, moves in with them to complete her studies in college. Now, she is trying to get rid of the past and be known at school for something else besides what happened her freshman year. We go on the adventure with Devi, her family, and friends as they encounter problems and build on their relationship through the narration of John McEnroe, Mohan’s favorite tennis player.
This show relates to the life of an average teenage Indian-America girl, which is the audience Kaling was aiming for. Devi goes through the same problems as a regular girl in high school does, however many people claim that both of their parents are strict rather than just one like Devi. This show is great for those who have immigrant parents and are experiencing being the first generation to go to school in the United States.
I would give this show a 9/10