Never have I, in the wildest of dreams, ever imagined that we would witness a day on American television where an Indian teenage girl would be the lead cast, and hope for something as normal as sex with the hottest guy in her class. So, congratulations Netflix, you have done a good job in breaking the stereotype. In the pilot episode, Devi makes an important wish, along with good grades, she wanted to be invited to teenage drug parties, not to do cocaine, but only to get the opportunity to say no to it and be the hero. There are also various other Indian characters who do not necessarily have dark skin.
It doesn't take much to realise that Devi is just another teenager trying to make her high school life memorable with the right boyfriend, but she is also very competitive and does not ignore her grades in her attempt to find the best relationship. She has a cousin Kamala, who is slightly fair-skinned, and that is where the makers break the stereotype again. Not all Indians are dark-skinned and Kamala is secretly also a woman who wants to find love that doesn't come from an arranged husband. But, when she meets her suitor Prashant, another dashing Indian, she understands that sometimes arranged marriage may not be the worst idea.
In one of the episodes, Devi and her family celebrate Ganesh Puja with other members of the Indian Hindu community. While narrating the concept of Ganesh Puja, the makers give us a glimpse of Durga Puja and here's where they make their first mistake. Ganesh Puja and Durga Puja do not take place simultaneously. While Ganesh Puja is more popular on the Western side of India, Durga Puja is mainly celebrated by Bengalis, and takes place a few weeks after Ganesh Puja. While Durga Puja is celebrated nationally too, but in West Bengal they organise the festival in a different spirit.
For the longest time, Devi remains annoyed about the gathering for the Ganesh Puja however, when her crush Paxton tells her that she looks nice in her cultural attires, she starts loving the festivities. Before we begin our judgements on moral grounds, it is vital to remember that Devi is a teenager, thereby she is in a phase where she is bound to hate everything until it is approved by her crush.
Never Have I Ever remains a personal journey of a girl who suffered from immobility for the longest time. However, perhaps an attempt to do better in studies is something innate in Indian culture, where parents give you a prize for good grades, but can you really vouch for the fact that every Indian student is a 90% scorer. Haven't we met that one person in Indian school who hated studies and somehow managed to get promoted to the next class with 40% score?
With various minor flaws in bits and pieces, Never Have I Ever remains as enjoyable as any other American teenager based series, and this time we didn't even need a Priyanka Chopra, or a Deepika Padukone, in the lead to be proud about it.