Never Have I Ever season 2 review – a binge worthy, important and well-deserved continuation

July 14, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
4

Summary

Never Have I Ever remains binge-worthy, remains important, and remains a well-deserved staple on the streaming service.

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4

Summary

Never Have I Ever remains binge-worthy, remains important, and remains a well-deserved staple on the streaming service.

This review of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever season 2 contains no spoilers. The second installment will be released on the streaming service on July 15, 2021. 

Read the review of season 1.

We are back again. Devi, our American Indian High Schooler, is navigating an entirely different dynamic that she would have wonderfully cherished in season 1. She has two teenage boys lusting after her in the starting premise of season 2, coupled with the anxiety of potentially moving to India with her mother. It’s a pizza with plenty of toppings to open a second installment and one the fans will enjoy.

Unlike the first season, the second season has a more established lead character. One that is not truly defined by whether she’s popular or the possibility of snogging a teenage heartthrob. This is a different Devi, inspired by confidence and flair and one that the audience can enjoy — this is an audacious Devi. We are watching her grow, along with her friends.

But if season 1 was about self-discovery, season 2 is surely a journey to maturity. There are needless scenarios in the story and one whereby Devi has to take lessons from. She cannot prop back on her father’s death or her fractured relationship with her mother. She has to become her own and learn lessons. Without delving too much into the plot (to avoid spoilers), the first few chapters present Devi with a new challenge, one that is comedically brilliant, thematic, and culturally relevant, but also a certain stinging point for our teenage girl.

Of course, supporting Devi are the other delightful characters; the standouts are Fabiola, who is dealing with her newfound identity with a new girlfriend; Nalini, who is venturing for a new support system post her husband’s death; and Kamala, who is fighting against a male-dominated workplace and the sexism that brings. These are all important themes entwine well with the cultural importance of being a minority in America. As for the guys, well, they remain as two-dimensional as ever (yes, Paxton takes his top off again), but this story isn’t really about men at all, and that’s why it works.

A true positive is that Never Have I Ever season 2 manages to maintain its storytelling, tackling issues without diluting longevity. The writers (Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher, and Justin Noble) have established a formula that balances comedic and serious sensibilities. It won’t be surprising if the Netflix series manages to squeeze four seasons, like the well-missed Atypical. The growth of the characters defines the story, and it doesn’t succumb to middling YA stories that fill the thumbnails on Netflix.

Listen to Streaming Dan’s review of Never Have I Ever season 2:

An introduction of a new character flavors the story more. Without getting into who this character is, they manage to successfully implement it into the story with ease, and that’s a credit to the writing and chemistry between the cast. Often, teen dramas fudge in new characters without consideration of impact but Never Have I Ever glues in a new person and makes it stick.

What delights me more about this series is that I can imagine the impact it will have on families trying to maintain their culture while embracing another; young people will be enamored by how it tackles the subject, well into season 2. And while it doesn’t foster strongly than season 1 (due to it being firmly embedded), the continuation will provide amusement and perspective. My only slight criticism is how it only shines a small light on the LGBTQ community; it’s a feeble subplot in season 2 for Fabiola. And it’s understandable; it’s not the story’s forte, but it barely gets a glance.

Never Have I Ever remains binge-worthy, remains important, and remains a well-deserved staple on the streaming service.

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