Season two of the coming-of-age comedy, Never Have I Ever, picks off right where season one ended: Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) and Ben (Jaren Lewison) kissing in the car. This is right after Ben drove Devi miles so she wouldn’t lose the chance to say goodbye to her dead father before his ashes got thrown into the ocean. Meanwhile, during their heart-felt kiss, Paxton (Darren Barnet) left Devi a voicemail expressing his feelings toward her. It set season two up for the perfect high school love triangle. Who will Devi pick? The crush she’s had for years, Paxton? Or her arch-nemesis-turned-lover, Ben?
Never Have I Ever season two deals with similar conflicts from the previous season. This includes drama between friends and friendship “breaks” along with familial tension with Devi’s strict mother and the consistent grief over the loss of a loved one as they mourn Devi’s father.
Expectations were high coming into season two. Never Have I Ever was just the show I needed with a relatable main character going through a rough time and needing guidance. Everyone at school may call her “crazy Devi” because she’s rash and unpredictable, but as her therapist puts it in season two, she’s only human. She may make “questionable decisions,” but in the end, she’s still recovering after her father’s death.
The show was smart to take the time to address that Devi’s grieving may play a part in her sudden outbursts. Devi tries to battle other things like boyfriend trouble when she’s really troubled over her father’s death. Over the course of season two, Devi would often listen to her dad’s voicemail, to hear his voice, playing it whenever something goes wrong and she needs comfort.
However, while Devi still grieves over her father’s death, that does not mean season two takes a depressing turn. The season’s still filled with enough humor to make you laugh. It wouldn’t be Never Have I Ever without Devi’s quirky and hilarious moments.
To combat Devi’s feelings for both Paxton and Ben, she thinks of the most ridiculous (but entertaining) solution: she’ll just secretly date them both. Her mom told her they were moving to India and she figured what’s the worst that could happen? If she’s moving to India, having two boyfriends will have no repercussions. To her, it seemed like a win-win and her friends didn’t discourage her. However, predictably, this turns to disaster. Still, it was humorous to see Devi planning a going-away-party while trying to keep her secret that she has two boyfriends.
Season two certainly felt less predictable than season one overall – especially when it came to the resolution of the love-triangle. Depending on who you were rooting for, the end may not be as satisfying as you’d hoped. It would be nice if Never Have I Ever gets a season three so the show can explore the love triangle further.
While Never Have I Ever was full of hilarious moments—I won’t ever forget Devi giving a whole embarrassing apology dance to a friend in a full-on mascot costume— in the end, the show is about recovering and, even if you make mistakes, learning how to properly say sorry.
While Devi has unintentionally hurt so many people—Paxton, Ben, her friends Fabolia and Eleanor, the new girl, Aneesa, and later her own mother, it took her time to deliver a proper apology. She may be immature and perform an apology dance or give an apology to get something in return, but in the end she’s a teenager who’s still learning. Her father taught her that an apology may be a big thing, but Devi learned it’s not to create a literal big, and borderline embarrassing, show. It’s saying I’m sorry in a meaningful way, not trying to receive something in return.
Through arguments with those she’s closed to as well as therapy sessions, Devi learns and grows a lot throughout the second season of Never Have I Ever, resulting in a wonderful character arc. While she still may be immature at times, she’s constantly learning and trying her best to improve herself. And yet, even though at times she may be downright selfish, as a viewer I can’t help but emphasize with her. Since we watch everything through Devi’s perspective, we can understand where she’s coming from with all of these selfish decisions (maybe not all of them), but at the same time see how she acts self-absorbed.
Devi might have “Devi’d” things up quite a bit during Never Have I Ever season two, as Devi’s friends might have put it, but that doesn’t make her any less human. Sure, the second season may not have ended in the way I wanted it to but it was still a great watch. Season two did justice to a few things: Devi, for once, giving a real apology, as well as truly saying goodbye to her dad. I certainly recommend Never Have I Ever to anyone who likes relatable quirky characters, love triangles, or wants a good, wholesome laugh (or cry).
All episodes of Never Have I Ever season 2 are now available on Netflix.