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Review: Never Have I Ever Season 3 (Netflix)

The third season of Never Have I Ever brings lessons on identity, self-image, culture, and of course the overarching theme of loss.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

After a few long months, Never Have I Ever Season 3 is out, featuring our favourite lovesick and impulsive Devi Vishwakumar, is here. The show exceeds in driving the plot forward with the characters’ mistakes and not staying stagnant, with the funny and critical narration from former tennis player John McEnroe.

AT A GLANCE

  • Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet, Poorna Jagannathan, John McEnroe, Richa Moorjani, Adam Shapiro
  • Created by: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher
  • Rating: ***1/2

Slight spoiler warning

This season kicks off with Devi and her now official boyfriend Paxton Hall-Yoshida walking into school together after being together for a whole two weeks. Last season saw Devi face backlash after she grappled with some commitment issues and let down her close friends to gain validation from her love interests – but this time around has seen a less problematic Devi. Despite this newfound maturity, Devi still faces some flaws which mostly stems from her characteristic problem of forever needing a boyfriend. Like the previous seasons, the side characters provide some light-hearted entertainment, but do not fully take the spotlight off Devi’s story.

An integral part of the plot this season is Devi’s fixation on losing her virginity, which inadvertently puts more pressure on her in her relationships with her boyfriends (yes, plural) and makes her compare herself to her friends.

Devi and Paxton Never Have I ever
Devi continues to navigate her romantic life this season. Source: IMDb

Never Have I Ever wouldn’t be its classic self without Devi having a few love interests to further complicate her life– this season her options included her dream boy Paxton, frenemy Ben Sharps, and fellow Indian American Nirdhesh (Des) who turns out to be the complete opposite to the nerd Devi assumed him to be.

A new development is the friendship of Nalini, Devi’s mother, and Rhyah, whose son also becomes an integral part of Devi’s love web.  Although Rhyah poses their friendship as a way for Nalini to heal from the death of her husband, all is not as it seems. Through their rocky friendship, though, Nalini finds a way to become closer to her daughter.

“Devi does not have problems, she has just been through something unimaginable that would break someone as flimsy as you in an instant, and she has persevered,” Nalini fired at Rhyah.

Never have i ever season 3
This season saw Devi and her mother’s relationship grow stronger. Source: IMDb

Also, on the topic of Devi’s healing journey in season 3, the show realistically portrayed a panic attack which was brought on by the school’s orchestra performance, revisiting the show’s beginning. Devi’s therapist also pointed out her growth, but this in turn made Devi feel guilty for not always grieving for her father. It emphasised that grief is a long and complicated journey, and the screen writers intricately added evidence of that throughout the season.

The key arc for Kamala is dating a man that her family first scorns for not being ‘Indian-enough’ and not giving into the pressure of arranged marriage. For Aneesa, a character introduced last season who Devi saw as competition, her journey included not dating anyone who did not fully support and appreciate her. One small critique of her plot would be the inconsistent narrative that did not directly address Aneesa’s mental health this season. A surprising character was Trent, Paxton’s best friend, who brought maturity and emotional depth to the plot.

The end of the season brought to light an important lesson that Devi learnt, where the narrator voices that, ‘Suddenly she felt like the present was a very precious thing, and she did not want to waste it.’

Never Have I Ever Season 3 is a case of imitating life rather than trying too hard to seem 100% realistic, which is what makes it thrilling and dramatic. Still, Devi’s growth this season is an accurate representation of finding yourself when struggling with issues of identity, self-image, culture, and of course the overarching theme of loss.

READ ALSO: Review: Never Have I Ever season 2 (Netflix)

 

 

 

 

Iqra Saeed
Iqra Saeed
Iqra is a university student and writer who has too many hobbies to count, including reading, crocheting, and climbing walls at the bouldering gym.

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