top of page

"Never Have I Ever" (2020-) | Sam Gall TV Review Issue #5 Gem Mint 10.0

“Never Have I Ever“ (2020-)

Creator: Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher

Director: Kabir Akhtar, Tristram Shapeero, Anu Valia, Lena Khan, Linda Mendoza, Claire Scanlon, Maggie Carey, Lang Fisher, Kim Nguyen

Writer: Lang Fisher, Mindy Kaling, Aaron Geary, Amina Munir, Ben Steiner, Akshara Sekar & more

Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Darren Barnet, Benjamin Norris, Jaren Lewison, Richa Moorjani, Lee Rodriguez, Ramona Young, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Adam Shapiro, Christina Kartchner, Megan Suri

Rated: TV-14

Runtime: 30min

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Country: United States

Language: English

Available on: Netflix

"The complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Mindy Kaling's own childhood."

You might like this if you like: Mindy Kaling, 'The Office', Andy Samberg, 'The Lonely Island', Comedy, Drama, Romance, High School Movies, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Darren Barnet, Benjamin Norris, Jaren Lewison, Richa Moorjani, Lee Rodriguez, Ramona Young, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Adam Shapiro, Christina Kartchner

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (left), Lee Rodriguez (middle) & Ramona Young (right) in "Never Have I Ever" (2020-)

I heard about this magical show from being longtime fans of creator of the show and actor Mindy Kaling, from “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005) and “The Office”, as well as producer Andy Samberg from “Saturday Night Live” and his hip-hop parody group/now film company; ‘The Lonely Island’.

I always love the classic high school romance story and am open to every interpretation as possible as everyone’s high school experience varies slightly to dramatically! There’s so much room for so many more stories, maybe for a minute there it felt like we were getting one shade of color. This show, along with a couple fantastic others like Hulu’s “PEN15” and HBO’s “Euphoria” are breaking down walls in some incredible ways!

Benjamin Norris (left), Darren Barnet (middle) & Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (right) in "Never Have I Ever" (2020-)

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan was a new face for me, as I’m sure she was for many, but she just takes over the whole show. She’s gonna be a star. I can’t where to see where her career goes from here. She’s got the wits, the charm and the intensity all going for her! I was able to feel Mindy Kaling’s story right through her and into my own, relating in more ways than I wanted to remember at times but all for the better.

All those insecurities and heartbreaks we go through then seem like they’re tackled more face to face than when I was growing up. It makes me more thankful and have faith in the next generations talking more about things openly than when I did at that age.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (left), Richa Morrjani (middle) & Poorna Jagannathan (right) in "Never Have I Ever" (2020-)

The way that show balances love, friendship, racism and grief all into one beautiful through line is the life story that most films only choose one. Life is usually filled with scares, laughs, love, death and friendships, I never got why a story felt it had to stick to only one tempo the whole time. This one demonstrates it beautifully, hitting me on deeper levels than I expected.

Both Darren Barnet and Jaren Lewison were amazing discoveries! At least on my end, I hadn’t seen them prior to this. Getting to see so many different sides of the, what seemed like at first, ‘side’ characters was one of my favorite aspects. You really were able to feel for each side and not just the ‘protagonist’s.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (left) & Jaren Lewison (right) in "Never Have I Ever" (2020-)

I loved seeing Sendhil Ramamurthy, I honestly don’t think I’d seen him since NBC’s “Heroes”. I loved how they used him in this show, I mean I could always use more, but I was happy with the end result. Poorna Jagannathan seemed a little familiar, regardless, this is definitely the most memorable role she’s graced me with so far. She’s one of her best characters in this show! Richa Moorjani, Lee Rodriguez, Ramona Young and newcomer Megan Suri all have just blown me away! Everyone in this is fantastic!

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in "Never Have I Ever" (2020-)

One of my favorite high school movies of all time has been Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg’s “Superbad” (2007) and has remained one of the most influential films for me. It inspired me to write my own high school story as an Asian American and then I got stuck it for a few years until only recently when “Never Have I Ever” (2020) came out. All three of these are drastically different stories, but “Never Have I Ever” (2020) could not have inspired me more to finish it. It was a beautiful reminder that there is room for all these other perspectives and spins on what’s so familiar to us all; love, friendship, family and growing up in this strange, strange world.

Written by Sam Gall on 08/05/21

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

Official Trailer:

Behind the Scenes:

#NeverHaveIEver #Netflix #MindyKaling #LangFisher #MaitreyiRamakrishnan #PoornaJagannathan #DarrenBarnet #JohnMcEnroe #BenjaminNorris #JarenLewison #RichaMoorjani #LeeRodriguez #RamonaYoung #SendhilRamamurthy #MeganSuri