Never have I ever binged an entire season of a TV show in a day… oh, wait.
Never Have I Ever Left Something Unresolved
The high school exploits of Devi Vishwakumar [Maitreyi Ramakrishnan] and friends have come to a close with the release of “Never Have I Ever” season 4. Or at least, it’s over “for now,” according to narrator John McEnroe. Yes, legendary tennis player/temper-tantrum thrower John McEnroe, who is quite a fitting narrator for fellow hothead Devi.
To give a little more backstory on Devi, the show, and what that all has to do with John McEnroe, I will need to give some spoilers, but I’ll start by limiting it to season 1, episode 1 kind of stuff.
Netflix original “Never Have I Ever” revolves around Devi, an Indian-American teenage girl on her quest to experience the usual coming-of-age milestones: get a boyfriend and get into a good college. The hitch is that a few months before the series, Devi watched her father die during a school orchestra performance. She then inexplicably lost the use of her legs for three months. That all sounds pretty depressing and heavy, but the show is created by Mindy Kaling, best known for “The Mindy Project” and “The Office.” Trust me when I say that it’s actually hilarious and balances hard topics with the right amount of light-hearted humor.
When we first meet Devi, she’s a freshman in high school with recently-unparalyzed legs and a mission for popularity. More specifically, she wants to get a popular boyfriend so she can lose her virginity. This goal spans several seasons and has many bumps along the way. So when (bigger spoilers starting now) season 3 ended with Devi showing up at the house of friend, academic rival and on-again-off-again romantic interest, Ben Gross [Jaren Lewison], to redeem his “one free bonk” card, we were all wondering if Devi finally did the deed.
Never Have I Ever Gotten Everything I Wanted
If you made it past the spoiler warning, I will assume that you’ve already binged season 4. Or you’re impatient and just want to know what happens. So to resolve the massive season 3 cliffhanger, yes, Devi and Ben did have sex. And in classic Devi-and-Ben fashion, things got awkward after.
Sure, some of this awkwardness is likely a natural consequence of when two people with as complicated a history as theirs make it even more complicated. But I think that this and other moments throughout season 4 of “Never Have I Ever” touch upon a much bigger issue, one that goes beyond the sex lives of high schoolers: What happens after you get everything you want?
Devi spent much of the past three seasons with a laser-focused goal of losing her virginity. This is often to the detriment of her friends, family and college aspirations. Naturally, when that finally happens, and it doesn’t magically solve all of her problems, she resorts to her lovably-messy ways. She picks fights with Ben’s new girlfriend. She is constantly getting in her own way of her dreams to attend Princeton, and she is often a bad friend, all her usuals.
We can all relate to Devi, at least to an extent. Often, we get caught up in our own lives and demons. We put pressure on ourselves to do more, to be better. And when we do get what we want, or at least what we think we want, it can often feel hollow, especially if your victories came at the detriment of those you love. Getting into your top-choice college or dating your crush is great, but it’s better with good friends by your side.
Never Have I Ever Grown From My Experiences
At the end of season 4, we see Devi and friends fittingly playing a game of Never Have I Ever. Yes, it’s nice to see that Devi, Fabiola [Lee Rodriguez] and Eleanor [Ramona Young], a trio who were nicknamed the “Unfuckable Nerds,” or UN for short, have gained the sexual experience they were all seeking.
But more importantly, it was amazing to see how everyone has grown and matured over the course of four seasons. All of our favorite characters get their own happy ending – whether it’s Eleanor making her own way in the acting world, Kamala [Richa Moorjani] taking control of her life personally and professionally, Eric [Jack Seavor McDonald] making the swim team or Paxton [Darren Barnet] giving it the ol’ college try for the second time.
They are all sure to make more mistakes in the future, especially Devi. After all, it’s kind of her brand. But they have all embraced the fear that comes with change. And while we’re probably all well past our high school days, we can all learn some lessons from “Never Have I Ever.”
Go after your goals, but don’t lose sight of everything along the way. Make time for your friends and family. Help them with their goals. And like our mission statement says, enjoy the in-between along the way.
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