This week, Netflix premiered the highly anticipated final season of the beloved series 'Never Have I Ever,' bringing Devi's journey to the long-awaited conclusion that fans have been eagerly awaiting.
The show first graced the screens in 2020, during the onset of the Covid era, and quickly became a delightful and binge-worthy experience. What set 'Never Have I Ever' apart was its refreshing choice to cast an Indian girl, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as the lead protagonist, breaking the mould of a typical white teenager.
Devi's life was a whirlwind of events, encompassing various challenges and triumphs. From coping with the loss of her father to navigating the complexities of her social and academic life, her story was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Throughout it all, she was accompanied by her incredible and eccentric best friends, Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Young), who remained steadfast by her side. Adding to the mix was her stunningly beautiful cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) who sparked feelings of envy, a school arch-nemesis named Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison), and Paxton (Darren Barnet), the embodiment of her dream man. All of this was narrated to the viewers by none other than the legendary John McEnroe.
The anticipation among the audience was palpable, eager to discover how the creators would conclude this delightful yet tumultuous blend. The fourth and final season of 'Never Have I Ever' proved to be an emotional journey, evoking a longing for the earlier seasons and beloved characters. It went beyond being just a binge-worthy series; it struck a deep chord with viewers of all ages, from kids to teenagers to adults. While it was bittersweet to bid farewell to the show, each episode of the final season was undeniably worthwhile.
However, it must be noted that while the series finale was decent, it didn't quite rise to the level of being outstanding, as it adhered to the conventions of clichéd endings. The season revolves around two crucial questions that demand answers: Who will Devi ultimately choose as her romantic partner, Ben or Paxton? And will her long-cherished dream of attending Princeton University become a reality? One should probably watch the whole series to get the answers but much of it can be guessed.
In this season, the show has also introduced new romantic entanglements for several characters. Nirmala (Ranjita Chakravarty) finds herself a boyfriend, adding an exciting twist to her storyline. Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), Devi's mother, becomes infatuated with the father of her daughter's classmate, sparking a blossoming connection. And, as expected, a charming new male character is introduced to pique Devi's interest, providing ample fodder for her teenage infatuation. In this season, Kamala, unfortunately, has a limited role. It seems as though the writers have explored various possibilities for Kamala's storyline in previous seasons, leaving little room for significant development in the current one. However, due to her popularity among fans, the makers ensured Kamala had a presence, albeit a relatively minor one.
Furthermore, the show's creators have undeniably infused a strong sense of 'desi-ness' throughout the series. Tamil songs, words, and props are sprinkled generously throughout the season.
The thing about this show is, it always feels like they can do one more season because no matter how predictable the show is, it’s still very much enjoyable. It’s relaxing to see Devi being her psychotic self, messing around with everyone and oh, how can one forget her banters with her mother? The trajectory of their relationship, from the show opener to the season finale, is fascinating to observe.
Throughout the series, Devi experiences remarkable transformations from the initial season to the fourth. Maitreyi, who was only 17 when she was cast in the show, has blossomed into a talented and intelligent young woman, fully capable of carrying the show on her own. Undoubtedly, she has excelled in her performance this season. Alongside her, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, and the entire cast delivered brilliant performances, adding to the overall excellence of the show.
Mindy Kaling, the exceptionally talented backbone and writer of the show, skillfully guides each character to complete their journey, bringing them full circle. Throughout the final season, there are poignant and emotional scenes that grip viewers, evoking a desire for the season to continue indefinitely. The depth of these moments makes it difficult to bid farewell, knowing that there won't be any more seasons to follow.