Never Have I Ever season two recently came out in July, and there has been much controversy surrounding the show. Netflix advertised it as a diverse show that depicts the struggles of being an Indian American girl in the United States. Being an Indian American girl myself, I was looking forward to watching a TV show that I can relate to. However, I, along with many of my Indian American friends, was very disappointed with the show.
The main part of Never Have I Ever that I was disappointed with was the fact that the main character, Devi, was ashamed of being Indian. In the first season, she feels embarrassed to be dressing in traditional Indian clothes and attending Ganesh Puja, which is a Hindu festival to celebrate the god of prosperity and wisdom, Ganesha. I personally love dressing up in Indian clothes and going to festivals and celebrations, so it was disappointing to see Devi having negative opinions about her culture.
Additionally, the second season of the show in particular had Devi making very unethical decisions without receiving much punishment for her actions. For instance, Devi and her friends thought it was okay for Devi to be dating two guys at once as long as she doesn’t get caught. When Devi does eventually get caught cheating, the guys are mad at her for some time, but both forgive her—one of them even becomes her boyfriend by the end of the season. Devi’s friend, Eleanor, also cheated on her boyfriend and justified it by saying that she was going to break up with him anyways. Never Have I Ever is targeted towards high schoolers and should not be teaching teens that cheating on someone is not a big deal. The fact that both guys were willing to be Devi’s friend and still wanted to date her after she cheated on them was very unrealistic.
Overall, although I do appreciate the diversity that Never Have I Ever has, I was very disappointed with the show. I hope season three includes more positive messages and appreciation of Indian culture.