Never Have I Ever represents teenage mischief authentically

·2 min read

Teen drama as represented in television has often placed teenagers on a negative pedestal.

We can acknowledge the fact that teenagers are indeed at the cusp of their youth and have the tendency to chase after mindless fun here and there.

However, the representation of teen spirit is overdone in some television series like HBO’s “Euphoria,” The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” Rogue parties and illegal debacles are usually the focal setting point of the plot. More often than not, teenagers don’t act like their age.

They are involved in drugs, alcohol and conflicts that are often centered around adults. Netflix teen-drama sitcom, “Never Have I Ever,” breaks these conventions.

What “Never Have I Ever” does perfectly is it represents teenage angst authentically and does not touch on the aforementioned cliches. Also, the series features a cast of characters who are POCs (people of color), queer and neurodivergent.

It centers around Davi Vishwakumar, a Desi teenager who is conflicted after the sudden death of her father. She is impulsive, at times selfish and prone to self-destruction. Although she is the typical teenager, she also isn’t cut from the same fabric with other main characters. She isn’t self-deprecating and doesn’t shy away from expressing herself.

Just like any other teenager, she is self-centered and obsessed with popularity. However, her very traditional Indian mom is there to quell her rebellious streak. Devi’s family is very traditional and it shows the complex family dynamics most teen drama series fail to touch on.

“Never Have I Ever,” tackles trauma very well in its capacity to shed light on just how ugly the repercussions of it is. Devi sometimes hurts people whom she cares about just because she is marred by the traumatic experience of losing her dad and consequently suffering from a physical disease (she couldn’t walk for three months) from that trauma. The show also discusses how one shouldn’t cast mental illness and trauma as an excuse to hurt people.

“Never Have I Ever” is a feel-good sitcom that explores the intricacy of one’s teenage years. At the height of youth, we sometimes feel like all problems would lead to the end of the world.

These glory days of recklessness and mischief also is the time to make mistakes and learn from them, as shown by Devi Vishwakumar.