07th May2020

‘Never Have I Ever’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

At first glance, I, among the majority of the people who have heard of the Netflix original show Never Have I Ever, assumed this was just yet another teenage drama series but as the show progress it really did step up in my estimation…

Never Have I Ever opened with the lead character Devi praying to a selection of Hindu gods which was a very unusual opening. But it is fantastic to see this faith get mainstream attention, something which can only benefit members of the Hindu community. On top of this, opening a show with a prayer scene also captured the anxieties of Devi and, as she is a representation of a typical teenager, the fears young people face such as grades, friends and relationships – which is insanely clever.

Every character in t Never Have I Ever is well-rounded, portrayed realistically and honestly, which made them very easy to relate to. As well as showing religion as a centre point of the show, Never Have I Ever uniquely covered the idea of dealing with grief incredibly. Seeing a young teenage attend therapy sessions is fantastic and yet again can only benefit any viewers who are going through a rough time. These two key themes are an incredibly important inclusion and are often not shown on mainstream television – which helps make this show stand out from all the other teenage drama series that have come before it. Apart from this, Never Have I Ever is a classic teenage drama series, as it deals with petty arguments, the pursuit of relationship and fights with parents, all of which are common in these types of TV dramas.

Never Have I Ever is also extremely modern and relevant to young peoples lives. There is an emphasis on how new language such as ”lerk”, ”fitty” and ”fierce” which, as someone who is interested in language, I found very entertaining. This idea of new language was even discussed by the older character on the show, which led to many hilarious scenes to watch. The developers of this show also included references to modern shows to help represent a truly realistic representation of modern teenage life which again was very clever.

When Never Have I Ever started I was very confused by certain aspects – such as why is a tennis player narrating this show, or the randomness of events in the show; but it was in the final episode when everything was tied together. In fact, the story ‘breadcrumbing’ done in this series is one of the best I have ever seen – but it was only in the end episode that it all made sense; which was bit slow but when it finally happened it was incredible. As I have said this is the perfect teenage drama series, however, I never expected to be hit so hard with emotions by the end of the show! The end of Never Have I Ever was so emotionally moving that I think many people would struggle to watch this show without ending up in tears.

Overall Never Have I Ever is a great show for a young teenage audience but the end will be a lot for their young minds, as even I found it very overwhelming! It’s a fun show that thought carefully about its characters and how the story develops which makes for a great product for the audience to watch. Never Have I Ever does move somewhat slowly but when it reaches the climax of the story, it is worth every second before and really hope there will be another series in the future!

****½  4.5/5

Never Have I Ever is available on Netflix now.

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