The Netflix Gods have given us a gift from on high—in the form of a Season 3 renewal of Mindy Kaling’s fantastic coming-of-age comedy “Never Have I Ever.”
Now if you have not yet seen “Never Have I Ever,” may I ask why? It’s so brilliant and it gives you all those tender high school feels, which, yeah, can also be kind of painful. But it’s worth it! The show follows Devi, (the truly fantastic Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) an Indian-American teen struggling to deal with the shocking loss of her father. In the first season, we’re told that Devi experienced a type of psychosomatic paralysis after her father’s death that had her using a wheelchair for months. But with the help of her friends Eleanor Wong (Ramona Young) and Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez) and some special guidance from her father’s tennis hero John McEnroe, she figures out how to thrive during high school.
I mean, sort of. There’s still a lot of boy drama with Devi’s love interests, the insanely hot Paxton Hall-Yoshida and the less hot but kind of sweet Ben Gross. Last season, we saw Devi taking on absolutely mack status by dating both guys at once.
This didn’t take long to blow up in Devi’s face, but still! Polyandry forever.
But the show’s best asset is undoubtedly Lee Rodriguez’s Fabiola, a nerdy lesbian who spends the first part of the first season in the closet before coming out to Devi and Eleanor. Later on, she finds a girlfriend and it’s super cute. But by Season 2, Fabiola is already enmeshed in one of the most relatable gay plotlines I’ve yet seen onscreen. Basically, Fabiola’s GF Eve is a tiny power lesbian who has a group of super gay friends. They all know about gay things together and Fabiola is like, wait, am I supposed to have some of sort of built-in Gay Knowledge™ of things right after coming out?
Not a lot of shows address this problem of newly-out folks. You’re inducted into this cool community and it feels great, but also a little intimidating, especially if you’re younger. How do you watch all the shows you’re supposed to have seen already and get all the in-jokes? Where is the lesbian handbook required?
Seriously, Fabiola dealing with the difficulties of being a nerd AND a lesbian was one of the most relatable queer storylines I’ve seen on TV in a while. It was so moving when she finally “came out” to Eve as a gay who has somehow not seen “The L Word.”
What will Season 3 bring for Devi, Fabiola, Eleanor, and John McEnroe? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.