Ranking #1 on Netflix this week is a well-deserved comeback. Mindy Kaling’s teen comedy Never Me Never returns for its penultimate season with ten more episodes of the awkward (but very funny) high school drama.
If you’ve never seen the show before, you might be wondering if it’s worth watching or skipping. Here’s a rundown of I’ve Never Been and what critics say about it to help you decide if it’s worth the 15 hours of binge-watching you’ll need to prepare for next year’s final season.
What is the movie I’ve Never Been About?
You probably know Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project, Coed Sex Lives and as the pretty Kelly Kapoor on The Office (a show she also worked on backstage). She does not appear here, although the series is loosely based on her own childhood in Boston.
It concerns Devi (Maitreya Ramakrishnan), a first-generation Indian-American teenager who travels the violent, clickable world of high school while also grieving over her father’s early death.
It may sound a bit depressing, but as my colleague Kelly Wu put it, it successfully “takes the humor out of a horror story that takes place in high school and the awful awkwardness of adolescence.” It is, she says, “somewhere between the rewarding years of Miracles and the shocking value of Euphoria.”
The third season picks up where the second season left off, with Devi dealing with her own love triangle no matter what, choosing Paxton over her former academic rival Ben.
What do critics think of Never Have I Ever?
Season 3 currently has a 91% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (will open in a new tab). Excellent result, but not as strong as the 95% and 94% rating achieved in the first two seasons.
But this number is skewed by the fact that there are currently only 11 reviews collected from critics, and only one of them is negative, which I will discuss in a moment.
Abby Cavenaugh at the Collider (will open in a new tab) calls the third season “better than ever”, which is high praise indeed. It is definitely filled with drama. “breakups, connections, fighting overprotective parents, reconciling with overprotective parents, personal grudges and exaggerated teen drama” all add up to a season as Arizona Republic (will open in a new tab) Kimi Robinson explains.
“This is not an amazing show, but rather a comfortingly consistent one,” writes Maggie Fremont in TV Guide. (will open in a new tab). “It remains smart and funny, with a killer cast that can deftly maneuver between fast-paced comedy and poignant, heartfelt moments.”
And these feelings are shared by AV Club Saloni Ghajar. (will open in a new tab) review, where it is described as “one of the most interesting and heartfelt streamer offerings to date.”
One dissenting voice is isolated but important given the groundbreaking presentation the show is known for. “The culture-specific observations that made it such a breath of flavor in seasons one and two have been replaced with the mustiness of typical high school comedy,” laments Rohan Naahar of The Indian Express. (will open in a new tab).
Should I watch Never Me Never tonight?
Despite this critical review, I’ve Never Been season 3 seems like a must-see for anyone interested in Dev’s history.
Newcomers will be able to tell if this show is right for them after a couple of half-hour episodes of the first season, and there’s certainly no reason not to give it a try. After all, there’s a reason why it tops the Netflix most watched list.
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