While the show undoubtedly deserves praise for its groundbreaking role in illuminating South Asian American teenage experiences, “Never Have I Ever” hinges on banal stereotypes and reaffirms the model minority myth.
Its emphasis on women’s stories is refreshingly distinct from other current South Asian American shows.
Devi is unapologetically outspoken to the point of seeming unlikeable, subverting traditional perceptions of South Asian women as demure and agreeable.
South Asian American SolidarityThe show’s sheer absence of other South Asian American teenagers is striking: aside from the “Ganesh Puja” episode, viewers never see Devi interact with any South Asian Americans her age.
Perhaps “Never Have I Ever’s” second season will better take on that challenge, elevating the show from its initial role of exposure to a more robust one of empowerment.