“Never Have I Ever’s” Season 3 Exceeding Expectations


The cast of “Never Have I Ever”.

Mahima Shankar, Staff Writer

During the last summer, our favorite yet ultimately problematic teenager, Devi Vishukumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), returned to the TV screen. “Never Have I Ever” season 3 aired on Netflix on August 12. This season had been long awaited after the ending of season 2, where Paxton (Darren Barnet) made his big entrance to the Winter Snow Ball by… hitting Devi with his jeep. But Devi was too overcome with butterflies to notice if she was injured since Paxton had come to the dance to be her boyfriend. 

This leads us to the opening scene of season 3, with Devi and Paxton walking together, holding hands, in the halls of Sherman Oaks High. Let’s be honest, all the South Asian teenage girls were rooting for Devi. Regardless of her somewhat problematic behavior; we all relate to her on a deeper personal level. Season 3 of “Never Have I Ever” is arguably the best season so far. The show follows up on the belief that some shows just get better with time. Let’s discuss how this show invoked such a relatable appeal to the audience. 

This season really focused on Devi’s journey towards self love and how to prioritize oneself instead of jumping into new relationships. All of Devi’s insecurities were displayed this season, whether that makes her a more unlikable character or not, it still provides her character with realisticness and room for growth. This season started off with Devi and Paxton finally becoming official. Although this has been Devi’s dream for a while, she still faces doubts due to her interior and insecurities. As seen by Devi Vishukumar, dating the most popular guy in school also comes with its struggles. 

Unfortunately, because of her insecurities getting the best of her, Paxton ends up calling it quits with their relationship. Granted their break up, Devi spent time grieving the fact that she got dumped by Paxton Hall-Yoshida. Eventually, she was able to move on from the fact that they had even dated, and luckily another charmer walked in right when she least expected it. This brings us to a controversial character: Nirdesh or otherwise known as Des (Anirudh Pisharody), who graced Devi’s presence and gave her a rebound after Paxton. Despite the fact things start and roll smoothly between Devi and Des, almost to the point where Devi was the happiest she has ever been, Des’ true “mommy’s boy’s” colors are shown. 

This leads to the point where Ryah, a character who was becoming a fan favorite for creating a tight bond with Nalini, turns out to convince Des to break up with Devi due to her past emotional trauma. But Des’ storyline, although frustrating, is the exact Indian guy stereotype that South Asian girls needed to see on screen. This appears to be the second occurrence in season 3 where Devi is getting dumped, but fortunately her mother, Nalini, had her back standing up and against Ryah for her disrespectful actions towards Devi. 

We all were able to view a much more mature and self-aware version of Devi in the duration of the season, rather than the usual chaotic and messy character during the first two seasons. But this season also remains a fan favorite, because of highlighting the common issues South Asian Americans are now left to overcome, after years of harmful stereotypes and euphemisms directed towards our exterior. South Asian girls are able to find Devi’s character so relatable, not only because of her race, but because of her self-destructiveness. This is caused by her inability to find herself desirable, thanks to the years of incessant bullying based on her appearance. 

To sum it up, season 3 reveals plots that were somewhat expected since Devi’s character generally makes the same yet messy choices in her life. But the plotline also followed along a very relatable story, matching those of many South Asian girls in America, who are currently facing the same problems. Although the characters did not end up in the relationships we were all yearning for, it was for the better of their own personal development.