This article contains spoilers from "Never Have I Ever" season 2. We're sorry!
Desi American girls all know what it feels like to have a sibling, friend or cousin that is just too perfect. They are smarter, prettier and can speak their mother tongue fluently. They seem to be loved by everyone, including your parents and friends. They are the person you hate to hate, and they are constantly being compared.
Maitreyi Rajakrishnan (19), star of Mindy Kaling’s Netflix series "Never Have I Ever" is familiar with the situation and has been given the opportunity to play it on screen. Season two of the show will be available on Netflix starting Thursday. Devi, Devi's main character, faces new challenges, including a cooler Indian girl joining her class.
Ramakrishnan said that "it sucks." It's unfortunate because you feel like, "Hey, why don't you just be good friends?" You want to be like: "Devi, please go be friends." "You're jealous.
"Never Have I Ever" is the story of Devi Vishwakumar (15-year-old Indian American high-school student who lost her father to a heart attack in the first season. Season 1 Devi's goal is to give up her virginity to her school hottie, and to make her outcast friends famous. Her quest turns out to be a disaster as she is plagued by lies, anger issues, and a difficult relationship with her mother and friends. Devi ends the season with her mother finally at peace and confused about her feelings towards two boys.
Season 2 continues exactly where season 1 left off. Devi's confusions, anger, and lies come back to bite Devi. Devi's growing relationships with Desi women is the main focus of this season. The touching moments she shared with her mother (Poorna Jayannathan) as well as her cousin Kamala, (Richa Moorjani), helped to shape Devi's character arc for season two. Ramakrishnan also had a life outside of the show. She thought about the importance of relationships with brown women in her life.
She said, "I wouldn’t be who and what I am without them."
Anesa (Megan Suri) is a transfer student who enrolls in Sherman Oaks High School. She is often called "Devi 2.0" among white students. Ramakrishnan stated that Devi is jealous of Aneesa, who is athletic, stylish, and easygoing.
She said, "You can see where Devi is coming from." She's determined to leave her mark. She has her baggage, she's dealing.
They end up having a unique friendship that is unlike any other. Ramakrishnan stated that John McEnroe, the show's narrator described it perfectly in his voiceover.
Ramakrishnan stated that Devi once in a while had a friend who understood her in a way her other friends did not. "No shade to Eleanor [Ramona Young] or Fabiola [Lee Rodriguez], however Aneesa understood the small things, such as comparisons between cousins and random judgments of wearing baggy clothing."
Anesa admits to Devi that she has experienced these things, even though they disagree. Ramakrishnan stated that relationships between brown girls were so important and meaningful, emphasizing their importance in her life.
She said, "Having someone who truly understands that identity and all those little things, it's really lovely and really fulfilling." It'll help Devi to realize that she can have deep conversations with her friends about these topics, as well as what bugs and delights her about the culture.
In addition to the changes in Devi's relationships (with Ben and Paxton) that began in season one, the new season introduces a love interest in Devi's mom, a fellow dermatologist who is also a single father, played by Common. Kamala, a beautiful, feminine Indian woman Devi feels she cannot live up to, finds empowerment in challenging her misogynistic coworker who refuses her credit for her work.
Paxton is also featured in an episode that explains his background, his journey to education, and his struggles to be perceived as more than a jock. This episode will be narrated guest by model Gigi Haid.
Hadid says, "Believe or not, this kid is my friend," in her voiceover. "People see us only as sex symbols, so we're constantly undervalued."
Ramakrishnan isn't sure what the future holds for Devi or any other characters on the show, but she believes the deep relationships and maturity between the Desi women are crucial to Devi's growth as she navigates her adolescence.
She said, "She's just trying find her own self."