Why You Should Watch The Show ‘Never Have I Ever’ Now // ft. rant, bias in the media, representation matters!

Hey sunshines!

Today is going to be somewhat of an emotional, rant-y, super long post so be warned 🙂

I just finished watching Never Have I Ever.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s the new and hot TV series that everyone’s talking about- it’s about Devi, an Indian-American teen who is getting over the loss of her father and her paralyzation. The show is so Indian, and I can’t tell you how much I love it.

Here’s the synopsis:

Never Have I Ever is a series about the life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl, a highschool sophmore named Devi. She recently lost her father and was paralyzed for a few months but is looking to ‘start over’ this year- but friends, school, and circumstances don’t make it easy for her. The series is loosely inspired by Mindy Kaling, the director’s, childhood.

So.

I am obsessed with this show. But not just a normal fangirl- to be honest, I probably won’t fangirl about it much like I do with a lot of other books/shows because this just isn’t that sort of series.

It’s flawed.

It’s flawed, and it has issues (mostly because a lot of it was quite cringy), but in my opinion that makes it so much better.

I’m going to try and explain my thoughts coherently right now before I go into a full-on rant, so here goes nothing!

What I liked about Never Have I Ever:

  • Devi Viswanathan, the MC
    • Her not feeling Indian enough and too Indian at the same time
    • Her name not being whitewashed so it’s easier for people to pronounce (e.g. Mayas and Sanyas and Saras like they exist, but stop pretending that that’s all of us! I guarantee you that 90% of the readers of this post can’t pronounce my name properly but idgaf, I still love my name)
      • Devi is easy enough to say but it’s super traditional. Viswanathan is just unapologetically South Indian!!
    • Devi being able to be a great student and pay attention in school and also like boys and fashion and girly stuff
    • Hotheaded and means well- yes, please!
    • Dealing with her grief by ignoring it, total pro move
  • Eleanor and Fabiola, her best friends
    • Complex characters
    • Holding Devi accountable for not being a good friend sometimes
    • Caring about each other and Devi even when they’re in a fight
    • Fabiola: her whole arc, the robots, and Eve
    • Eleanor: her whole arc, her mom, and t h e s p i a n s  rule!
  • BEN
    • smol but annoying
    • total nerd
    • enemies to lovers?? YES PLEASE
    • HIS SMILE OH GOSH
    • Ben and Devi ftw!
    • the whole parents thing 😦 poor Ben!!
    • Him being a huge DORK about Rick and Morty
    • AHAH THE PIZZA SCENE (kinda sad and gross but also really funny)
  • Paxton
    • I don’t ship Devi and Paxton, but I do think he’s a good character
    • His sister and being protective of her
    • Insecurity about his grades and stuff
    • Him reacting normally and justifiably outraged when people objectified him and used him
  • Nalini
    • gosh, she’s such a flawed mother yet I can totally see her in other Indian moms!
    • Honestly, the actor is GORGEOUS
    • (insert a picture below)'Never Have I Ever' Season 2: Netflix Renewal Status ...
    • THE END WAS BEAUTIFUL
  • Kamala!
    • classic Indian IT gorgeous girl smh I love it
    • She reminds me of a young woman who I know pretty well, Rupa Akka, and Rupa Akka is also gorgeous and in a traditionally Asian-dominated field!
    • Steve/Kamala was great but I’m Team Prashant XD
  • MOHAN
    • First of all, sweetest dad ever!
    • THE FLASHBACKS WERE EVERYTHING
    • the coyote ❤
    • the  a s h e s

So there were my slightly coherent thoughts, it’s now time to get to full-on rambles.

divider_oneinamillion

I loved this series because it made me felt seen.

Let me explain.

Indians, let alone Indian-Americans, get basically no representation in mainstream media.

I’m not even going to specify “for teens” because then I can’t count a total- a total– of TWO Indian characters. And they’re both played by the same guy.

And, yeah, they’re both nerdy, obsessed with math, and have huge accents.

And you know what? Lots of Indians DO care about their education a lot. I can confirm that where I live, basically a hotspot for Asians, is super competitive because of this.

But that doesn’t mean we’re only schoolwork machines.

For example- I’m a Straight-A student, but I’m also a blogger, a lover of books and writing, a singer and violinist, a (hopeful but talented-I-think) actress, and an activist.

There’s so much more to me than being good at school, and I don’t think a lot of directors understand that (I mean, they’re mostly white dudes. What can I say? They obviously won’t understand: everyone in the media looks like them smh)

Mindy Kaling (the director and basically only Indian-American woman who is successful in Hollywood) gets it, though.

And she ended up crafting a beautiful, funny story about teens coming-of-age and of grief, and I loved it.

Also, there’s more.

I could actually! relate! to! Devi! And that’s huge because I usually can’t. All of the characters are gorgeous white girls with a family that’s just completely different* from anything I’ve grown up with. Their problems are boys and kissing, and although I’ve experienced that too and Devi’s story is also about that, it’s also a lot more.

Devi’s story explores what it means to have cultural diaspora and feel disconnected from your culture. It explores traditional Indian holidays and events as well as ‘normal’ teen things.

Plus, it helps that Devi’s family speaks the same language as me AND I FEEL SO VALID RIGHT NOW. The throwaway “kanna”s and “achicho”s make me feel fuzzy inside. I think this is probably individual to people of color and bilingual people who grew up hearing two languages (and no, I’m not talking about yall who started learning Spanish in high school. you don’t count and you know why XD).

Also, this is kinda weird, but when I first watched Black Panther and ATLA, I felt sort of like this, you know? Black Panther revolves around African culture and ATLA is based on Asian cultures (not Indian though, although there is one Indian-coded character with a very heavy accent and who talks about chakras a lot haha).

Even though these aren’t my cultures, I kinda felt happy on their behalf? Plus, it’s always great to see other people of color in the media- and their dark skin makes me feel seen too!!

Honestly, this post is turning into a bunch of things about not getting representation that people of color will understand and white people won’t get but will probably be really nice about because my readers are always nice >:o

My reaction to NHE was a lot like that, but several times more intense. It was like I was at home in the show, which is kind of like what El and I were talking about earlier today.

Also, important: this post is mainly about POC youth’s diaspora even though it’s supposedly a review, and I know that white people also can experience this e.g. being ginger without much rep or coming from a country with fewer media representation but please make an effort to understand that people of color experience that but on a much larger level and if you do, thank you. Also, queer, disabled, and other minority groups’ diaspora are also totally valid but I’m not going there today!

(hate that I feel like I’m offending people if I didn’t make that note- smh I wish I was brave enough to call out white privilege without constantly apologizing and make eXcEpTiOnS)

I’m just so thrilled that people who look like me are finally represented in the media. Devi just looks so Indian. There’s no way you can mistake her for being white or anything other than South Asian and I’m living for it!

The fact that the casting directors were unafraid to cast an actual Indian girl- with weird eyebrows like most of us has, thick black hair, arm hair which we all hate, and brown skin the same shade as mine- makes me so happy.

Devi dressing up in a half-sari for Ganesh puja and praying to the gods I pray to makes me happy. The two Bollywood songs that briefly played being songs I knew made me happy.

Is this how it feels to be white and watch a great show/movie/read a great book that’s awesome on its own, but is even more awesome because you can relate to it?

If so, I’m jealous. I’m also angry that we’ve been robbed of great content.

Also, please please please don’t trivialize this! On behalf of so many people who have never seen themselves in anything mainstream, it IS a big deal to us. Most of us never realized that this is how it feels to be represented and see yourself on screen.

That’s a serious tragedy and you can’t deny that.

I’d also like to point out that Never Have I Ever has disappointed some Indian watchers because it wasn’t everything they hoped for, and that’s okay. Obviously, one good series isn’t going to solve all the rep issues and India is a hugely diverse country (definitely more diverse than the USA or Britain or whatever, fight me on that) so one TV series isn’t going to be able to capture everyone’s experiences. And personally, I’m much more in tune with my culture than Devi and I’m not as boy-obsessed as she is, but her experiences are valid too.

*So regarding my comment about white people’s families being a lot different from mine and many other people of color, it’s true. I spent several years in a predominantly white area where everyone was Catholic and blonde and ate boring food and yawn and I’m currently living in a place with a ton of Asians and Indians and my experiences are so different from then.

When we lived in the white people place, our neighbors would eat at five PM and go to church often and go to the mall with friends and get normal punishments from their parents like taking away their phone and go to like one extra-curricular and their home would smell of white-person-food all the time (sorry XD but we all know American and British food is the blandest and boringest of all time).

Meanwhile, we ate at 8 PM consistently, went to the temple occasionally and only for music events (we pray at home most of the time or just don’t pray often), I’ve basically only been to the mall with friends once, and we had parents with us, I occasionally get smacked (yes, still an acceptable punishment in some communities smh), I do freaking eight extra-curriculars, and my house smells like dosas and sambar all the time.

When we moved here, it was so different because everyone’s homes smelled like actual food, too. XD just kidding,,, but actually, I’m not.

But I digress. That’s not my point.

M point is that Never Have I Ever is flawed, yes, but it’s a step in the right direction for Hollywood and it made me feel seen and valid.

My point is that white people and people of color should ALL push for more diversity in media because it really, really matters. I wish that previous generations could have grown up seeing people like them doing all kinds of cool stuff on TV and although we haven’t solved the representation crisis yet, I’m thankful for stories like these existing in my time.

Also, I know I just finished my whole StayHomeWriMo challenge where I was commended on writing diverse stories so much (btw thanks y’all, ilysm) but for me it’s basically second nature because of everything I just explained. I really want to be seen in the media, which is why I do everything I can to make others seen, too.

I actually had to go out of my way to write white people and dudes which is weird but yeah XD

All I ask is that you guys actually make an effort to write more diverse characters in your work because maybe I offered you a fresh point of view. Everything you do to promote diverse, #OwnVoies authors and filmmakers matters to us, a lot.

So yeah, here’s my rant.

I hope you learned something and if you read all the way to the end, you are amazing!! This felt so freeing and it’s been a while since I’ve written a serious post.

Can you relate to everything I said in my post? Are you a person of color, specifically an Indian or South Asian? Have you experienced diaspora or not getting representation?

Do you want to watch Never Have I Ever? Have you already watched it, and what did you think? All Indians reading this, I especially recommend watching it!!

Will you promise to *try* and write more diverse characters? (we’re not that hard to write XD I promise we’re just like you)

xoxoadiforadi1

(by the way, I would love to engage in a friendly debate about everything I brought up about race in this post, HOWEVER, I will not be putting myself in situations where I feel like I have to apologize for anything I said in this post- where I already felt like I needed to censor myself- because an entitled troll thinks that bias in the media doesn’t exist. girl, bye. ya canceled!)

82 thoughts on “Why You Should Watch The Show ‘Never Have I Ever’ Now // ft. rant, bias in the media, representation matters!

  1. Honestly, seeing you so happy about this show makes me feel really happy as well 😁 I’ll have to try and check this out (although I am soo bad about getting around to watching movies and TV, I’ll admit XD). Anyway, I’m so glad you found a story that really represented you. I’ll admit that, while I got the concept of representation in theory when I was younger, it didn’t click with me how affirming it could actually be until I finally read a book with a main character who had anxiety. And I just recently watched a show with queer characters and it was really good and I just loved it, it felt so amazing 😭 I’ve never loved characters so much before.

    (As a side note, people who compare being ginger to being a POC are…Huh. (I DO NOT GET THEM SEND HELP OR MAYBE SEND THEM HELP.))

    Diversity is wonderful and I promise I’ll try to write diverse characters. It honestly really is just…so fun. To me, it’s a bit boring to only tell one person’s story.
    Also, I just love writing diverse settings. It’s hard at times (especially when Wikipedia fails you and doesn’t have the articles you need 😭), but it’s also just…SO enjoyable.

    Anyway, this sounds like a great show, I’m so glad you liked it, and I hope this comment makes sense because it’s late and I barely ever know what I’m saying anyway XD (also before I forget I LOVE BLACK PANTHER AND ATLA TOO)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *casually hopping into the conversation oops* i have a ginger friend who, whenever something doesn’t go her way, says that she’s being discriminated against because she’s a ginger?! like that’s not how it wORKS asdfghjk

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Omg no, love having you on this convo!
        OKAY THAT’S SERIOUSLY WEIRD. How do people still use excuses like that?! it’s lowkey funny though 😅😅

        Like

    2. Ahh, I’m glad that you feel happy too 🥺😻
      XD I feel you about not getting to movies and TV shows- I still haven’t watched To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and THE SECOND MOVIE IS COMING OUT 😉
      Becky yesss!! I’m so glad that you felt seen in those books! Just for reference, what’s the book and the TV show you referenced? Especially the TV show- I live for queer characters ❤
      (hahaha I totally agree! this person in particular wasn't *really* comparing gingerism to racism (that would be wild) but I really think it's unfair to just turn the tables on a conversation like that because we all know they're only bringing it up so they can dance around privilege smh)
      Haha yes- to be honest most of my settings that are in the real world are in America because I'm basic like that??? AND FOR SOME REASON I DIDN'T EVEN CONSIDER THAT IN MY CHALLENGE. Wild. But I'm going to keep that in mind for the next stories I write!! ❤😅
      I really liked it! It's cringy but Mindy Kaling is queen of cringe and we STAN. 😂 Dude I loved reading this comment, thanks so much for leaving this wonderful novel (jk passage hehe) on my post!!! ❤
      OMG BLACK PANTHER AND ATLA ARE AMAZINGGGG ESPECIALLY ATLA IT'S SO FRICKIN GOOOOOD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES TO ALL OF THIS!!! I binged this series and i love the rep!! it makes me feel so seen and the whole too indian/not indian enough dilemma is so REAL. you’ve pretty much put everything i feel into words and i love how amazingly you’ve reviewed this! i cannot wait for season 2 (but we probs have to wait till summer 2021 which is way too long?!) and yes!! the enemies to lovers!! i ship ben and devi so much (this is a bit rambly oops but awesome post 💛)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVED IT TOO!! The rep makes me feel so seen too! 💛🥺 ikr- at school I feel ‘too Indian’ because I do classical arts competitively and love it, at music class I feel ‘not Indian enough’ because everyone else came to class wearing shalwar khamizes (probably transliterated that wrong XD) and I’m just wearing jeans and a tshirt.
      UGH I CANNOT WAIT FOR SEASON 2 TO COME OUT 😭😭😭 and omg yesss to Ben and Devi they’re literally adorable!!
      Aw thank you so much for commenting- it feels really validating to hear another Indian love the rep too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. aditi, this post made me so so sooooo happy. i love the fact that never have i ever has allowed you to feel so seen and understood and represented. it’s such an awesome feeling!

    i love the fact that unlike many other shows, never have i ever had white characters be the minority. even the side characters were all POC – her therapist, the principal, the friends’ love interests. that’s the opposite of what we see in most media – you typically have a majorly white cast, with a couple POC characters, and it was amazing to see it the other way around.

    i think i relate to some of your feelings when i first watched on my block. obviously, that’s a different experience, because i’m latina, still living in latin america, whereas they’re living in the US, but there were so many traditions and sayings that i could see myself in. and it’s awesome that never have i ever kept such traditions while still being a show that i feel like so many people can identify with. (but honestly, even if it wasn’t, it would still be awesome, because this show doesn’t have to be for anyone else but indian-americans to relate with and that’s valid too!)

    i think the only thing that severely disappointed me is that even though this was such a diverse show in all fronts, the fat representation was still very stereotypical. the only fat character is represented as gross, dumb and who only talks about food, and that was a let down, especially considering they had done such a great job with all the other representations. it’s a shame, but hopefully something that can be changed in further seasons.

    thank you so much for sharing such an inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lais, thank you so much for commenting! It really means a lot for me to hear that others enjoyed this show too ❤ and I really hope you get more representation in mainstream media too!
      Totally- the only actual white characters with major roles were Ben and Paxton is white-passing but still half-Asian. Seeing a POC cast full of diverse characters and amazing representation made me feel great. I actually forgot to mention about the therapist! Therapy is actually sadly 'taboo' in lots of Indian families, like Nalini mentioned, but it was great to see it normalized and Devi's therapist was awesome!!
      Aw definitely- of course your experiences would be different from mine but I think a lot of it could be similar too, since we are both POC youth who don't see ourselves in the media often. Never Have I Ever really showed some sides of Indian culture that most people don't know about- yes, our saris are *actually* that beautiful, yes I own twenty of them- while giving it a modern touch. Definitely- I'm glad it received so much praise but I specifically looked to what fellow Indian-Americans thought of it because we're the ones who can judge if it's good or bad rep. (and even then some people disagree with what I believe and I can see it from their point of view too!)
      Oh my gosh, I totally forgot to bring it up- I did a 'likes' and I was going to do a 'dislikes' which included the cringe, fat rep, and a few other things that weren't the *best*, but this post was too long haha. I totally agree with you and I remember being a little sad because Mindy herself is a curvy/fat woman of color and I can't believe she would have let this go! I hope we're introduced to another fat character in Season 2 who is given good representation!
      Oh my gosh, Lais, thank you SO much for this amazing comment. It made my day and I'm really happy that this post resonated with you! You're the perfect example of an ally to us (although you are POC as well, of course) and your support means a lot to me. I wish everyone was like you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ADITI. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS POST!!!!! i remember you saying that i would be excited for your next post and now i know exactly what you were talking about! i haven’t seen Never Have I Ever, but it’s definitely something i need to check out soon, especially after reading this post. 😀

    i agree with everything you talked about – mostly the only indian rep in media these days is that one straight-A, nerdy stereotype student and i’m so glad that this show talked about Devi’s culture and her dealing with normal problems instead! it’s so uplifting to actually feel seen in movies and tv these days… when you were describing Devi and how and how her doing things you can relate to made you happy, i was literally smiling inside because reading about that being portrayed in a show made me so happy as well!!! i totally get what you were saying about feeling robbed of great content.

    this was so inspiring and i loved reading every second of it! thank you for writing this ahhh 💞💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OHMYGOSH I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!! Hahaha yes I was hoping that you’d enjoy it- do you have Netflix? If so, you NEED to watch this ASAP and let me know what you think? 90% of the Indians I’ve talked to say it’s very cringy but very good and addictive XD except one person didn’t like it so I’m curious to see what you think!! 😀
      I KNOW RIGHT. If we *even* get any rep at all, it’s literally nerds (don’t get me wrong, a lot of us are nerds, but like I ranted about for a whole paragraph, WE HAVE OTHER CHARACTERISTICS). Exactly- it makes me really sad that a lot of people don’t realize why representation means a lot to people of color and other minorities. Aww I’m so glad that my post made you feel happy ❤ and I really hope your reaction to the series is similar! ❤❤❤
      UGH thank you so much for supporting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow I can f e e l your passion through this post and it’s amazingg! (I really love heartfelt posts guhghgghh)
    No you can go ahead and call out white privilege (just shake those haters off xD) (tho I understand being absolutely terrified to say something’s wrong I feel the same way) but yeah I admit that’s a thing unfortunately and I kinda feel bad about it…? But like I don’t really have any control over it, really. (and tbh I’m not exactly sure what the full extent of it actually is? is this bad? I DON’T KNOW)
    Wait you mentioned gingers. I’m a ginger? I don’t really feel d i s c ri m i n a t e d against (tho I really hate it when people touch my hair and say how pretty it is) (mainly cause I have my curls stacked a certain way then they mESS IT UP and it gets all in my face and sTICKS tO mY nECK gughughg). (which is why braids are cool) (BUT still: don’t touch me or my hair again) Is this an actual thing tho? (tho I will say I love reading about ginger characters because… y’know… gingers) SERIOUSLY IS THIS A THING???! Do people literally feel discriminated against because they’re gINgER? I’m so confuseddd
    WAIT THIS IS ENEMIES TO LOVERS OMJG WHHAAATTTTTTTTT (it’s kind of my favorite trope hahahahahahhhhh) (but it’s so hard to write omjg)
    “we all know American and British food is the blandest and boringest of all time.” NEVER BEFORE HAVE I BEEN SO OFFENDED BY SOMETHING I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREE WITH xD
    I’m not exactly sure how to represent my POC characters correctly since they’re in a fantasy land and the cultures aren’t the same???? IDK??! Do you have any advice cause I have absolutely no idea how to do anything

    (and also, don’t think I didn’t notice this! => “Their problems are boys and kissing, and although I’ve experienced that too…” Are you referring to the boys or the kissing? Aditi…?????!)

    MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! (allllwayyyss)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU BECK I REALLY DID RANT FOR 2000 WORDS,,,, THE PASSION IS REAL
      yessss calling out white privilege is already fun 😂 i think that a lot of people don’t understand what it is so here’s the simplest explanation- you could have your own hardships and troubles and your life could totally be harder than mind, a POC’s. all it means is that your skin color doesn’t make your life harder. for me it’s going to be harder to get a job in the future and be taken seriously because of my skin tone, which you won’t have to experience. and, of course, white privilege exists for every single white person whether or not they’re racist which is also not understood a lot! 😅 the best way to handle it is to recognize it and although you don’t need to constantly rant about it (like me lol) if anyone casually shows their white privilege, call! them! out! because it’s IMPORTANT and it seriously helps POC.
      (hahaha, I totally agree! this person, in particular, wasn’t *really* comparing gingerism to racism (that would be wild) but I really think it’s unfair to just turn the tables on a conversation like that because we all know they’re only bringing it up so they can dance around privilege smh WE DO NOT STAN THIS BEHAVIOR)
      HAHAHA OMG I WAS WONDERING IF SOMEONE WOULD NOTICE (i was talking about BOYS, not KISSING, cuz I’m a GOOD INDIAN GIRL who doesn’t kiss people!!!) (although boys are the least of my worries right now, they literally couldn’t get lower on the list, but as someone who has had crushes before, yes i have experienced boy-problems)
      MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU TOO, MY YOUNG PADAWAN

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh okay that makes sense xD
        Yeah that would be completely bonkers, especially since you can fix the problem by dying your hair if it’s really getting to you? But like it’s not… a thing… idk why people would use that excuse xD.
        YES OF COURSE I NOTICED (ahhh mmhm I feel like you’re being a bit defensive xD) (oh yeah crushes suuuccckkkkk I hated every second of my life then xD but now I’ve sworn off crushes and it’s going well I think. My viewpoint is that there’s really no point in all that -y’know, dating and stuff- until you’re ready to get married, but I know other people think otherwise. I just think it’ll save me a lot of trouble??) (and honestly, crushing on someone just makes life a thousand times harder, so why go through the trouble?) (I could keep ranting about all this but I won’t take over your post lol)
        YES> ALWAYS

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …. MAYBE I’M BEING DEFENSIVE, SO WHAT XD 😂
          Crushes suck a lot lol I haven’t had a proper crush in two years and I’m proud of myself!! I’ll probably date people in college (if I do date ppl in later years of high school it’ll have to be hidden from my parents XD) but obviously, school is my top priority. 😅 Crushes are a waste of my precious time! haha (we stan beck ranting about crushes!! continue m’lady!!)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah the last person I had a crush on I regret completely he was an idiot and I hate his guts now. The first person I truly had a crush on was great and we were good friends and it only lasted a month. It was so dumb to have a crush on him, but I was 11 so, hey, whatever. But I really regret it because I just made things so much harder for myself! So when I got to high school I was like “hey, you’re anxious enough as it is, so no crushes!” And I haven’t had a crush on anyone since eighth grade and my life is much better xD (though Robin Hood will always hold a special place in my heart)
            But like what’s even the point? There is no point. Nothing would ever happen so like, why bother??? And like I probably won’t date unless I find someone I want to marry?? Idk how any of this works. But just FRIENDSHIP is awesome! People put too much focus on romantic relationships, but platonic relationships are important too! Idk where I’m going with this but yeah

            Also don’t date and hide it from your parents! They’ll find out. They’ll always find out. Just like baskin-robbins.
            Maybe I’ll make a blog post about this eventually xD

            Liked by 1 person

            1. HAHA me- end up hating their guts in the end lmao.
              Aw that sucks- it’s nice to remain friends but it’s also kind of awkward?
              Omg lol I banned myself from having crushes two years ago and it’s going okay?? I think? XD
              Tbh I feel like when I see someone I’m not gonna just ‘know’ that I want to marry them (lOvE aT fiRSt siGHt) because I need to get to know them and obviously a good way to do that is by dating so idk? FRIENDSHIP IS LITERALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS TBH.
              Hahaha most Indian girls who DO date (not a lot) hide it from their parents because… most likely not going to turn out well XD.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. YESSS I WANT TO WATCH THIS SO BAD (but my free Netflix trial is over ahhhh). Also I had no idea this was about a South Indian but yes cut to me sitting in Chennai eating my dosas as I type out this comment.
    Also, Idk dude, I know people whitewash their names to be accepted more but it kills me inside. I heard someone called Mukesh go by Mike and I died a little bit.
    I totally feel you about the whole mispronouncing name thing (my name is literally the most basic Indian name tho, I know 20 people with the same-ish name as me)
    I’m not sure how much I’ll relate to this though because I’ve never left India but will still watch cause rep!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I REALLY WANT YOU TO WATCH IT TOO!! (psst, you can pirate it from the internet but don’t tell anyone i told you to 👀) literally dosas are amazing and chennai is way too hot but my grandparents are there right now!!!
      EW WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, THAT’S SO GROSS
      my name is Aditi and I’m assuming you know how to pronounce it (being Indian and all lol) but people call me aDee-Tee most of the time which is endlessly frustrating. do people mispronounce yours too? (WAIT LEMME GUESS- Anya, Shreya, Shruti, or some variant of that spelling, Maya, Shwetha, did I guess it?!)
      I think you should still watch it purely because it’s a good series!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YESS I WILL!! (I’m totally going to do that if I can’t bribe my sister into giving me her roommate’s aunt’s acc)
        omg really?? I will social distance harder so this city is safe for them!
        HOLY SHIT I’M ACTUALLY SHOOK you right it’s Shriya cool cool cool you have superpowers cool cool

        Liked by 1 person

        1. HAHA YES- my cousin’s friend’s aunt’s dog’s babysitter’s Netflix account!!
          thank you 🥺💕 I’ll tell them that lol
          HOLY SHIT *I’M* SHOOK, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M A MAGICIAN *are you channeling your inner Jake Peralta with cool cool cool?!*

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t watched this yet but I am now determined to do so!
    I loved all the points you’ve made here Aditi, and I hope that all the hype you have just given it will shine through my screen as I watch it.
    It’s amazing that there is accurate representation – when I watch shows which are diverse I am always hesitant to praise it on any diverse aspects purely because I cannot apply it to myself and I do not want to be insensitive. It would suck so much (and make me look like a dick tbh) if I went and praised a show with cruel diversity and racial representation just because of the casting or white-washing and me not knowing what the heck I am talking about.
    As for everything else you’ve mentioned:
    – Yes! Finally decent character ARC’s!
    – Her friends sound absolutely amazing, and realistic too ( more than just “you kissed a guy I liked but never told you about so I am gonna ruin your life with no remorse ) smdh
    – Stereotypes kinda suck. We should totally flush a lot of them down the toilet so people can just be themselves and not placed into a box! Or maybe we could bury stereotypes in a box and see how they like it?
    .
    This is an absolutely amazing post Aditi, and I can’t wait to watch Never Have I Ever.
    – Emma xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You totally should! And thank you for your kind words ❤
      Nah, that totally is normal! Thank you for looking to other POC people for their voices and opinions, it means a ton to us! Honestly, I'm usually just thankful for the rep, but accurate representation is even better and I can't be a judge of that if it's a completely different culture too! (haha total dick move 😂 not!)
      wait, what does character ARC mean? lol I immediately thought about Advanced Reader Copies and was like,,,, ??? 😂 Thankfully there was no friends-fighting-over-guys because Devi was the only one with guy problems lol. Plus sisters above misters right?!
      STEREOTYPES SUCK. (I'm for the flush-it-down-the-toilet-then-pick-it-up-out-of-the-sewer-and-bury-it-fifteen-feet-deep-in-the-ground)
      Thank you Emma 🥺

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The fact that you can call out white privilege with eXcEpTiOnS makes you a good person – there’s always gonna be people that hate on other people for whatever reason but there’s also people that just don’t understand properly yet & it’s people who do get these problems jobs’ to help them get past their misunderstanding. I don’t want any one to feel like I’m making excuses for anyone for being prejudice (I’m not obvs) but there are levels to this kinda thing & it’s important that we recognise who means to be a horrible person & who just doesn’t understand (while still not excusing their actions).
    I love that you’ve found a show that feels like home 😉 though & that you feel like you can express that here because we all love youuuuuu (except the internet trolls – I don’t speak for them 😂)

    Also – you coming for british food, girl, have you ever had british food 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing is, white privilege doesn’t have exceptions 😂 I’m just going to copy-paste what I wrote to Beck:
      “i think that a lot of people don’t understand what it is so here’s the simplest explanation- you could have your own hardships and troubles and your life could totally be harder than mine, a POC’s. all it means is that your skin color doesn’t make your life harder. for me, it’s going to be harder to get a job in the future and be taken seriously because of my skin tone, which you won’t have to experience. and, of course, white privilege exists for every single white person whether or not they’re racist which is also not understood a lot! 😅 the best way to handle it is to recognize it and although you don’t need to constantly rant about it (like me lol) if anyone casually shows their white privilege, call! them! out! because it’s IMPORTANT and it seriously helps POC.”
      Yeah totally- ignorance is definitely sad but action kind of makes a greater impact than intention :/
      Me toooooo ❤ (let's cancel the internet trolls please)
      GIRL, don't even argue with me on this 🤣 we ALL know white people food is basically mush!! (it's something POC (especially asians and latinx people) all know but we try not to offend y'all's fragile tastebuds LMAO)
      Have you even had proper Indian food before?! Your tongue will BURN by the time it's done!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey hey hey have you ever had a nice fish & chips XD like a proper one, sitting on the pier with your hair blowing about so much you can hardly eat it or a proper roast dinner at a pub with one of those huge homemade Yorkshire puddings? I THINK NOT

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I WATCHED “NEVER HAVE I EVER” SO I COULD READ THIS POST. and obviously cuz’ i wanted to but aaa- it was SO fudging good. it was a show we *all* needed to watch.. even people who weren’t indian. it’s kind of like you’re not aware of certain problems unless a solution/bigger problem exposes it and it’s the same with this show- it really showed people how much indian representation in media was lacking! and when i first heard that the show starred a south-indian protagonist, i ~f l i p p e d~ and fINALLY, when people think of indians in american television, they don’t think of ravi from jessie (who btw was a gem but sososo stereotypical *cries*)

    what also made me really happy was that the cast was mostly POC! while the show ofc focuses on indian rep, it would have also been cool to see fabiola and eleanor’s culture shine through (w/out it, it sorta leans to “representation for the sake of representation” which i’m sure mindy wasn’t going for, but still). the show banished stereotypes hErE aNd ThErE like devi playing the harp (!), mohan being an outwardly caring father vs outwardly strict (!) and both devi and nalini going to therapy (!!) HUGE win. but just seeing all these little things add up really made me feel warm inside, and even a bit sad that me and thousands of other indian teens don’t feel this way when exposed to any form of media. (except the fat rep made me feel sorta awful and frustrated). and the fact that devi experienced the feeling that everyyy indian feels (especially the youth) of not being indian enough hit! hard! like you and riya were talkin’ about, the struggle is ~real~ personally, while i do feel too indian at times, more often than not i don’t feel like i’m a “real” indian and sometimes… like i’m a poser (ESPECIALLY when i visited my relatives in india, like it was hella obvious and kinda scary). but devi sometimes felt like that (the ganesh pooja episode stole my heart) and overall, i’m really, really happy we got to experience that :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I HAVE BEEN PROCRASTINATING ON REPLYING TO THIS COMMENT I AM SO SORRY
      (im only doing it now bc i’d rather NOT do iready for the bilLIONTH time)
      i am literally so glad that you loved it! it made me feel seen and respected and i could FINALLY feel at home in the setting of the story. also, yes, devi is actually brown not lightwashed like basically all indian bollywood actresses!!! this is amazing! 😻🥰
      totally- ravi in jessie is everything that people think when they hear ‘indian’ and i’m NOT here for that (but poor ravi, let’s not bring him down 😭). sadly, people seem to think that we’re all schoolwork machines who go on to become engineers with heavy accents and play the piano or violin (and maybe… we… are… BUT NOT ALL OF US and we DO OTHER THINGS TOO so yeah) 😂
      yes! the fact that most shows are mostly-white-few-POCs but this one was mostly-POC-few-whites was refreshing haha. i agree- it doesn’t bother me much about their individual cultures because that’s not what the show is about, but i wish we got more eleanor and fab time!
      *actually* i kind of disagree about the representation-for-the-sake-of-it thing because you don’t need to specifically talk about POC people’s cultures for them to exist, normally. it kind of brings us down to the point that we’re only seen as ‘eThNiCaLLy diVErSe’ because if people only think that our culture is important, they’re ignoring the fact that POC people just live! normally! like everyone else! and lots of us would just like to see people who look like us on tv, doing normal things you know? ofc culture is SOSO important which is why NHE means a lot to me but it’s totally okay to have side characters who have their own characters arcs and plots that break down stereotypes without delving into racial politics y’know? i feel like directors think that it’s a *waste of time* to feature POC people unless it’s specifically for a cultural reason whereas we just exist normally? please show that???
      anyways. 😂
      loveD mohan so much and actually nalini too! nalini was a lot like many indian parents- who love their kids very very much but don’t show it outwardly often.
      the only thing i didn’t like about rep was the fat rep, which we already talked about earlier lol.
      yes!!! so important!! like I’m personally considered by many as ‘more indian’ than others but i struggle with that feeling, too. and dysphoria really hits me sometimes- i just get overwhelmed with anger on behalf of my ancestors who had to suffer through colonization and i get so frustrated that the west takes responsibility for so many great inventions of the east. so it’s hard to be POC 1st gen, and this show did a pretty great job of showing that.
      thank you for the comment vaish!!

      Like

  10. Oh ma gawd this is gold. I have seen the trailer (325 times?) and I really hope to get to the series soon!! I totally feel you 😭
    Like when I’m with some people out here doing extracurriculars I feel superconscious and think I’m too ‘Indian’? And when I go back to India during summers I definitely am out of place for not being ‘Indian’. I’m weird. And I know I’m going to love Never Have I ever because it validates this very feeling. Yes, a lot of us are really good at academic performances, but we totally needed someone to break that stereotype, because we’re normal people, too! I know Devi is based in the States so I probably won’t relate quite as much, but WE NEED US ONSCREEN! Watching whitewashed Bollywood actresses or stereotyped Indian characters just degrades the fact that there is a whole lot of untapped people who have never felt… valid. You know, the way you so perfectly phrased how awesome it must be to be white and relate to about 99% of the content that is released.
    And preach, girl!! American and British food IS the blandest, no doubt. I need my sambar, please.
    I loved this post so much. Keep ’em up!❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ju!! ❤ ❤ hahaha that's hilarious 😂
      YES GIRL. Everything is just conditioned in a way that makes people "too" or "too less" and that just SUCKS.
      I really hope you'll like NHE! And yeah, Devi's based in the USA but I still think that it's an enjoyable story even w/out the 'relatability' aspect (is that a word?? idk??) GOSH I HATE WHITEWASHING ACTRESS SO MUCH. I cannot even name three Indian actresses with legit brown skin!
      Yeah now I'm feeling cheated of all the good content we could have had!! 🥺
      DUDE, yes. I need my sambar too!! Thank youuu ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Aditi this program is on my Netflix watch list, and now I’m watching it ASAP because everything you said in the post sounds amazing 💕 Obviously I can’t relate to a lot of the points you brought across, but I do agree that the media is very stereotypical and puts label on people that are meant for clothes 😊 I play the violin too! Whoop whoop! Okay we ere sisters in another life 😂 Loved this Aditi, your rants are so powerful and they just are so bursting with genuine content!! Thanks again for the lovely post :)) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amber, I’m really hoping that you’ll love it a lot! 💕 yeah, and even if you can’t necessarily relate to everything (welcome to our world XD) it’s a pretty good show even without that! YES VIOLIN GIRLS! Omg yes 😂 thank youuuuu ❤ x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My friends recommended this show to me, and after reading your post I know I’m definitely going to watch. omg my friend said that Kamala reminded her of of a Swaroopa Akka! Have an awesome week:)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. watched it! My favorite is Fabiola.
    Paxton doesn’t look highschooler to me,but he sure is cute.

    Wait, is Devi IRL an Indian-Canadian girl or Sri-Lankan-canadian?

    As for your “rant” about featuring cultural races, I totally agree!

    No relation to the show but I’ll say anyeays, In my opnion, Bollywood movies are one of the best movies I have watched, should be known intetnationally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yay! I really love Fabiola!
      Mythreyi Ramakrishnan (the actress) is Sri Lankan-Canadian IRL but speaks Tamil. 🙂
      Thank you so much- even as an Indian I somehow have a really weird relationship with Bollywood movies, but I’m glad you love them! I haven’t watched that many great ones ahha and I should blame that on myself o.o

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh gosh racial diversity matters so much for me. Growing up as a TCK, I definitely get that too-Asian/not-Asian-enough thing going on (I try not to think too much about it, haha). I often wonder what it’s like to be able to constantly read books set in your home country as well, because that almost never happens to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get that feeling as a TCK too! Oh, yes- that’s another huge thing. I live in the US so although most media is set here, it’s hard to find myself in it because my culture isn’t represented often.
      Thank you for commenting, Germaine!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Seeing (reading about) how happy this makes you makes me really happy for you. I honestly had no idea that this was produced (???) by Mindy Kaling??? i LOVE HER so much, and you really made me want to watch this, even the cringy parts! I’m so glad there was representation for you in this series, it’s so so IMPORTANT and, hopefully, it’s a step in the right direction for Hollywood ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, this is making me feel so fuzzy inside 🥺 Mindy Kaling is awesome! I loved watching this series (honestly the cringe adds to the vibe y’know?) and from here on, here’s to hoping Hollywood gets more diverse!
      Thank you for commenting 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  16. NHIE has been something I’ve been watching during lockdown with a few friends (but since lockdown ended we have yet to finish it, there’s only like 2.5 episodes to go though so we need to), I absolutely adore all the representation in it but I was a bit hesitant about its fairly cringy nature and certain characters (cough Jonah the VSCO girl), you’re absolutely right though it’s definitely a step in the right direction and I’m glad you felt represented by the show. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Honestly I remember seeing this pop up on my Netflix home page (I didn’t even realise it was a TV series, I thought it was a movie SO THIS MAKES IT EVEN BETTER) & immediately convincing my friend we need to do a Netflix party watch. My sole reason? THERE’S AN INDIAN MC & WHEN DO WE EVER GET TO SEE THAT??? Like I honestly didn’t even pause to look at what it was about (clearly, or else I would’ve realised it was an entire series 😂)

    I honestly CRAVE more representation in mainstream media – even little things like having a POC character without a whitewashed name just makes my little Asian heart sing 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should TOTALLY watch it! AND YES THAT WAS MY REASON TOO! Lmaoo I totally feel you 😂 honestly it isn’t top-notch or anything, it’s a solid 4/5 stars objectively, but I LOVED it bc the MC looks like me and its my culture lkjlksdsfd 😭
      Same!! Her being named Devi Viswanathan was food for my soul 🥺 thank you so much for commenting!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I watched a few episodes, but I forgot to pick it back up. But completely agree with everything you’re saying. Especially the arm hair part because when we’re young, and when we no longer really care about it lol, we don’t shave/wax it off and it’s also very visible. Probably one of the biggest surprises for me was finding out white people eat dinner at 5pm when I used to go on school trips, I was like what, this is not how we do it in our households. 8pm is even early, we’re eating at 11pm lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much !! YES HAHA even though it’s a small detail it meant a lot to me 🙂 I personally don’t shave my arms anymore but I do shave my legs because I love the feelingggg XD. Omg yes! I was so confused?? Like does everyone not eat dinner at 9 PM on weekdays??? How are they not hungry by the time they go to bed what???

      Like

  19. How did I not know Mindy Kaling directed it? I watched this, raved about it, discussed all its flaws and glory, but never realized it was Mindy Freaking Kaling!

    Anyway great post and YES to everything you said. And we definitely need more Indian rep please.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow this is an amazing post, Aditi! I’m so happy for you because realistic representation in media is a BEAUTIFUL thing, and it’s truly great you felt represented well!! And I’m totally with you on your statement that Asian Americans are not only schoolwork machines. I don’t know why we’re portrayed like that?! We’re either portrayed as super nerdy or super on the popular end of the spectrum, but most of us are really just in the middle, chilling and doing our thing. Like, we can be really smart and have a great social life. So…🤷‍♀️Anyways, hopefully I can watch Never Have I Ever soon! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU! It meant so much to me to watch! I just finished a fantasy based on my religion’s mythology and it warmed my heart ❤ I knowww, most Asian Americans are chill! (even if we do care about our schoolwork a lot… but it's actually bc immigrant mentality. and bc the US actually banned non-smart Asians from entering so that ethic was forced upon us actually)
      yesss thank u for commenting Eleanor!

      Liked by 1 person

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