Never Have I Ever, a Netflix teen comedy first broadcast in 2020 and now in its fourth series, features high school student Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), whose Indian parents emigrated to California.
It is a classic teen comedy as clever Devi seeks her first boyfriend and is torn between two classmates. School swimming star Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) looks fine but lacks, shall we say, intellectual application, while the aptly named Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison) is Devi’s intellectual equal but seems to lack charm and human warmth.
She sits at home like a wise oracle, helping others to find themselves. I’d love to see her get drunk at a party, send a dodgy text or cause chaos
Cue bucketloads of teenage angst, disastrous parties, social media misunderstandings, ill-fated alcohol experiments and concealed feelings.
Paxton has an adopted sister, Rebecca (Lily D Moore), who has Down syndrome. This, for me, is where a good, well-observed comedy series falls down.
Paxton reveres Rebecca and is fiercely protective of her. She in turn is deeply empathetic, and constantly tells Paxton what a fool he is to reject Devi, offering wise words on love and relationships.
But that is all she does.
She sits at home like a wise oracle, helping others to find themselves. I’d love to see her get drunk at a party, fall in a swimming pool, send a dodgy text or cause chaos. But she doesn’t – she just applies that superpower of hers and makes everyone else feel better about themselves.