NETFLIX NEVER HAVE I EVER REVIEW
One of the most bingeable shows on Neflix right now is the Mindy Kaling comedy, Never Have I Ever. It’s teen humor, a smidge raunchy, and it’s even got a healthy dose of grief… let me explain. Is Never Have I Ever on Netflix safe for kids? This parent guide to the series will help you decide if your family can watch this one. It also has some great lines- you can find the best quotes from Never Have I Ever here.
What’s Never Have I Ever About?
Never Have I Ever is a new coming-of-age comedy about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl.
The series stars newcomer, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, an overachieving high school sophomore who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations.
Never Have I Ever Review
Written by Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever shines a light on what it’s like to be an Indian-American teen in high school who also happens to be dealing with a pretty heavy dosage of grief.
The writing is sharp, it’s witty, and it’s very Kaling. If you are a fan of her books or her previous work like The Office or Late Night, you’ll feel comfortable with the entirety of this series from a voice perspective.
Never Have I Ever is loosely based on her own upbringing and struggles as a teen like Devi and it’s Kaling’s best work yet.
When I first saw the trailer, I was actually turned off of it a little bit as I thought it was going to be the Indian-American version of Booksmart or Super Bad. I did not want that.
Thankfully, I didn’t end up with that impression by the end of season one.
I was all in and I can’t wait for season two.
Whenever COVID and Netflix can make that happen, I’ll be back to binge again.
Netflix Never Have I Ever Parent Review
The biggest issue was the predictability in the story.
You know the typical teen formula? You’ll see it again here in Never Have I Ever.
Especially when it comes to the relationships with Devi and her friends (misunderstandings and avoidance lead to draaama!) as well as the butting of heads with a stereotypical Indian doctor mother.
But the smart writing and the spot-on acting by the actors make this almost a comfort food type of show.
It was predictable in ways that I want and need right now, but still clever enough to keep me engaged.
I found it a fun romp of a teen comedy with enough edge to keep even the most cynical teens impressed.
There is a side of the story that we don’t always get and that is teens dealing with grief.
I was clutching my heart a little bit at times and there were some tears amid the laughs.
Is Never Have I Ever Safe For Kids?
This one has a lot of language, a lot of talk about sex (but very little actual sex), and a whole storyline devoted to the death of a parent.
Consider that a trigger warning if your family is also dealing with grief from a traumatic and unexpected death.
Language in Never Have I Ever
It’s a teen movie, so you’re going to have your teen language in here.
Yeah, I know, not all teens talk this way. That you know of anyway. Ahem.
But you’ll have a smattering of F-bombs as well as other colorful language throughout the series.
I don’t feel it was over the top, but could it have been toned down a smidge? Yup.
Sex and Mature Topics In Never Have I Ever
We don’t see any teen sex in Season 1, but we sure do talk a lot about it.
The closest we come to seeing acts are the two stuffies used to simulate various sexual positions. Yes, stuffed bears are used in a game of sexual charades.
If underage sex is a taboo topic in your house, you do need to know that it’s a central storyline in this series.
One of the first things Devi says is along the lines of, “I’m going to get a boyfriend, I’m going to have sex, I want to get invited to a party where they drink alcohol and do hard drugs so I can say no to drugs…”
There’s a lot of heavy topics covered here including losing your virginity, sex outside of an arranged marriage, again, Indian culture playing in there, and coming out as homosexual teen to both parents and their peers.
A lot gets covered in this one on a very mature subject matter level.
I feel like sometimes the jokes are misstep.
For example, Devi is unpopular because she’s so nerdy and smart, yet she suddenly finds herself super popular among the Uber nerd group.
But it’s not because of her brilliance or that she’s killing it at a Model UN weekend- oh no. They’re impressed because she scored alcohol and might be sleeping with the most popular boy in school.
So is that really the message we want to send here? You know, I don’t think so.
Family and Grief
In the end, this show is really about family and grief and how it doesn’t look the same for everyone.
It’s the underlying current throughout this entire series with the now-dead father making memorable backstory appearances.
Prepare to weep as well as laugh.
Is Never Have I Ever safe for kids? I can’t say it is totally ok for all families, but I will say there is much, much worse out there!
Parents, give this one a preview and you’ll know pretty quickly if this can be seen by your older teens and tweens.
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.