Never Have I Ever Season 4 Review: A Journey of Representation, Growth, and Relatable Teenhood!

Never Have I Ever Season 4 Review: Mindy Kaling’s cute show about Devi and her people has an ending that’s a little too neat for her. We have all loved Devi Vishwakumar’s journey through Never Have I Ever’s four seasons and three years because she has been a mess and a work in progress the whole time. In the last season, she starts off on the same note, but it’s sad to see her tie up all the loose ends by the end of the show. How can she have everything when we’re still trying to figure out ours?

Devi’s Journey: Struggles, Triumphs, and Unexpected Transformations

The one thing that has happened over and over again in this show created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher is that Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) screws up one part of her life right after getting something she’s been trying hard to get for a long time. Even worse, her mom Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) put her on probation because she kissed Ben (Jaren Lewison) right after the family got together to scatter her father’s ashes at sea.

As long as that trend keeps going, the story stays the same until the ninth episode of Never Have I Ever. But in the last episode, just as things are coming to a close, Devi suddenly changes into the goddess she has been called. She gets into the college of her dreams, meets the man of her dreams, and has the best sex of her life. You can be sure that Devi will face new problems in college (because if Devi is there, trouble can’t be far behind), but seeing her check off all the boxes, even for a day, feels like a plot hole.

If the show had finished an episode earlier, Devi’s journey would have been more realistic and less like something to strive for. And hasn’t her journey been about that more than anything else, being able to connect with people? Her emotional therapist telling her she’s gotten over her trauma feels more like an appropriate end to Devi’s journey, which has been more about looking inside than outside for approval. If she had written the same thing for the essay she had to write to get into her dream college and let fate decide, her story would have made more sense.

A Journey of Representation, Growth, and Relatable Teenhood

But again, let’s talk about the show we saw instead of the one we wanted to see. Devi has had to learn the hard way that you can’t have everything. That you need to live a life without judgment or feeling like you deserve something. Even if we look at the ending through that view, without putting it on a high horse, the end of the series isn’t smooth. Good for Devi that she gets through it all, but when she calls her lehenga a sari in passing, it reminds me of how American shows have ignorantly used Indian stereotypes for years. Then, it turns all of her successes into story tropes that feel more forced than natural.

Never Have I Ever Season 4 Review

Never Have I Ever began as a show that made Indians feel seen in a place that was mostly dominated by Westerners. Thanks a lot to Mindy Kaling, who started out small with The Office and has worked her way up the comedy ladder step by step. Before there was Ms. Marvel and Pavitra Prabhakar, there was Never Have I Ever, which showed how Indians had their own cool place in American pop culture.

To its credit, Never Have I Ever grew into a show that made its Indian main character more like everyone else and didn’t just focus on the fact that he was Indian. It really turned into the story of any teen girl dealing with grief and its many thorns in a Gen-Z world that is very competitive and hard on itself. Due to Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s friendly weakness, Devi became like a warm hug waiting for you when you make a mistake and start to doubt yourself.

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Never Have I Ever Season 4 Hilarious Mistakes

Devi’s fight in Season 4 to become a “sexy-successful senior” is full of her usual mistakes. She wonders if the sex was bad after she loses her virginity. When she puts all of her effort into getting into her dream college, she learns that she hasn’t done anything to get ready to leave home. And when she’s having a “hornaissance,” it’s hard for her to tell the difference between “bad boys” and just bad boys.

Again, the great humor keeps the mood up, even though you already know what Devi is going to do wrong next. Again, there are a lot of pop culture references. Most of them work, like Devi’s friends telling her to think of herself as Kristen Stewart so she doesn’t seem too needy after sex, or her wanting to listen to sad Adele after a breakup, or her wondering if Ben expected Euphoria sex, but some don’t, like when Devi says one of her high school goals is to get Timothee Chalamet to follow her on Instagram; what?

Mindy Kaling finds the right balance between making fun of herself and fighting against that. Sample Nirmala Mami from this season: She calls herself a GMILF when she starts dating a silver fox, who she can’t help but call “my white boyfriend” every time. She promotes harmless stereotypes by saying things like, “It’s a great gift. It would hurt to give this to someone else,” or “Nirmala mami is too trusting. She answers honestly to all spam messages.” But she also slips in a couple of sweet surprises: “I don’t think my boyfriend is cheating. “I keep all my men very happy.” “Panditji chose this wedding date because he thinks it’s a good time for sensuality.” Or something completely strange, like calling Paxton “carwax.”

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Putting jokes and mistakes aside, the part of Never Have I Ever that I’d miss the most is Poorna Jagannathan. She gives the stereotypes of the angry NRI mom so much of the vulnerability of single parenting that you can’t help but go “aww” when she blushes or get teary-eyed when she says something as general as “Change is good for us.” Now that’s a spin-off I’d kill to see. Maybe it could be narrated by a deliciously sarcastic Indian actor?


Devi Vishwakumar’s journey through Never Have I Ever has been a work in progress, but her transformation into the goddess she has been called in the last episode feels like a plot hole. If the show had finished an episode earlier, Devi’s journey would have made more sense.

Never Have I Ever was a show that showed how Indians had their own cool place in American pop culture, but it grew into a story of any teen girl dealing with grief and its many thorns in a Gen-Z world. Never Have I Ever is a mix of humor, pop culture references, and sarcasm. Poorna Jagannathan gives the stereotypes of single parenting a lot of vulnerability, making it a great spin-off.

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