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Never Have I Ever finally breaks Indian-American trope. Girls chasing boys, not just Princeton

The Indian American stereotype is all about spelling bees, mathletes, and Princeton University applications. While this is true, the series shows that South Asians are also normal teenagers, trying to be ‘sex-successful’.

Kaling, who peaked as Kelly Kapoor in The Office, has made it her life’s goal to push for Indian characters who live for sex and success. That’s all Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s character called Devi Vishwakumar in Never Have I Ever wants — to be sex-successful. And very predictably, she becomes so. But mind you, Devi’s triumph hasn’t come easy. The writers of the show made sure she hits rock bottom in every other episode, and that’s where the show gets entertaining.

As the protagonist, Devi is, hands down, the best thing to come out of Kaling and Lang Fisher’s mediocrity. The fact that she is an academic overachiever like every other South Asian in American TV soaps isn’t overbearing. She is a lost teenager grieving her father who died before she could become attain maturity. As much as her teenage angst stems from sadness, it gets aggravated by the menace of straight girlhood — boys, boys, and boys.

Charged with hormones, Devi spends her time in her school’s hallway, gawking at boys. She doesn’t wait for them to notice her, instead, she asks her crush to “take her virginity”. Her desperation to do the deed is almost annoying but not unbelievable. Ramakrishnan deserves the credit for bringing that originality in Devi, saving her from being another chewed-up version of the ‘flawed’ Indian-American personality Kaling is infamous for writing. 

Source: The Print

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