Never Have I Ever Season 3 Review: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan's series is crisp, witty and addicted to love

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar is back with a bang in her twisted, teenage journey of self-discovery, filled with (many!) romantic liaisons, in Never Have I Ever Season 3. Read Pinkvilla's review below.

Updated on Aug 18, 2022 11:54 AM IST  |  144.5K
Never Have I Ever Review
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan reprises her role as Devi Vishwakumar in Never Have I Ever Season 3.

Never Have I Ever Season 3

Never Have I Ever Season 3 Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison

Never Have I Ever Season 3 Creators: Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Never Have I Ever Season 3 Stars: 3.5/5

While the first two seasons of Never Have I Ever heavily focused on Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) navigating her teenage dirtbag years, driven by overwhelming grief, the third season of Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher's series is dominated by love... and oh, so much romance! With its crisp and witty approach over 10 episodes, does Never Have I Ever continue being the desi binge-watching show of our wildest dreams? Let's find out!

Picking right off where the previous season left us, Never Have I Ever Season 3 sees Devi finally having her dreams come true: dating the hottest guy in college aka Paxton (Darren Barnet)! However, Devi swiftly realises that it's never good to judge a book by its "six-pack" cover and that her pursuit to belong is different from what she really wants in life. Moreover, looming closely behind is frenemy Ben (Jaren Lewison), who may be dating Aneesa (Megan Suri), but is still irrevocably hung up on Devi. While the new romance in town is the one between Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Trent (Benjamin Norris), a quirky one at that, with Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) venturing her sexuality with much more timid ease, Devi's love triangle becomes a romantic square with the inclusion of Des (Anirudh Pisharody), a good-looking, smart as all hell Indian student, who manages to sweep our beloved character off her awkward feet!

Let's not forget the Vishwakumars, who are on adventures of themselves, pleasantly Devi-free, for the most part! While Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) finds a new ally in Rhyah (Sarayu Blue), Kamala's (Richa Moorjani) new, blossoming love affair with Devi's teacher Manish (Utkarsh Ambudkar) finds a desi-size conundrum with Devi's semi-traditional grandmother Nirmala (Ranjita Chakravarty). What's interesting this season as mentioned above is how the supporting characters are given ample space, though in a limited time frame, to grow in their own might with major storytelling development.

When it comes to the performances in Never Have I Ever Season 3, it's ultimately The Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Show as the young actress truly cements her confident standing with a heartwarming performance as Devi, a character who gives "complicated mess of emotions" a bad name, but in the best of ways! Devi's character sketch this season is spearheaded by her (many!) love affairs and that isn't necessarily a bad thing because it's through these romantic liaisons that Devi is able to understand the real meaning of self-discovery. More importantly, it neatly ties down to the overwhelming grief attached to the loss of her doting dad Mohan Vishwakumar (Sendhil Ramamurthy, being endearing as ever!) Special mention to John McEnroe for constantly killing it with his narrator timing!

What is missing this season, though, is the spicy bickering between Devi and Nalini, but again, seeing the latter grow out of being just a mother and widow is refreshing to see, especially with Poorna Jagannathan's solid as stone performance. At no point do creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher forget the core storyline of Never Have I Ever, which is family, nor do they forget the subtle desi elements infused without being too preachy. Whether it be not wanting the middle seat in flight or even relishing food with your hands instead of cutlery.

In what came as a welcome surprise, Darren Barnet and Jaren Lewison as Paxton and Ben aren't just Devi's love interests but have stories of their own to tell. In the episode titled Never Have I Ever... had a breakdown, we see Ben and Paxton get tangled together under hilarious circumstances, coming out it understanding the other better. It's definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season as is the last episode titled Never Have I Ever... lived the dream, which delightfully concludes Season 3, leaving you wanting more of Never Have I Ever Season 4, which marks the final swansong for the series. The rest of the supporting cast gets to shine in standout moments as well, which shows us how rooted to the people this show really is.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Turning Red's Maitreyi Ramakrishnan on why her teenage years will always influence her acting

Given the sitcom format, Never Have I Ever Season 3 may seem rushed to new fans, but those who have been there from the beginning will absolutely love the pacing as it doesn't take itself too seriously, whilst dealing with pure, raw emotions tactfully. Moreover, it's the underlying of Devi's trauma that is showcased with crisp writing (though the pop culture name drops and quips can get a tad draggy after a point!) that enables us to root wholeheartedly for the main protagonist to seek, whatever it is that's she's finding. This can be seen in the rib-tickling, touching and plain epic therapy sessions between Devi and Dr. Ryan (Niecy Nash, stellar as always!)

In conclusion, Never Have I Ever Season 3 takes the "fast and furious" approach whilst being addicted to love... scratch that... loving yourself!

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Anonymous
Aug 13, 2022 12:57 PM
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