The Strong Women of Never Have I Ever
The Strong Women of Never Have I Ever

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Richa Moorjani break down what made the ladies in Mindy Kaling’s latest show such badasses.

Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), Kamala (Richa Moorjani), and Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) (Netflix)

Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), Kamala (Richa Moorjani), and Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) (Netflix)

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Never Have I Ever’s first ten-episode season premiered Monday on Netflix.

In the first minute of Never Have I Ever, protagonist Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) asks the gods, “And lastly, most importantly, I’d really really like a boyfriend.” She qualifies, “But not some nerd from my AP classes...I just want a stone-cold hottie who can rock me all night.”

When I saw the first-look trailer for the show, which previewed this very scene, I had a sinking feeling: oh no, not another rom-com

Thankfully, I stood corrected quickly — this show isn't one you’ve seen before

The story — on the surface — seems like all the subplots revolve around men: it’s about Devi missing her dead father, or Devi’s mom missing her husband, or Devi chasing high school hottie Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet), or Devi fighting with academic arch-nemesis Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison), or her cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) figuring out how to date or say no to an arranged marriage. But when you dig below the surface, Never Have I Ever is really about the women finding their way in the world. 

“I saw the casting call that Mindy Kaling put out originally. It just said ‘Indian girl in her mid-20s with an Indian accent.’ It wasn’t necessarily that that excited me — what excited me w

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