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Revision | ‘I Never …’ returns with a sour, hilarious and much needed season 2

The teen romantic comedy genre is one of the most prolific in the contemporary entertainment scene – and, since the late 1990s, it has continued to feature titles that appeal to popular tastes. Although some productions are mostly the same, some manage to turn into original and engaging narratives, like ‘Meninas Malvadas’, ‘A Lie’ and ‘Sex Education’. But one of those works, in fact, catches our attention not only to focus on narrative and aesthetic irreverence, but also to abandon gender and race stereotypes for necessary representation – especially since we are in the 21st century and that the whites and The cis-heteronormative schema is not the only one to exist.

“Had Never…” arrived without much fanfare in Netflix’s catalog last year and, shortly after its release, rose to the level of one of the streaming giant’s best originals. Despite the short season, it didn’t take long for a second cycle to be announced, continuing the intrigue of Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a goofy young Indian who, living in a very traditionalist family and overshadowed by the presence at both mother and cousin, turns to romantic teenage impositions and her main goal is to win the heart of the most popular boy in high school. However, as we saw in the previous season’s finale, Devi ended up falling in love with her “friend”, Ben (Jaren Lewison), and realized he had to make a difficult choice.

This is where the new episodes come to life: Devi, now, has to go with Ben, who, although he constantly laughs at her in school, has proven to be an empathetic and lovable boy. for which she began to harbor feelings; and by the charming Paxton (Darren Barnet), the reason for the sighs of the girls and boys in the halls of the school that he unexpectedly got involved with. Of course, the plot of the young protagonist who falls in love with two different people is nothing new to the general public, but that does not matter: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, creators of the series, know very use the clichés well in favor of competent chapters that make us want to know the outcome of a complex love triangle.

Kaling and Fisher are astute enough to maintain the brief structure of the previous iteration, constructing episodes of just under half an hour into an extended but condensed period of frenzied events. Each beat has its own purpose, the ramifications of which reach both the main and supporting characters: the lies Devi tells about continuing to date Ben and Paxton to “resolve” early, giving way to a desperate attempt to find her. lost friendship. and mourn the death of the father who decides to hide in the most inaccessible layers of the subconscious.

Ramakrishnan shows a keen commitment to the role of Devi, providing the complexity we needed to remove her from the goofy nerd label and mix it up with ups and downs, entering a sentimental and emotional roller coaster that justifies the weight. drama of the series itself. However, she’s not the only one to benefit from a sharp storyline: Kamala (Richa Moorjani) gets more screen time as she finally enters her PhD and deals with structural machismo and racism in the scientific realm. – even discouraged by her promised husband. not to impose oneself, while seeing hard work escape recognition. Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), Devi’s mother, puts aside the austere position of family matriarch and realizes that she needs to focus on herself, whether professionally or lovingly – which is why she gets involved with Dr Chris Jackson (Common).

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In the previous cycle, the audience was introduced to the vibrant universe of “Eu Never…”, which explains the slower pace of the chapters. Now, being accustomed to the multiple characters who inhabit this universally accessible cosmos, it is possible to bet more daring tokens on much-needed talking points, such as the aforementioned gender disparity and the lack of work ethic regarding men and women ; In addition, there is an interesting exploration of acceptance, empathy and belonging, aimed at Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez): the fear of revealing one’s lesbian to the mother has already been confronted (and received with support unconditional); now she finds herself in an endless cycle of staying true to who she really is or struggling to adjust to the daily benefits of her girlfriend, Eve (Christina Kartchner).

The forays are even unfolding for analyzes of the systemic oppression of beauty culture, particularly with the impactful entry of Megan Suri as Aneesa, another Indian student who transfers to Sherman Oaks and threatens the coherent world of Devi. As we noticed, Aneesa reveals that she suffered from anorexia at her old school and was forced to go through a mandatory restart – until she was the target of rumors that rocked her. trust Devi. This imbalance also appears with Eleanor (Ramona Young), who gets involved with a toxic, egotistical actor without realizing that he is plunging into an inescapable vortex of controlling pedantry.

Aside from the occasional problems, the second season of “Eu Never…” is reinforced with an intelligent comedy, swept away by tragic incursions that never give way to monotony or predictability. Commanded by overwhelming and cheering performances, the new cycle is all we needed most to get through a troubled year that called for a high-quality escape.

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