Monday, April 27, 2020

REVIEW: 'Never Have I Ever' - Devi Believes a Coyote Has a Connection to Her in '...gotten drunk with the popular kids'

Netflix's Never Have I Ever - Episode 1.03 "...gotten drunk with the popular kids"

Devi hopes to win cool points with Paxton at a party, until a surprising turn of events. Hidden emotions emerge for Fabiola. Kamala makes a choice.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Never Have I Ever.

"...gotten drunk with the popular kids" was written by Amina Munir and directed by Linda Mendoza

Devi has pinned so much of her self-worth and stability on her burgeoning dynamic with Paxton. And yes, the friendship is continuing to grow between them. However, the show is also having lots of fun mining the mixed signals that can confuse teenagers when it comes to matters of the heart. Devi wants to believe that Paxton including her in his life shows that she is becoming a significant part of it. But that leaves her disappointed when it's clear he just wants to use her to get a good grade in a class he is repeating. And yet, he also surprises her when he comes to her rescue after a coyote attack. He is there for her when the rest of the world wants to believe that she is dead. He may be nothing more than a privileged boy whose good lucks are the only thing people see in him. He has more depth than that. That is expected. However, Devi doesn't exactly want to see that. She just has her ultimate goal. She freaks out when he is flirting with another popular girl. She gets drunk as a result of that. She makes reckless decisions then too. That may be her baseline at the moment for how to react in any given situation. The alcohol just made it easier for her to believe that talking to a coyote as if it is her father was a good idea. It isn't. Her therapist wants to believe Devi is speaking metaphorically. That would represent progress in this relationship. Devi wants to forget the pain and trauma she has endured. She wants to move past it. She hopes to achieve that by setting these goals for herself. It helps that she has a family that is strict with what is expected of her. Nalini lashes out when she realizes her daughter deceived her and got hurt in the process. None of this is particularly healthy for Devi. She survives this encounter with a coyote. She got brought back down to reality a little bit. However, her spirits are still lifted because it becomes clear that Paxton genuinely wants to be her friend now. That's how he approaches this dynamic. He likes spending time with her and he is a good guy. Sure, he may pull pranks on his friends when they are tripping on drugs. But he still does what's necessary to get Devi the care she needs. Of course, he too prioritizes one's presence on social media. Devi also projects her sense of self worth on how many likes she gets on a thirst trap video. She believes that she, Fabiola and Eleanor are stunning as they perform this dance with changing outfits. It is fun and exciting. But again, the pressure is high. It comes with the understanding that they all live in fairly insular worlds. They are trying to expand their horizons. That is scary though. The realities of the world may not meet their expectations. Plus, there is so much in the past that Devi still has to process. Her therapist believes that progress is being made. It isn't though. Devi still runs away whenever a situation makes her recall a fond memory with her father. It's scary. She would rather focus her attention elsewhere. With Fabiola though, she is battling expectations for her. She is told what a typical high school experience is like. Just like Devi, Fabiola's mother is focused all on boyfriends. That is what is important to her. That's the element that allows her to engage with her daughter's life. They don't share many interests. Fabiola's love of robots is great. It provides her with an outlet for her to discuss what is happening inside of her. She is frightened by Eve's offer of an event at an LGBTQ youth center. But it's also powerful when Fabiola can use the robot to admit that she is gay. It's the first step in a long journey. She is discovering who she is. She is given that space to figure it all out. But again, that clarity will battle with the expectations her family and friends have. Kamala is dealing with the same issues. She just decides to deceive her family a little longer while enjoying the boyfriend she has at the moment. This world offers a new cultural experience to her. That is valid even though her family may not understand and she can't quite rationalize the breakup. It's important to her. She is still figuring things out as well. People don't need to have clarity on everything right away. They deserve time to learn and grow. The world has to offer them those opportunities though.