Monday, July 19, 2021

REVIEW: 'Never Have I Ever' - Devi Offers Her Full Support to Her Friends in Trying to Be More Mature in '...been Daisy Buchanan'

Netflix's Never Have I Ever - Episode 2.08 "...been Daisy Buchanan"

Watching an ex with someone new tests Devi's resolve to be more mature. Fabiola struggles to stay true to herself, and grows concerned for Eleanor.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"...been Daisy Buchanan" was written by Asmita Paranjare & Christina Hjelm and directed by Claire Scanlon

Mr. Kulkarni's class holds a mock trial to determine the fate of Daisy Buchanan at the end of the classic novel The Great Gatsby. All of Mr. K's characterizations so far indicate that he strives to be the cool teacher at school. He wants to teach in a unique and new way. He doesn't want to go through the motions of what's expected in this job - like reading papers about the symbolism that's central to this novel. The students love him. They appreciate the way he handles the subject matter. Of course, it's also clear that he has an interest in Kamala. The feelings are mutual too. Devi doesn't really have any team to delve into that. She is simply appreciative of her cousin when things get awkward with Aneesa and Ben at their home. She wants to be supportive of their new relationship. She strives to be a better person who can handle herself in a more mature way. She knows that both Aneesa and Ben are great. She wants them to be happy. She may not love seeing them together. She doesn't want to stand in their way. She doesn't want to be the reason why things don't work. She is figuring out how to handle all of this herself too. She isn't raising her concerns or lashing out in inappropriate ways. She still internalizes a lot. And yet, she learns how to change the narrative in her mind as well. It's hopeful. And yet, this doesn't build to them succeeding as a team in the mock trial. They are defeated by the prosecution. It seems like the odds are stacked in the defense's favor. Devi is certainly bummed that she has to play the defendant. However, she also finds inspiration in the role. She provides a valuable service that helps articulate the team's bigger message about the oppression of the era. Sure, all of this is completely silly and nonsensical. It doesn't delve into the potential guilt this person has in a murder. It's all a discussion about the bigger issues of the world and how this novel brings those topics to the forefront through this simple story of class. Fabiola ends up having the most passionate argument. The prosecution wins because of the emotion in the case she prevents during the closing statements. The defense also fails because Aneesa doesn't deliver in her section of the assignment. She knows the argument her teammates are making. She can add nothing to it. That may serve as a realization that she was distracted throughout the preparation. She wants to date Ben but she may let her homework slip as a result. That's not acceptable in her family. It's not acceptable to Ben either. He wants to win no matter what. It's baffling that someone else would prevail - notably from a team he doesn't think has the capacity to match his skills. It's not a typical story pitting Ben and Paxton against each other. Fabiola is the one who gets to shine. Paxton does have a meaningful contribution that furthers his arc as well. He isn't suddenly great at school. He is applying himself to the curriculum though. That's a step in the right direction. He isn't blowing it off like Malcolm is. That too showcases how Ben and Paxton are fundamentally good guys. They have their own struggles and insecurities. They aren't pompous individuals like Malcolm is. He is completely controlling of Eleanor. He values his needs above her entire worth. Devi and Fabiola can see that clearly. They try their best to get through to Eleanor. She deserves better. She isn't being treated right. Moreover, Malcolm is cheating on her. Convenient excuses are given for Devi and Fabiola blowing things out of proportion. And yet, they are right to be concerned about their friend. Of course, Devi also spots her mother out on a date. That too will enrage her. Those concerns aren't on the same level. It's more important for Devi to offer support to her friend even when Eleanor cuts her down for failing to see what's special in this relationship. One can expect Devi to make a big deal out of her mother's actions though. That's guaranteed even though none of this prevents her from also offering some helpful advice to Paxton. That action proves that she is genuinely becoming more mature and considerate. She still backslides from time to time too though. Life as a teenager doesn't always shape what future awaits them. However, this is also the time that establishes who a person is. Devi has been a monster. She is learning and growing. That awareness is there. That's significant. She still makes mistakes which is perfectly reasonable. They can still go terribly awry though.