HomeAAPI Actors'Never Have I Ever' Season 3 draws praise and criticism

‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 3 draws praise and criticism

This post contains spoilers.

The season of Mindy Kaling’s romantic comedy series “Never Have I Ever” has even more Asian representation than before.

The show’s third season became available for streaming on Friday, August 12. It features a number of new Asian American characters. Sarayu Blue plays Rhya, a nutritionist and potential new friend for Devi’s mom. Anirudh Pisharody plays her son Des, a handsome student who attends Sherman Oaks’ rival high school. Terry Hu plays a new love interest for Devi’s friend Fabiola named Addison.

The third season also features a romance between Devi and Des, two Desi high school students. When they first meet, Des calls out Devi for assuming that he would be a nerdy, Indian guy.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan told Refinery29 that she was excited to have a South Asian love interest for Devi. When they first meet, Des calls out Devi for assuming that he would be a nerdy, Indian guy.

“You’re one of those Indian girls who only likes white guys and thinks all Indian dudes are just computer geeks,” he says.

Ramakrishnan found their dynamic refreshing

“She needs to hear it,” Ramakrishnan told Refinery29. “She’s made all these assumptions about Des before she’s even met him or really properly spoken to him. … [From there], the two of them get to just be kids, which I think is pretty refreshing.”

South Asian fans related to Devi and Des’ struggle to pursue a relationship amid his mother’s disapproval.

Fans were also excited to see queer Asian representation in the third season. For a few episodes Aneesa, a character who was briefly Devi’s rival in the second season, explores a relationship with Fabiola. Terry Hu plays a second love interest for Fabiola named Addison.

Other Asian Americans feel conflicted about the show. One Twitter user named Mina, was put off by the romance between Devi and Paxton, having been in a relationship with a “Wasian” as a brown woman herself. She also said she did not want to watch “another show about someone’s quirkified internalized racism,” a criticism that has been leveled at the show before.

“The one nagging qualm I had while watching the show was seeing [Devi] hate her culture and hyphenated identity,” 18-year-old Indian American Ipsha Pandey, co-founder of the South Asian Instagram page @raaydedesi told Teen Vogue after watching the show’s first season. “I hope we get a Season 2 to watch this wonderful young woman embrace all parts of herself, starting by breaking the belief that her ethnicity is a drawback.”

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