Never Have I Ever season 3 review: If Sex Education and Heartstopper had a baby

Never Have I Ever: Netflix releases trailer for third season

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When we last saw Devi Vishwakumar (played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), she had finally obtained the object of her affections: Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and series three picks up with the debut of ‘Daxton’. However, things are far from simple as the teenager lunged from one insecurity to another. Season three hits hard in the best way possible.

Yes, there are the teen insecurities and dramas but there’s so much going on in this show.

Devi continues to mourn her father Mohan Vishwakumar (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and it’s an accurate portrayal of the nonlinear nature of grief.

Bereavement comes in waves and it’s an expression of love, something which is beautifully and simply done.

Coupled with this is Devi’s usual car crash love life as she veers from one romantic entanglement and into another as it looks like she’s ready to lose her virginity after spending the past two seasons pining for Sherman Oaks High’s resident hottie.

The intimate scenes are handled well and show a healthy relationship between Devi and Paxton compared to the likes of the grittier Euphoria or 13 Reasons Why.

Some of the scenes between Devi and her mother Nalini Vishwakumar (Poorna Jagganathan) are just fabulous. Particularly, one scene in the penultimate episode, which really does pull at the heartstrings, after Nalini reassures Devi the right person is out there for her.

Devi fears she’s “too much” or “not enough” and says no one will ever love her as she is, but Nalini says this simply isn’t true. It’s the kind of pep talk every teenage girl needs from their mothers.

The writing and character development are brilliant with Paxton getting a satisfying through-arc he’s deserved.

He goes on a believable journey of self-discovery, reinventing himself from a jock to a ‘sort of smart guy’.

Barnet is wonderful and you feel Paxton really comes into his own in season three, and this reviewer hopes to see some more.

Fans were also given some important Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison) development. His acid tongue and obnoxious attitude got a reality check this season with the teen also doing some more soul-searching despite his flaws.

One final mention should go to Ramakrishnan and Lewison’s searing chemistry, those looks of longing amid their banter is just off the charts and is why the #TeamBen fandom continues to root for these two characters as a couple.

Despite these praises, season three isn’t without its faults. Some of the characters felt criminally underused in their series including Kamala (Richa Moorjani), who has had strong storylines in the past but spent most of the series living in a condo inhabited by child stars.

Then there was Aneesa (Megan Suri), who was involved in a potential queer plotline but she wasn’t give the space or screentime to really dig deep and explore her burgeoning sexuality.

She ended brushing off her romantic endeavour with Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez) and resolving herself to finding a jock.

There was so much wasted potential here with Fab finding a new girlfriend and Aneesa being fadded out of the show.

All in all, season three of Never Have I Ever is the happy medium between Sex Education and Heartstopper with a sprinkling of Normal People.

It brings some powerful emotional moments as well as snappy comedy as well as scenes to leave audiences with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Those who may perceive it as a more juvenile take on the teen genre should give the show a chance to be surprised.

Season three could have served as the last instalment, rounding off this trilogy neatly but Netflix has renewed the show for one more outing with Devi ready to make more questionable life choices.

Never Have I Ever season 3 is streaming on Netflix now

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