Thursday, June 11, 2020

Netflix's NEVER HAVE I EVER: An Indian Teen Sexual Conquistador

Sarah Larson summarized the opening scene of Netflix's Never Have I Ever in her New Yorker piece “Never Have I Ever,” Reviewed: Hotness and Hotheads" (May 10, 2020):

As the new Netflix coming-of-age series “Never Have I Ever” begins, its fifteen-year-old heroine, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), before heading off to her first day of sophomore year in high school, kneels in front of her household’s shrine [...] she wants to be invited to a party where she has “the opportunity to say, ‘No cocaine for me, thanks’ ”; thinner forearm hair; and, most important, a boyfriend—“and not some nerd from one of my A.P. classes.” He should be “a stone-cold hottie who can rock me all night long,” she says. (This is startling—she looks more like a kid than an adult.) 

We agree with Larson that Devi's request for a "stone-cold hottie" boyfriend who could "rock" her "all night long" is startling. But we're confused by Larson's "[...] she looks more like a kid than an adult", because Larson already shared that Devi is a 15-year-old high school sophomore. 

And that's the premise of the 10 episode series - 15-year-old Devi attempting to lose her virginity. And Netlfix, knowing the power of the allure of nymphets, approached Mindy Kaling about creating and writing the series - after they read Kaling's biographies.

Mindy Kaling shared with Priya Arora in Arora's New York Times piece "Mindy Kaling’s Netflix Show Tells a New Kind of Story: One Like Hers" (April 27, 2020): “They [Netflix] had read my books and really loved the parts where I talk about being an adolescent and a teenager,” said Kaling. 

In the series, Devi shared with her therapist that her focus in life was "Poppin' my cherry doc!" And that she was, "Ready to bone."

And after Devi's classmate asked about the size of their schoolmate's penis, "Is his penis as big as it looks in those sweatpants?", Devi shared, "It's like I think about sex 24-7."

There's no apparent nympholepsy in the series, but interestingly, once Devi's mother discovered that Devi had a boyfriend, Devi's mother assumed that her 15-year-old daughter's boyfriend was Frank - the [middle-aged] crossing guard with the receding hairline!

In the end, John McEnroe, in a voice over, related to the viewers that Devi was, "[...] a friggin' sexual conquistador."

As a side note, with marijuana becoming mainstream and legal in a number of states, teens, in films and IRL, are indulging in cocaine. For example, in Netflix's I Am Not Okay With This, Stanley Barber shared with Sydney, "You do realize that the entire [high school] cheerleading squad are actually dong lines of cocaine in the upstairs bathroom?" 

This is partly due to the forbidden nature of the drug. For example, if Devi would have been offered marijuana, and replied ‘No marijuana for me, thanks’, that would not have been as shocking as, ‘No cocaine for me, thanks’. Not to mention pills. Devi begged her therapist for "[...] Paxil, Lexapro, Xanax, Zoloft? I'll try anything!"

No comments:

Post a Comment