Poorna Jagannathan Reflects On Season 3 of ‘Never Have I Ever’

By Shrishty Mishra

As the third season of Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy Never Have I Ever makes its debut the stars of the series looks back at its cultural significance as well as what it means to them. The series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher follows a 15-year-old Indian-American Tamil girl, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she tries to navigate high school while dealing with her personal trauma.

The comedy has been hailed for its representation and for breaking South Asian stereotypes by critics and fans alike. Season 1 has a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes while Season 2 stands at 94 percent. However, this kind of response was always not the case for shows that kept representation at the forefront. Actor Poorna Jagannathan who plays Devi’s mother tells Variety in a recent interview, “I’ve been acting for a couple of years, and I remember that every pilot around an Asian or Middle Eastern family would get killed in the pilot stage.”

Another show that has gained a similar kind of popularity among fans is Bridgerton.However, there are many shows that have been canceled by networks or streamers after the pilot episodes, a recent example being the comedy-action animated series Boons and Curses, which incorporated the South Asian myths and was set to premiere sometime in 2023 on Netflix. Similarly, SNL alum Nasim Pedrad‘s Chad, which chronicled the immigrant life of Iranian Americans was canceled at TBS ahead of its Season 2 debut. Jagannath further elaborates on the importance of the glimpse of South Asian culture the series offers to a wide range of audiences and the evolution in the entertainment industry, she explained,

To be able to have four seasons of a show where you follow an immigrant families in this multi-generational household and see how nuanced they are, and see how they experience joy and grief just like everyone else, and normalize what that looks like, has been super empowering and important.

Poorna Jagannathan
Image via Netflix

And now Season 3 is aiming to be relatable to an all-encompassing audience, Ramakrishnan explains, “We pack a punch into a good old half-hour comedy. It’s very heartwarming. Real things are being spoken about, in a way that it’s natural. It’s organic, it’s relatable. And that’s why many people — not just young South Asian, brown girls — can relate to it.”

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Never Have I Ever Season 3 is streaming on Netflix now.

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Image: Netflix

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