Never Have I Ever returns on August 12 on Netflix.
By Elazar Abrahams
Devi and the gang are back for another year of high school shenanigans in the new season of Never Have I Ever.
Unfortunately, this season has a very slow start. For some reason, the show just doesn’t feel like it is firing on all cylinders as it has in the past. Devi and Paxton are finally an item, but the plots are all retreads of the same insecurities explored over the first two seasons. While the junior outing does improve later on, what continued throughout all ten of the episodes was the sense of total predictability of what was going to happen next. After just two episodes, you’ll be able to map out the entire season and guess every supposed “twist” Mindy Kaling has planned over the next few hours.
That’s not the worst sin for young adult shows, which always lean into tropes and cliches, but it certainly doesn’t help, and bogs down an already tepid viewing experience. Still, fans have already formed enough of an attachment to the characters, so they won’t mind that much.
Thankfully, Never Have I Ever’s third season really finds its footing halfway through. Nearly all the couples break up, and mixing that development with the introduction of a few new characters throws a wrench in the dynamics we’ve been watching up until that point. With this momentum, the writers bring the season to a truly exciting and riveting finish. The finale is stellar and includes what seems like a real heartfelt sendoff for certain characters, plus bits and pieces of everything viewers love about the show.
Episode six, a Ben-centric half hour, is a highlight. The chapter functions as great character examination and development. It was also a nice exploration of the importance of male friendship in a show that anchors itself in the strong female bonds between Devi and her besties.
Ultimately, this new batch of Never Have I Ever is very uneven, but there’s still charm galore if you decide to stick with it.
I give Never Have I Ever Season 3 a B.