Netflix’s Never Have I Ever premiered on Netflix in late April and instantly became the must-watch of quarantine. It’s a coming-of-age comedy from co-creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher amd follows a first-generation Indian American girl growing up in Southern California. Eighteen-year-old Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays our heroine Devi Vishwakumar, and will return for a second season.
The series joins Sex Education, Atypical, and The End of the F*ing World as another teen show gripping the attention of audiences looking to relive (or not) their long-ago days of angst, puberty, and general anger and confusion about the world. Speaking as a full adult woman living in the middle of a pandemic, a lot of my feelings right now mirror those I dealt with as a 13-year-old in a land-locked state. When will I ever see the ocean? When can I leave this isolation?
Anyway. A lot of those same feelings were channeled into uncertainty about when Never Have I Ever season 2 would begin filming. Now, Variety reports that the show’s new season officially has a production start date. So, what will the new installment look like and which cast members are returning? We unpack it all, below.
Never Have I Ever is returning for a second season.
Netflix has renewed Never Have I Ever for a second season, to premiere in 2021. The cast announced the news on a scripted Zoom call, which was shared to the show’s social media accounts. Kaling posted the video on Instagram, writing, ” It’s official, people! @neverhaveiever Season 2 is happening @loulielang and I are incredibly grateful for our entire cast, crew, and the team at @netflix. Thank you for watching, sharing and connecting with this show. 💛 #NeverHaveIEver.”
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Kaling had been repping the show hard on Instagram, and she’s clearly delighted to see it get renewed. “I felt lucky to be able to do a show about an Indian nerd who’s also badly behaved, to show that because I’m deeply familiar with it. Bela [Bajaria, Netflix vice president of local language originals] was also interested in seeing Indian characters who are not all like Princess Jasmine,” Kaling told Newsweek in April.
Season 2 starts filming in November.
Since news of the show’s renewal, there was no official word on when production would start. When Ramakrishnan spoke to ELLE.com in September, she admitted to being left in the dark about a start date. “Honestly, I’m in the same boat as the fans. I don’t know what’s going to happen at all,” she said. “I just know for me and of course the rest of the cast and the crew of Never Have I Ever, we all want to make sure that when we do start filming again for season 2, we’re doing it safely and responsibly rather than just rushing into it.”
It appears a safe window has been secured for November, Variety reports. Sources tell the outlet that Netflix and Universal Television are planning a November 10 start date barring any pandemic-related issues.
Never Have I Ever managed to side-step the fate of other Netflix shows, such as GLOW and The Society, whose renewals were reversed following COVID-19 delays.
All of your favorite cast members are returning.
Netflix confirmed that Maitreyi Ramakrishnan will reprise her leading role as Devi Vishwakumar, with other returning cast members including Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini, Richa Moorjani as Kamala, Jaren Lewison as Ben, Darren Barnet as Paxton, Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola, and Ramona Young as Eleanor. No word yet on if Sendhil Ramamurthy will return as the Internet’s Favorite Father™ Mohan in flashbacks or what celebrity cameo would ever top John McEnroe‘s season 1 narration.
Ramakrishnan has hopes and dreams for Devi’s future.
The show’s star has very clear ideas about what her character should explore next season.
“Three main things—understanding that she needs to be more appreciative of her family and her friends because her friends do a lot for her,” Ramakrishnan told Variety. “Her friends really are her day ones. And also understanding where her mother’s coming from. That is something that we’ll be able to have a lot of audiences relate to, understanding where our parents are coming from even though they might not go about doing certain things the best way possible.”
Ramakrishnan continued, “Then also the idea of approaching that grief — confronting it, having that battle, even though it’s something uncomfortable to think about, [but] actually just running toward it and facing it, dealing with it head on. And then number three, of course, embracing her culture because that is so important in a world where identity is everything. It’s how you portray yourself. It’s how you show yourself to the world and how everybody will view you, but also how you accept yourself. And I think if Devi does those magic three, she might be a little bit more at peace with herself.”
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