Never Have I Ever: How similar is it to high school?

Never Have I Ever: How similar is it to high school?

Joleth Herrera, staff writer

The show Never Have I Ever just came out with a third season two weeks ago.

Season 1 was a crazy build up, season 2 was an intense break down, and so far season 3 seems to be a complete mess. Although I have to say that cliche shows are everything to me. I love all things cliche because they give me a chance to compare and contrast them to reality.

As a junior going into her third full week of high school I can surely compare some aspects of this show to my life. The main character, Devi Vishwakumar is a 16-year-old girl also in her junior year of high school. This show brings a massive amount of representation to Indian-American culture and lifestyle, as well as the LGBTQ+ community, and a bigger sense of awareness to the realities of high school. 

As I said this show is very cliche and very quirky. I will be comparing the highlights of the first five episodes of season 3 to the realities that I see at my school.

Starting off strong the first episode is called “ …been slut-shamed “, the titles of every episode are in conjunction with the title of the show. I have to make a quick comment over this and say that it’s a pretty funny thing to look forward to in each episode. Usually a funny part of the episode will open and then the introduction will roll in with “ Never Have I Ever “ followed by the episode name. It’s all very put together. But seriously it’s time for a real insider on the lives of high schoolers.

Ep. 1 “ …been slut-shamed ”

Devi is dating her dream boyfriend. He is popular, attractive, and friendly. All the girls have been all over him so he has quite a reputation. It will be hard to follow if you haven’t seen the previous seasons but a quick run-down on Devi ( a smart girl with less popularity than her boyfriend ) is dating Paxton ( a top status hottie who has dated basically every girl at their school ).

At the start of the episode Devi and Paxton have been dating for two weeks. Their opening scene is them walking into school while holding hands. In my opinion they look like an amazing couple until the plot twist comes. Devi goes into the bathroom and she hears 3 mean girls talking about her relationship.

They make it obvious that Paxton is only dating her because she must be a slut. Now, Devi is a very insecure and self conscious person. As soon as she hears this she runs to her friends, so how true can it be that her boyfriend is only with her because of that? Not true at all! Devi has never been of that nature plus Paxton is genuinely into her based on what we’ve seen in the past 2 seasons. Devi being Devi she goes to investigate what this comment was all about. The episode ends with her ignoring these mean girls and being reassured by her boyfriend.

High school can be a harsh place. People will be mean and people will definitely talk. How often will you hear girls blatantly talking about other peoples’ relationships in the bathroom? Not that often. Although this doesn’t change the fact that people will talk. When two polar opposites get together to be in a relationship many people are shocked. From experience I can confirm that I have been surprised at certain couples I’ve seen at school. Even if you don’t know someones’ personality a lot you can tell that they are most likely very different from their partner.

Ep 2. “ …had my own troll ”

As I said people will talk and this is exactly what happened in the second episode. Devi’s relationship is going well. She feels more secure now after things have been talked about between her and Paxton. Out of nowhere Devi receives an anonymous message telling her creepy things about Paxton.

The classic, “ he’s not who he says he is ” and “ I just want to warn you about him ”. I mean come on, how many times have we heard this throughout the development of the entertainment industry. Either way Devi is gonna get to the bottom of this anonymous message. Her boyfriend tells her she’s being trolled and her closest friends tell her to find out who this is. Once again the problem is resolved so she and Paxton end on good terms. Devi and him aren’t the only ones who ended on good terms though. The “ troll ” in question was one of Paxton’s exes who was ghosted by him which is the whole reason why she started this. Devi’s plan to fix this sorta backfires in the next episode.

In this episode we get a bigger plot twist than ever before. It’s common in films to be comforted by whoever you’re with when something happens between you and your partner. We saw a glimpse of this from probably the most unexpected duo in the show. It was quite the representation for the LGBTQ+ community and more specifically the WLW community. While these 2 events are taking place they might not seem tied together as much from a first glance but if you know how to analyze people then you should definitely watch this show and see what you notice.

I have seen instances where people have been trolled. It’s usually harmful since most of the time it’s nothing serious. A lot of the time it hasn’t been for their relationships but rather just a disliking of the person and wanting to hate on them. This so called “ feminist icon “ role seen in NHIE isn’t that true in real life. If a girl or a guy was hurt by another girl or guy then they won’t run to warn the next person. It all comes down to reputation. If you have a rep that follows you everywhere then your business is automatically open to everyone. All I have to say for my fellow high schoolers is be careful about who you trust and why you trust them. Moving on to our plot-twist I have to say once again that I was very surprised. Is it a common thing to happen though? I’ll leave that up to discussion since it’s more interpersonal as it deals with the rights and wrongs of a relationship.

Ep 3. “ …had a valentine ”

I think this episode destroyed me. There were two break-ups and one make-up. The first break-up was between Ben and Aneesa, they broke up because Ben was still into Devi ( if you know, you know ). Aneesa told Ben that she didn’t think he respected her but this line really stuck with me, “ I deserve someone who’s excited to be with me just as I am and who doesn’t wish I was someone else. ”

Talk about heartbreak right? Well that scene was awful. But Devi and Paxton breaking up made everything worse. Devi is the most insecure self-centered unaware person in the universe. I don’t criticize or judge her behavior because I get it but also she does some of these things to herself. It’s almost like she wants failure for herself. Time after time she sets herself up for the worst. She was insecure throughout the whole relationship. At some point Paxton got tired of reassuring her and her not believing him. Another heart breaking quote said by the one and only Paxton, “ I don’t think we can have a real relationship until you like yourself. ”

The song Don’t You Know I Want” by slowblood played as Paxton said this to Devi. 10/10 recommend this song for any of you going through a heartbreak. It’s gloomy, cozy, and familiar in a way.

Now, remember when I mentioned Indian-American culture? This is where a big part of that plays in. Devi’s mom can be traditional but also modest. It’s a strange dynamic for a character to have. Fans can’t decide if that character is liked or disliked. But as Devi walked into her house crying, her mom comforted her about the heartbreak even though she didn’t know it was because of a break-up. I hope her mom doesn’t find out the reason for the heartbreak because that would make the show messier. Lastly our singular happy ending was between Eleanor and Trevor. Their relationship was especially weird. Mid break-up they confess to manipulating each other in order to get what they want. They realize that they both have manipulation tactics in common so they stay together. Their characters aren’t that important so nobody will see how much of a real concerning problem this is.

Relationships in high school are weird. It’s hard to know if you’re doing right or wrong towards a person. I stand by kids being kids and making mistakes. I stand by character development. Regardless of this, I think a lot of our relationship problems start in high school. All three of the break-ups/make-ups are completely realistic scenarios in high school. People do stay in relationships even when they don’t respect or even care about the person anymore. People are insecure towards their relationship so much that they ruin it. People do manipulate each other and play it off. Dating during high school is such a confusing concept to me. People get hurt so much and each time it sorta just chips away at the potential that they have. A lot of the characters in NHIE have many mental issues with themselves that are really just dismissed throughout the show. With a closer look at everyone, all of their personalities and actions make sense. This episode was as real as it can get. To anyone in a relationship that is merely similar to any of these scenarios, I beg you please make a change for yourself and for the better.

Ep 4. “ …made someone jealous ”

I am two minutes into this episode and Paxton has a new girlfriend. It’s been stated that a few months have passed since the break-up. Skankosaurus, Devi Vishwakumar 2022. I am begging you all to please watch this show, if your favorite character isn’t Trevor then I think we need to sit down and discuss a few things. Everyone seems to dislike Ben because he’s been called condescending twice and I must say he is very arrogant. He reminds me of me which is slightly concerning. New character has been introduced and he is absolutely gorgeous. Of course he’s Devi’s new love interest. This episode was centered around Devi’s reaction to Paxton getting a new girlfriend.

This episode ultimately ended with Devi and Nirdesh ( Des ) making Paxton jealous. Their plan was 100% successful and I can’t wait to see what happens between them. The closing scene had so much tension. Devi and Des both looked like they wanted to go in for the kiss but neither of them did. Another dope song recommendation is “Rear View” by  LANKS, this played as Devi and Des were in the car. Throwback to season 1 when Devi was in the car with Paxton and Fire For You” by Cannons played. I strongly recommend both of these songs because they both share that free spirit energy. This episode was really all over the place. I’ll be shifting to one of my favorite characters, her name is Fabiola and she is the moment. She was in a wlw relationship at the beginning of the season but then things happened and she broke up with her girlfriend. Fabiola has now moved on to better things like the one and only iconic Aneesa. Ben’s Aneesa. The very same one. If you know what scene I’m talking about then you absolutely know there is something between them. 

It’s time to be real. High schoolers move on so fast almost at lightning speed. Teachers and students can confirm this. Will your ex belittle you for not moving on? Possibly. The scenario in NHIE wasn’t spot on but it wasn’t too far off. The typical let’s make your ex jealous plot is so overdone and boring. I wouldn’t say this is as common in high school as it seems to be in high school set shows because if you genuinely want to make your ex jealous you’ll find a bolder way to do it. These scenarios can all change depending on the type of person you are. They could totally apply to you or not and that’s okay. Moving on can be hard but it can also be good for you because it’s a form of release. Suddenly things feel like they’re back to normal.

Ep 5. “ …been ghosted ”

Okay we’ve all been ghosted at some point right? Or do we do the ghosting? Devi is being ghosted by her perfect crush. So what now? Time to improve her game to get him back into her life. Devi has planned to make out with someone to show that she’s on the market and ready for the next step between her and Des. The Ed Sheeran effect has made an entrance, meaning “ an unremarkable dork is given a guitar and suddenly becomes the hottest man in the world. ” I cannot wait to elaborate on this.

The narrator of NHIE makes the dialogue so much funnier. On the other hand can we talk about who is not funny but actually one of the worst people on the show. Ben. The whole reason why Aneesa broke up with him was because he was clearly still into Devi. Now he’s somehow even more into her, so into her that he’s plotting on making out with her. Ben wants Devi, Devi wants Des, Fabiola wants Aneesa but who will get who? I just finished this episode and a LOT happened in the last 15 minutes of it. Devi kissed Alejandro aka the Ed Sheeran boy.

The soundtrack of season 3 is amazing so you guessed it, another song recommendation. Alejandro was singing Eres Tú” by Carla Morrison as Devi picked him to be the kiss of the night. Ben kissed some drama girl who is totally not the girl he was going for but good enough for the moment. Finally my girls Fabiola and Aneesa got together. Paxton came back into the picture and he gave advice to Fabiola on how to make the first move. She was prepared for it when Aneesa said “ Do you want to date ? ” My jaw dropped to the floor. All this time Fabiola hadn’t told anyone about their secret because she didn’t want to out Aneesa, which I think is very considerate and respectful. I can’t wait to see how their relationship unfolds. This plot will shine light on many aspects of teenage romance such as wlw couples, multiracial couples, and the double standard for how women should deal with a break-up.

This episode was truly amazing.

Now what we’ve all been waiting for, do teenagers kiss random teenagers? Who knows honestly. It’s not the 90s anymore and things have changed. Kisses aren’t seen as such a special thing anymore. They have definitely lost value over time. Kissing isn’t something to be shy about or something to be ashamed of. I say embrace your love language.

The Ed Sheeran effect ( ironic concept but true to some of us ) is one of the most realistic things from this show. Take your average looking guy, give him a guitar, and he becomes the biggest heart-throb. Speaking from experience, my heart melts for a boy with a guitar. So props to NHIE for getting one thing right about high school. I can’t stress this enough, if you are into someone then make the first move. At our age, first moves shouldn’t even be called first moves ( p.s. no hate to you if you do call it that ). If necessary, convince yourself that the worst someone can say is no. In case of a rejection just call it a day and move on. A multiracial wlw couple will definitely get a lot of backlash depending on the circumstances of them being together. Besides women always being the target of the patriarchy, other things come into play when women do literally anything on their own.