Grab your tissues, the fourth and final season of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever is officially streaming. Before saying goodbye, I had to speak with Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Ramona Young, and Lee Rodriguez about the series one last time.
Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age comedy about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl. The series stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, an overachieving high school student who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations.
“Well, I’ve always been team Devi, like truthfully and honestly, I am because I am in support of my girl first and foremost as my priority. But, of course, I have preferences and since this is coming post and I can actually now talk about it, show’s over, we’re done, I’m team Paxton, okay? I am a team Paxton girly,” Ramakrishnan revealed when I asked if she’s personally team Paxton or Ben. “That kind of chemistry is more my kind of vibe as like an audience member, as a fan. I love seeing them on screen together. I love the way that they push each other. I love how they do truly grow together while being opposites because I don’t want someone who’s so similar to me. I like my own personality and I don’t need to see my reflection in my partner, that’s gross. So I think they complement each other better in my opinion, so I generally am team Paxton, you heard it here first.”
“The full circle, for me, I think was at the start of the show, I was just starting college and then, I ended the show having graduated from both high school as Ben Gross and college as Jaren Lewison,” the actor told me, reflecting on his experience. “So I think that was my full circle moment. It’s just like crazy how they both were intertwined.”
Barnet continued with his own full circle moment, sharing, “It’s echoed throughout the whole series, not just season four, but I grew up in LA taking the Universal Studios tram ride, so I always just remember taking that tram ride as a kid and being like, ‘How cool would it be to be an actor and work here one day?’ Then, we’re on set and they’re driving past our trailers and then freaking out sometimes when they saw us walk, and that was just a really full circle moment for me.”
“Well, first of all, I just want to say that I am so happy people watch this show with their families, and, like you said, you watch this show with your mom. I’ve met so many young women and even parents who say, ‘I watch this with my daughter, I watch this with my kids,’ and to me, that is such a beautiful thing. Like, what a beautiful thing that this show has brought families together, especially immigrant families and people from our culture. I never had a show like that to watch with my parents,” Moorjani explained while speaking on the family dynamic. “It brings me so much joy that that’s what’s happening and it’s opening up conversations about things that are so important and have never been spoken about before, especially in our culture, and everything from mental health to grief, to sex, and teenage horniness — it’s funny but it’s true, like these things we don’t talk about. So it’s just really wonderful that this show has opened up that conversation.”
“In so many different families and different cultures, a lot is left unsaid and sometimes you can never get yourself to say it or talk about it or bring it up, and yet when you have a show that sort of does it for you, it’s cathartic and necessary and healing for everyone. So, how amazing that there is,” Jagannathan added. “It is one of the biggest compliments: I watch it, I have to wait for my daughter, I have to wait for my mom, you know, we watch it together. There’s no other show that I hear that about.”
“I mean, it’s so meaningful because it’s one of the first shows that really portrays a Southern Asian female lead. And so, I hope that resonates and that sticks in the future when people look back and think about how it all started,” Young expressed.
“I hope this show lives on forever,” Rodriguez then said. “I hope ten years from now, it’ll go viral on whatever version of TikTok we have and I hope that they ask us to do a reboot. Then by the time we come back for the reboot, we’re just grown and that’ll be a whole thing.”
Watch my interviews with the cast to find out who they really ship, what they’ve learned from working with each other, how they felt about the show’s ending, their ideas for a reboot, and much more!