Never Have I Ever Finale: Jaren Lewison on Ben's Devastating Devi Discovery


TVLine 18 July, 2021 - 12:00pm 24 views

When Is Never have I ever season 2 coming out on Netflix?

“Never Have I Ever” Season 2 premieres Thursday, July 15 on Netflix. IndieWire‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 Review: Netflix Series Doesn’t Lose an Ounce of Humor

Never Have I Ever‘s Season 2 finale ended well for Devi, not so much for her longtime academic rival and sometime boyfriend, Ben Gross.

Both attended their school’s winter formal, though not together; Ben accompanied his girlfriend, Aneesa, while Devi and her single pal Eleanor decided to be each other’s dates. Everything seemed pretty chill until Paxton, whom Devi had been pursuing all year — including when she and Ben were dating, oops! — showed up and told Devi he wanted to be her guy, after all. (He also hit her with his car, but it’s OK. She’s fine.)

As Paxton and Devi slow-danced, Ben muttered that Paxton had always been Devi’s endgame. But Eleanor, who was standing nearby and overheard him, swiftly corrected him. She pointed out that Devi had been all-in with Ben after he drove her to spread her father’s ashes at the end of Season 1, but that she and Fabiola had talked Devi into going after Paxton instead. And then the episode ended as a devastated Ben watched Devi and Paxton kiss on the dance floor. (Read a full recap.)

Jaren Lewison, who plays Ben, tells TVLine that shooting those scenes had a profound effect on him… but maybe not for the reasons you’d think.

“I just remember this tremendous feeling of gratitude and joy of getting the chance to be a part of such an incredible show, an incredible season,” he says. “And then, hopefully, getting the chance to reprise that and continue to build upon this world for Season 3.”

But what might Ben’s trajectory look like in a potential third season, given that he’s dating one awesome female while clearly pining for another? And what, exactly, is Ben thinking the moment he learns that he wasn’t quite the underdog he thought he was? Read on as we get Lewison to go deep on that devastating dance moment.

She is really special in that way, and that’s why he does feel so strongly for her. It’s very hard for him to turn off those feelings and move on and get over her. I don’t think that that’s something that happens easily. And obviously, we see that especially at the end with that look, and Ben exclaiming how it’s always been Paxton, and then, finding out that it hasn’t always been Paxton. It kind of messes with his head.

I think that he feels like he’s been second choice all of his life, which is why it does hurt him so badly to see Paxton and Devi together — as well as, backing up, in the beginning of the season, when he does get cheated on. It is so upsetting for him because he found somewhere that he belonged, and he found somewhere that he felt valued and appreciated when his entire life, he’s felt unseen, unheard and unvalued.

You can’t fight that, to a certain extent, and I think that Ben knows that. He feels it. He thinks about Devi frequently, whether it’s as a friend or as something more. Again, I don’t think that he can turn off those feelings so easily and so quickly.

…If we do have that season 3, which, you know, obviously, I really hope that we get that chance. Who knows? I have no idea how he’s going to deal with that inner conflict at the end. Those emotions obviously have been slightly subconscious for him, and then, were thrust to the surface, and he’s going to have to figure out how to deal with them.

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Never Have I Ever season two: Unashamed ogling and character depth

New Zealand Herald 18 July, 2021 - 03:01pm

The second season of Never Have I Ever is streaming now on Netflix. Photo / Getty Images

If you Google "Darren Barnet", the first query that comes up is followed by "age".

Clearly, there are many Netflix viewers conflicted about objectifying Barnet if he, in real-life, turns out to be the same age as his high school character in the smart comedy series co-created by Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever.

You have to suspect he can't really be that young since the show has no problems making him take his shirt off, camera panning down to take full view of his inexplicably glistening abs.

There are at least three instances in the second season, now streaming on Netflix, including a scene in which the topless Paxton Yoshida-Hall (Barnet's character) is slow-motion sanding down a wonky table leg bathed in the soft light more suited to a Michael Bolton music video than a streaming comedy.

"It's okay", the show is whispering to the audience, "ogle him, it's part of the joke, we're having fun with some genre conventions" but also very obviously, "va-va-voom".

For the record, Barnet is 30 years old. Breathe a sigh of relief – no uncomfortable self-reflection necessary.

There's a fine line between pure objectification and being ironic and winking about those shirtless scenes, and Never Have I Ever is trying to have it both ways.

It's a balance it didn't quite pull off in its debut season, where only the thin foundation of Paxton's characterisation was laid, but the series goes all-in on deepening all of its characters in season two, especially his.

By now, a lot's been made of the fact Chrissy Teigen was canned from narrating an episode this season after a Twitter bullying scandal. That was Paxton's episode, in the same way the first season broke away from John McEnroe's narration of Devi's (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) experiences to let Andy Samberg take over for Ben (Jaren Lewison), a rival for Devi's affections.

In episode three, Teigan's replacement Gigi Hadid takes over the voiceover and tells the audience how she related to Paxton because the burden of being beautiful is people don't expect you'll be anything else.

There have been plenty of hot high school athletes in pop culture who, almost invariably, turn out to have a sensitive and caring side. In some ways, Paxton is another in a long tradition of them, but with Never Have I Ever giving him an episode from his perspective, the character gets to exist without Devi's gaze colouring our view of him.

Never Have I Ever's first season was a series about a young Indian-American teen going through many of the rites of passage so many high-schoolers face around the world, but with the added layers of the trauma of her father's death and in trying to reconcile her cultural heritage with the desire to "be normal".

It was fun, pithy and occasionally genuinely heartfelt, and it showcased a range of characters that are celebrated for their difference.

And Devi was an appealing lead character, even as she made the wrong choices – as hurt teenagers are bound to do. But she was also a self-centred character – again, as teens are wont to be – and the choice to spread the story around even more helps push the series along.

The trailer might suggest season two is all about Devi trying to choose between Paxton and Ben but it's just a hook because the 10 episodes go into much more than that, including the girls' friendship, workplace challenges and Paxton trying to contend with who he is if he's not a star swimmer.

Newcomers this season includes Common as a rival dermatologist to Devi's mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) and transfer student Aneesa (Megan Suri), who Devi initially views as a threat as a cooler Indian kid.

Much like Devi, the engaging and entertaining Never Have I Ever undergoes maturation and growth as it expands and explores more of the world it's created.

Episode Recap: 'Never Have I Ever' Returns for Season 2

Showbiz Cheat Sheet 18 July, 2021 - 02:32pm

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The episode begins where the first season of Never Have I Ever left off. Ben and Devi kiss after Ben drove Devi to meet her family in Malibu to spread her father’s ashes. Nalini opens the passenger car door in anger and insists that Devi leave with her.

“Are you kissing?” She asks. “Your father’s ashes have barely begun to drift out to sea. Get out of this car!”

As they drive home, Nalini chastises Devi for her choices.

“I mean, what disgraceful behavior, Devi! What are you gonna do at my funeral? Just have sex on top of my grave? I pray it’s a closed casket,” Nalini tells her daughter.

Devi apologizes, and when she checks her voicemail, she realizes Paxton called her asking to hang out. When she arrives home, Paxton is still at her house waiting for her. He apologizes for how he treated Devi after their kiss in season 1 of Never Have I Ever and asks her to have dinner with him the next day.

Later that night, Devi thinks about Paxton’s voicemail and finds a voicemail from her late father Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy). The next morning, Nalini continues with her plan of moving the family to India to be closer to family.

While Devi originally was not enthusiastic about the idea, she wants to support her mom and agrees to the move. Nalini meets with another dermatologist Dr. Chris Jackson (Common) to try and sell him her client list.

Elsewhere, Devi’s cousin Kamala starts her lab rotation for her Ph.D. program at the California Institute of Technology. She is excited that the rotation is led by Dr. Peters, a renowned scientist in her field. To her dismay, Evan (P. J. Byrne), the head research assistant, does not let her meet Dr. Peters and insists that she needs to spend her time cleaning beakers.

Devi tells her best friends Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Young) her dilemma with Paxton and Ben. The three of them make a pros and cons list, but before Devi can even finish the list, Fabiola and Eleanor convince Devi to pick Paxton.

Devi attempts to break up with Ben but is unsuccessful. That night, she goes to dinner at Paxton’s only to find out dinner means playing video games with him and his friends. The disastrous night convinces Devi to pick Ben, but when she tries to break up with Paxton it does not work.

She tells him she is moving to India in a month, but Paxton only responds, “Well I guess we’ll have to make this time count,” and kisses her.

Because of her impending move, Devi decides to date both Ben and Paxton for the next month with the plan that if they find out, she is moving and will not have to face the consequences of her actions.

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