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‘Never Have I Ever’ 2×01: “Been A Playa”

It’s finally back! Never Have I Ever has returned and it picks up right where it left off, which makes me so happy. I think with that cliffhanger last season, wondering if she’d pick Paxton or Ben, Devi’s Mom deciding that she wants to move to India, it would have been a lot to not pick up at the exact moment it ended.

One Nerd. Two Boyfriends. Oh high school drama at it’s finest. Who would you pick? Ben or Paxton?

Honestly – the abs would have me wanting to throw Paxton down and figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop (if you don’t get the reference, it’s an old commercial). The way that Ben would challenge me would have me all over that too. It would be a lot, so no – I don’t envy Devi having to make this choice.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (L to R) JAREN LEWISON as BEN GROSS in episode 207 of NEVER HAVE I EVER Cr. ISABELLA B. VOSMIKOVA/NETFLIX © 2021

MAMA SAW YOU KISSING THE NERD

When you’re spreading your father’s ashes, the last thing that you probably should be doing is meeting your arch enemy in his car and making out like it’s foreplay. Sure, he got you to Malibu to spread the ashes, so a thank you is in order, but I was thinking more along the lines of a gift card.

There is something about Ben, and it’s not his parents wealth. It’s the way that he walks into a room. It’s the way that he challenges Devi’s intellectually. It’s the way he has so much confidence and sarcasm. So sure, if I was in car with Ben, I would make out.

But at the spreading of my father’s ashes? No.

But Devi’s blindsided by hormones and so when she starts making out with Ben, she’s focused. And who can interrupt that focus? Well, that would be her Mama.

Nalini Vishwakumar knows where to show up and when. It’s like she has this instinct that tells her that her daughter is doing something. And she pounds on that window, getting her daughter out of the car as quick as possible.

Nalini is that Mom as a teenager you don’t want to have, but as you get older, you are thankful for having. She’s over protective and quite frankly at times, annoying (as most Moms are in your teenage years) but she loves you something fierce.

And she ain’t putting up with her daughter kissing a boy.

After some really funny lines and some embarrassment for Devi, they’ve made their way back into their car, heading home. It’s in the car where Devi realizes that she has a voice mail from Paxton. Who just happens to be waiting there when she gets home.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (L to R) DARREN BARNET as PAXTON-HALL YOSHIDA in episode 201 of NEVER HAVE I EVER Cr. ISABELLA B. VOSMIKOVA/NETFLIX © 2021

PAXTON WAS JUST CHILLIN’

When Devi and her family get home, Paxton is waiting like a stalker. And hey, I am like cute boy waiting, but also it’s been all day Paxton. You coulda gone home and waited for Devi to call you back.

There’s a part of me that is like – well, he likes you. And the other part is like no. Paxton is stumbling over words and finally he asks Devi out on a date. Now, I know that her inner nerd has to be excited, but she’s confused. What happened to her life? She was used to no one noticing her and now she has two boys chasing her?

The drama of it all.

Life for a teenager is not easy. She couldn’t believe that her life was this way and as she’s looking at her phone. She see’s a voicemail she forgot she had. It’s from her Dad.

Sometimes we remember things when we least expect it. Devi’s Dad was definitely looking out from above.

The next day she’s at school and of course – is seated in between Paxton and Ben. I can’t even imagine. Juggling two boys is hard, but sitting between them? Hard pass.

When the teacher asks how the classes weekend was, Paxton and Ben both chime in that it was a good weekend for them. Devi feels like they are talking about her and blurts out that they spread her Dad’s ashes.

Awkward.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (L to R) MAITREYI RAMAKRISHNAN as DEVI VISHWAKUMAR in episode 201 of NEVER HAVE I EVER Cr. ISABELLA B. VOSMIKOVA/NETFLIX © 2021

THE PRO’S AND CON’S

What do you do when you’re a teenager and you need to make a choice? Well that’s easy. You ask your friends and you make a list of pros and cons.

Eleanor and Fabiola know Devi better than anyone, but they also know the high school experience. Now’s not the time to date the Bens of the world, you will date those at Princeton. Date the Paxton’s so that on your death bed, you can look back and remember his abs.

Now, on ones death bed, I am sure that you’d be thinking of loved ones and not abs, but what do I know. Minds have a weird way of working.

The decision has been made. Choose Paxton. Let Ben down easy. Experience the quintessential high school like before you move to India. It should be easy enough, right? Come on now, this is high school and nothing is that easy.

When Devi goes to let Ben down, he gives the speech that we all want to hear. The one where he’s all in, that he will make long distance work. The one where he broke up with his girlfriend and cheating isn’t right, but he knows that he is a better person because of Devi.

I don’t know how her mouth fell on his, but it did. Hormones guide her and well, we’ve all been there. She can’t say no to him, Ben brings out something in her. He tells her that she doesn’t have to answer right now, that she can have time. Like that’s some hot shit – putting her first and not pressuring her into anything.

A strong man we stan. Also the ability to go out with Paxton before she makes a decision – COULD DEVI GET MORE LUCKY?

Well…

NEVER HAVE I EVER (L to R) ADAM SHAPIRO as MR. SHAPIRO in episode 201 of NEVER HAVE I EVER Cr. ISABELLA B. VOSMIKOVA/NETFLIX © 2021

SOMEONE DOESN’T KNOW THE DEFINITION OF A DATE

Paxton has gotten by on his good looks and hey, that’s okay. To a point. I really just don’t even know though how girls have put up with his shit. There is no dick that good.

When Devi shows up for her date with Paxton, he’s got his friends there. Does he not know how to talk to a girl one on one? Am I missing something here? The button down that he put on was a nice touch, but his friends and pizza? Devi’s so much better than all of us – cause frankly, my ass would walked right out the door.

Get your shit together Paxton.

The funny thing is that Paxton doesn’t get it. He thinks he’s doing all of the right things, because these are the things that have worked with other girls. But memo to those girls, respect yourself and want more.

Paxton’s starting to get the hint when at community service day, Devi chooses Ben as her partner. She’s put off by what happened. She feels like Paxton doesn’t like her and the viewer can tell that he does, judging by the reaction on his face when she chooses Ben.

My reaction when she tells Ben that she’ll be his girlfriend? Yes and no. I feel like it’s a smart decision, but also know that means more shit is coming. And by more shit, I mean drama and by drama, I mean Paxton.

Devi runs into Paxton, who asks why she didn’t choose him to be her partner. I feel like he’s never been turned down before in his life. She explains that it’s okay that he’s not into her, but he tells her that he is.

What does one do when two guys are into them? Well, juggling both is too much work in my opinion. But figuring out how you feel is hard too. So push them away? Well, it’s not a bad choice in my opinion.

Paxton though is filled with shocking twists sometimes. Why? Well, Devi tells him that she’s moving to India. His response? Make the most of their time together and he kisses her.

100% here for the angst and drama.

NEVER HAVE I EVER (L to R) RICHA MOORJANI as KAMALA in episode 201 of NEVER HAVE I EVER Cr. ISABELLA B. VOSMIKOVA/NETFLIX © 2021

OTHER THOUGHTS

  • Kamala and her excitement over anything medical is the excitement I hope to have over anything once in my life.
  • Kamala’s man is hot.
  • Geeky research assistant gets under my skin and I don’t think I am going to like him.
  • Can we all praise the Lord that Common is here. Man, that mans voice is sexy AF.
  • I love the cocky doctor vibe that Common‘s character is giving off.
  • Fabiola finding herself has been hard, but I wish that she didn’t feel that she had to be anything else but herself. Yet, as a teenager we were all trying to become who we thought that people wanted us to be. Can’t wait to see her grow this season.
  • Eleanor is always over the top.
  • Nalini packing all that Trader Joe’s… hahaha. I can’t help but laugh. But Trader Joe’s is some good shit.
  • Never Have I Ever excels at witty dialogue, funny moments, and pure drama. Keep doing your thing. We’re here for it.

Season 2 of Never Have I Ever is streaming now on Netflix.

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