Mindy Kaling’s TV series about the difficulty growing up of a high school student of Indian descent has become even more funny and dramatic.
The second season begins where the first ended last year: after Devi scattered her father’s ashes, reconciled with her mother, and kissed Ben, she meets Paxton at the house. The dream guy invites the heroine to go on a date – this is how Devi finds herself in an unfamiliar situation for herself: thanks to her own cunning and the help of her friends, she meets two guys at once, regrets nothing, and enjoys life. However, all good things sooner or later come to an end: Ben and Paxton find out about the betrayal and leave Devi. Not only is the heroine worried about a double separation, but also a new student comes to school – also a girl of Indian origin, cool and sociable Anisa.
It’s a little strange to realize that between the release of the second and third seasons of Sex Education, one of the main teenage TV dramas of our time, two seasons of “I Never …” and “Love, Victor” were released on the small screens – two excellent ones. But underrated TV series about the growing up of teenage heroes. You can, of course, condescendingly say that both projects are an excellent replacement for the hit Netflix, which will finally return to us in September, but in fact, they deserve more recognition, and their unpopularity is, alas, a consequence of a large-scale problem related to representation teenagers in modern TV shows.
The bottom line is that now the main series about schoolchildren (from “Euphoria” and “Elite” to the new “Gossip Girl” and “We are the children of Zoo station”) show the heroes as miniature adults – with severe depression, drug cravings, and sex addiction … We used to joke that 30-year-old actors play in American films and TV series teenagers, but now these schoolchildren have actually become tired of living in their thirties. Slightly better things are with “Sex Education”: the creators seem to understand that they tell a story about ridiculous, anxious, and impulsive teenagers but still often go into drama to rupture the aorta.
Those “With love, Victor” and “I have never …” are just aloof: their heroes did not kill anyone, did not rape with a mop (the scandalous episode of the series “13 Reasons Why”), and did not experience a drug overdose. No, they behave like ordinary teenagers worried about a quarrel with their parents and are embarrassed to admit their sympathy to a classmate. Simplicity and honesty play a cruel joke with the series and drive away from the screen many viewers who prefer older, edge stories about high school students.
The first season of “I’ve Never …” accelerated for a long time and only towards the end found the perfect balance between a sentimental drama about an immigrant girl who lost her caring father and an eccentric comedy about an envious schoolgirl who is ready to do anything for the sake of popularity and her own profit. In the second season, the creators at first suffer for a long time with the tone – they go into annoying self-repetitions, almost immediately abandon the script hooks of the first season, ineptly alternate slapstick comedy, and unrealistic drama. They accelerate only by the second half of the season, but within the framework of the genre of teenage comedies, these few episodes are made almost perfectly: jokes cause at least a slight smile, but the drama remains down to earth and honest – no stereotyped transformations for prom and a tortured happy ending.
One of the main advantages of the series is that it is not obsessed with the main character, a charming walking disaster named Devi. The creators, at the right time, bring minor characters under the spotlights, developing them into no less interesting and contradictory characters: Devi’s mother begins to meet with a colleague, her school friends are trying to realize new romantic relationships, and even the blunt handsome Paxton suffers from an existential crisis (and also gets a separate episode and a narrator in the person of supermodel Gigi Hadid). A seemingly monosyllabic school comedy with a romantic choice between the most popular guy in school and an inconspicuous nerd evolves imperceptibly into a complex story about identity and multiculturalism, grief, and trying to get on with life, envy, bullying, self-loathing, and many other important topics.