Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever’s (Devi Vishwakumar) is a character who is unapologetically and apologetically herself. She is aggressive, insecure, arrogant, dedicated, empathetic, and self-centred all at the same time, and it is her frequently irrational behaviour that makes her so intriguing to watch.
Devi is a comical reflection of our wild adolescent thoughts as we watch her strive to find her identity, cope with her loss, and possibly even find a boyfriend. Devi is also a reminder to be gentle to ourselves, even when we don’t think we deserve it.
Devi’s impulsiveness and insecurity are not entirely unwarranted. She begins the series with a low social status because she unexpectedly lost her father and spent her freshman year of high school psychosomatically paralysed. Devi is a self-assured yet socially awkward young woman attempting to attain popularity alongside her best friends Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Young), all while keeping a perfect GPA and dating the school’s hottie.
Devi is a vividly designed heroine who wears her heart on her sleeve. Many of us grew up observing characters like the effortlessly adored teen prodigy Rory Gilmore, whose gaffes and awkwardness were quickly forgotten with a smart quip and a smile in his sapphire-blue eyes. Devi is an excellent counterpoint to this archetype. Ramakrishnan plays her with an intensity that has you watching through your fingers as she unashamedly marches to the rhythm of her drum, speaks her mind, and suffers with the fallout.
Overall, Devi Vishwakumar is a terrific character because of all the elements that simultaneously make her a massive mess.
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