Much like the next person, I'm all about Mindy Kaling. The comic powerhouse was killing it long before her days on The Office and The Mindy Project, and now we're getting closer to her upcoming series for Netflix, we've never felt giddier. While plenty isn't yet known about the coming-of-age story, Never Have I Ever, created by Kaling and Lang Fisher—Fisher has worked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so there's bound to be major laughs—I have made it my mission to tell other fans all the vital facts of Kaling's latest quest.
We have a teaser and a premiere date.
In times of trouble (quarantine), Kaling has once again proved she's a rainbow even in life's biggest storms. The actress posted on her Instagram announcing the ten-episode show would be hitting our Netflix queue's April 27, and threw in a little teaser clip for us.
In the clip, we see the lead character prays on her first day of school to go to a party filled with hard drugs and alcohol, for her arm hair to thin out, and for a boyfriend joking that he can even be a dumb jock.
She sounds so much like Kaling that I found myself rewatching the clip a couple more times because I missed Kaling's writing of characters. I'm getting major The Mindy Project vibes.
We have details about the plot.
In an interview with Variety, Kaling explained how the show came to be. "Netflix approached me about doing a series on young Mindy," she said. "I wasn't as interested in telling a period piece about an Indian girl growing up in the '80s, but I told them I'd love to do a show about a 15-year-old Indian girl now."
And the show was born! Never Have I Ever will follow our protagonist, Devi, an overachieving high school sophomore who recently lost her father. She's has a short fuse, which doesn't get leave in the best situations.
While the show may be somewhat about Kaling, she told Entertainment Weekly for fans not to expect to see her in the series. "I love acting, but I also really love not acting, and I did it for so many years straight between The Office and The Mindy Project, and there was no break in between the two," she said. "Also, I think having a baby, I've been able to focus more on creating new material and frankly finding new talent."
Kaling found most of the actors through social media.
In the coolest and most 21st century way ever, Kaling posted all over her social media that she was looking for South Asian American females for a new Netflix show.
In a conversation with Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu for Variety Studio: Actors on Actors series, Kaling explained why she took it to her social media platforms to find the perfect cast members for the show. "I decided that the pool was too small for the people we were seeing from the top four or five agencies," she said. "I just posted on Twitter and Instagram, with the help of Netflix and Universal who were paying for the show, 'Hey! If you are an Indian-American girl from 15-22,' and for the mom and older cousin, 'please write to this email.'"
The cast has some old and new faces.
After Kaling posted the news all over social media, over 15,000 people emailed in tapes trying to land a role on the show. In July, it was announced that Canadian newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan would play the lead character, Devi. Ramakrishnan said that she decided to apply for the role after a friend showed her Kaling's post and told her she would be perfect for the role.
The up-and-coming star told TODAY what landing the role has taught her. "I feel like if you don't find what you're looking for in the media or the world in general, you should be out there, and go take up that space and go be that change," she said. "Be what you want to see, and other people will look up to you."
Other actors included in the series are Benjamin Norris, Adam Shapiro, and Ramona Young. Richa Shukla will play Kamala, Devi's cousin from India, who is getting her PhD from Caltech. Poorna Jagannathan (you've seen her on Big Little Lies and more) is set to take on the role of Nalini, Devi's mother.
In a conversation with Refinery 29, Jagannathan spilled about how she found herself connecting more to her character than she thought she would.
"After I got some scripts from Lang, it registered that I was parented, and actually parent, pretty much the same way Nalini does," she said. "For instance, South Asians will threaten violence very casually–I grew up with my mom saying things like, 'If you drop the cookie on the Persian rug, I'll break your arms and legs and throw them out of the house.' And that's kind the stuff that will come out of my mouth sometimes–so the character very much lives in the world I grew up in."
Also, have I mentioned that it'll be narrated by tennis legend John McEnroe?! Growing up, Kaling's parents were huge fans of McEnroe, so it's a perfect fit for him to have a role in the series. On Late Night with Seth Myers, McEnroe explained how he got the role. "So all the sudden, I get this call and meet Mindy," he said to Myers. "She said, 'Would you like to be the narrator of this series?' and I said, 'Are you kidding me?'"
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