Devi Vishwakarma (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) continues her misadventures at Sherman Oaks High School in California as she balances two boyfriends, her overbearing mother and a brand-new high school nemesis.
This Devi causes drama wherever she goes
After falling for school demi-god Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and sharing a kiss with her rival Ben Gross (Jarren Lewison), Devi finds herself smack dab in the middle of a love triangle. When that, predictably, blows up in the worst way possible, she vows to remain low-key and avoid drama. Famous last words! Devi finds herself involved in a high school scandal when she reveals the newest school transfer Aneesa Qureshi (Megan Suri) suffers from an eating disorder to the school’s gossip queens. The news spreads like wildfire and has Aneesa feeling understandably insecure about attending school.
Aneesa and Devi have a lot in common thanks to their desi backgrounds. But Devi is jealous over how well Aneesa gets along with her mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) and her best friends Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and Eleanor (Ramona Young) as well as her flirty relationship with Ben. Meanwhile, Devi’s perfect cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) battles sexism and misogyny at work as she fights to cement her well-earned place in a stem cell research lab.
However, unlike season one, this time, Devi is held accountable for her actions by her friends, family members, the two boys she tries to juggle, and even her teachers. Her counselling sessions with Dr Jamie Ryan (Niecy Nash) focus on understanding why she reacts to situations the way she does and are pivotal to Devi’s growth. You want to really cheer when Dr Ryan tells Devi, “You’re not crazy. You just feel a lot. And that’s why sometimes, you hurt a lot. But that’s also why you’ll lead an emotionally rich life.”
While it seems like the show tries to juggle too many arcs – a teenage love triangle, gender discrimination, eating disorders, homosexuality, mental health and the benefits of therapy – it does a fine act of balancing most of them.
Poorna Jagannathan’s Nalini is a gift that keeps on giving
For us, Nalini was the MVP of the show last season, and we’re happy to see that trend continue. The Devi-Nalini dynamic this season is more nuanced and enjoyable, and it helps that both Ramakrishnan and Jagannathan play off each other fabulously. We also understand where Nalini gets her sassiness from when, on a brief visit to India, we see Nalini’s interactions with her mother. Clearly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it’s hilarious to see Nalini get savagely shaded. Even though Jagannathan slayed as the helicopter parent in season one, this time she gets to expand her vast range of emotions with a burgeoning romance with a fellow dermatologist (Common); bond with her kind-hearted mother-in-law (Ranjita Chakravarty); be a cool and more understanding mom to Devi, whilst still throwing epic burns her way, and try to move on from her husband Mohan’s (Sendhil Ramamurthy) untimely death.
Never will you ever guess the show’s newest narrator
Having tennis legend John McEnroe as the dry, wit-laced narrator was the show’s masterstroke in season one. And while it feels fantastic to hear his droll commentary about Devi’s shenanigans, it’s Paxton’s narrator that truly delights us. Model Gigi Hadid plays narrator to the school hottie and hilariously voices his dilemma of being judged as being nothing more than a gorgeous face (and body).
WATCH OR NOT
This show is a whip-smart and sharp commentary on teenage struggles with relatable characters and what it’s like to grow up desi in the USA.
Creators: Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Darren Barnet, Lee Rodriguez, Ramona Young, Megan Suri
Streaming on: Netflix