(Photo by © Netflix)
Certified Fresh is a sponsored partnership with Rotten Tomatoes and Netflix that includes a series of interviews with the showrunners and creatives behind some of the streamer’s Freshest hits – all conducted by Tomatometer-approved critics.
Certified Fresh at 96%, teen rom-com Never Have I Ever was one of Netflix’s most celebrated new shows of 2020.
Co-created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, the series follows Indian-American teen Devi (a star turn from newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she juggles academic ambition, friendship drama, and boys – are you team Ben or Paxton? – all while grieving for her recently deceased father.
In the first of our Certified Fresh interviews, Lang told Thrillist’s Esther Zuckerman, that when she and Kaling were developing the show, their focus was on bringing a perspective to TV and streaming that audiences rarely saw.
“We started from a place with a real wide-open scope, which was just: a teenage Indian-American girl,” said Fisher, who previously worked with Kaling on The Mindy Project. “I think for Mindy, she wanted to make a show that didn’t exist when she was growing up, a true teen show with crushes and romances and boyfriends and girlfriends and friendships. And that has never starred in Indian-American girl.”
In the interview, Fisher also shares why she and Kaling decided to anchor the story in grief and darkness – something that working with Netflix allowed them the freedom to do – and how they managed to convince famous curmudgeon John McEnroe to sign on as the voice inside Devi’s head.
Watch the full interview above or at Netflix’s FYSEE TV site.
Never Have I Ever is streaming now on Netflix.
Esther Zuckerman is a Tomatometer-approved critic and senior entertainment reporter at Thrillist. Her book, A Field Guide to Internet Boyfriends, is available now.