The Netflix series partly based on Mindy Kaling's life "isn’t just an Indian-American take on the coming-of-age story, but also a story that takes teen rom-com tropes and turns them into a vehicle for exploring grief," says Joshua Rivera. "None of this ever takes a backseat to Never Have I Ever’s comedy or its earnest, empathetic storytelling. The show strives to keep its stakes small and focused on Devi and her friends and family, but they’re surrounded by a cast of friends and family diverse and interesting enough to support a much bigger show. While each character can’t have a subplot of their own, they’re all afforded the potential for depth. Every character is going through something, experiencing their foundational traumas in real time. The central conflict of the show is Devi’s inability to see this, slowly realizing that the process of dealing with her own extraordinary grief blinds her to what others are experiencing, and that dealing with that grief poorly can also cost her the connections that will help her move on."