'Never Have I Ever' Welcomes a Pair of New Characters for Season 2

Savannah Walsh, Hilary Weaver
·8-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Netflix
Photo credit: Courtesy of Netflix


Netflix's Never Have I Ever premiered on Netflix in late April and instantly became the must-watch of quarantine. The coming-of-age comedy from co-creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher follows a first-generation Indian American girl growing up in Southern California. Eighteen-year-old Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays our heroine Devi Vishwakumar, and will return for a second season.

The series joins Sex Education, Atypical, and The End of the F*ing World as another teen show gripping the attention of audiences looking to relive (or not) their long-ago days of angst, puberty, and general anger and confusion about the world. Speaking as a full adult woman living in the middle of a pandemic, a lot of my feelings right now mirror those I dealt with as a 13-year-old in a landlocked state. When will I ever see the ocean? When can I leave this isolation?

Anyway. A lot of those same feelings were channeled into uncertainty about when Never Have I Ever season 2 would begin filming. Now, the cast is officially back to work and welcoming a few new members to the fold. So, what will the new installment look like, and which cast members are returning? We unpack it all, below.

Never Have I Ever is returning for a second season.

Netflix has renewed Never Have I Ever for a second season, to premiere in 2021. The cast announced the news on a scripted Zoom call, which was shared to the show's social media accounts. Kaling posted the video on Instagram, writing, " It’s official, people! @neverhaveiever Season 2 is happening @loulielang and I are incredibly grateful for our entire cast, crew, and the team at @netflix. Thank you for watching, sharing and connecting with this show. 💛 #NeverHaveIEver."

Kaling had been repping the show hard on Instagram, and she's clearly delighted to see it get renewed. "I felt lucky to be able to do a show about an Indian nerd who's also badly behaved, to show that because I'm deeply familiar with it. Bela [Bajaria, Netflix vice president of local language originals] was also interested in seeing Indian characters who are not all like Princess Jasmine," Kaling told Newsweek in April.

Season 2 started filming in November.

Since news of the show's renewal, there was no official word on when production would start. When Ramakrishnan spoke to ELLE.com in September, she admitted to being left in the dark about a start date. "Honestly, I'm in the same boat as the fans. I don't know what's going to happen at all," she said. "I just know for me and of course the rest of the cast and the crew of Never Have I Ever, we all want to make sure that when we do start filming again for season 2, we're doing it safely and responsibly rather than just rushing into it."

It appears a safe window was secured in November, Variety reported. Sources told the outlet that Netflix and Universal Television were planning a November 10 start date barring any pandemic-related issues.


Never Have I Ever managed to side-step the fate of other Netflix shows, such as GLOW and The Society, whose renewals were reversed following COVID-19 delays.

Four new characters are joining Never Have I Ever season 2.

The series confirmed that filming had resumed in a November 23 social media video. It was also revealed that a new cast member would be joining the second season as a student. "The cast of Never Have I Ever is hard at work on Season 2 and want to introduce you to their newest co-star: @megansuri! She plays a new student at Sherman Oaks High, whose confidence and radiance will pose an immediate threat to Devi," the official Netflix account tweeted.

Megan Suri is a newcomer who has appeared in other Netflix shows including Atypical and 13 Reasons Why. Suri tweeted shortly after news of her casting was revealed: "I couldn’t have imagined being welcomed into a new show and family any better - you all are so sweet and I wish I could hug you all this support means the world to me, THANK YOU @neverhaveiever #nhie."

Another new addition to the cast is American Vandal's Tyler Alvarez. He reportedly joins Never Have I Ever in a recurring role as Malcom, a teen actor who returns to school after being cast in a Disney Channel show. The outlet describes Alvarez's character as "a 'Young Hollywood' type" who "went to elementary school with Devi and her friends but left when he was cast in a Disney Channel show. He’s recently returned to Sherman Oaks High whilst continuing his acting career."

By mid-December another pair of actors was announced for season 2 of Never Have I Ever. Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Brittany Runs a Marathon) will play Mr. Kulkarni, who is described as "the coolest teacher on staff at Sherman Oaks High" by Deadline. Kulkarni teaches English and reportedly forges a bond with Devi.

Photo credit: Michael Tullberg - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Tullberg - Getty Images

P.J. Byrne (The Boys, The Wolf of Wall Street) will also join the second season, Deadline reports. He'll play Evan, head research assistant of Kamala's Caltech program, who will reportedly feel threatened by her.

Photo credit: Jeffrey Mayer - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeffrey Mayer - Getty Images

All of your favorite cast members are returning.

Netflix confirmed that Maitreyi Ramakrishnan will reprise her leading role as Devi Vishwakumar, with other returning cast members including Poorna Jagannathan as Nalini, Richa Moorjani as Kamala, Jaren Lewison as Ben, Darren Barnet as Paxton, Lee Rodriguez as Fabiola, and Ramona Young as Eleanor. Sendhil Ramamurthy will return as the Internet's Favorite Father™ Mohan in flashbacks, as revealed by Kaling in a recent ELLE.com interview. "One of the things people were responding to in the first season was that [Devi] is a really flawed character, but she's relatable because she's been through a lot of stuff, like losing a parent at a young age," the creator explained. "But also, she has a big personality: She wants to have sex and wants to have a boyfriend. Seeing what people liked, Lang and I went into our second season [knowing] we're still going to see flashbacks of her father. I think people really loved that relationship, and we're going to see if they end up moving to India or not."

No word on if a new celebrity cameo will top John McEnroe's season 1 narration.

Devi will continue working on her anger issues in season 2.

Kaling also opened up about Devi's journey to finding herself in the second season, telling ELLE.com, "[Devi's] figuring out how not to rage out, because that's her problem. She has this really bad temper. And seeing if she actually does end up having a boyfriend, or whether she can even be a good girlfriend to these guys." Kaling added, "I'm so excited because we had to delay everything because of the pandemic, but now at Universal, they've made it really safe."

Ramakrishnan has hopes and dreams for Devi's future.

The show's star has very clear ideas about what her character should explore next season.

“Three main things—understanding that she needs to be more appreciative of her family and her friends because her friends do a lot for her," Ramakrishnan told Variety. "Her friends really are her day ones. And also understanding where her mother’s coming from. That is something that we'll be able to have a lot of audiences relate to, understanding where our parents are coming from even though they might not go about doing certain things the best way possible."

Ramakrishnan continued, “Then also the idea of approaching that grief—confronting it, having that battle, even though it’s something uncomfortable to think about, [but] actually just running toward it and facing it, dealing with it head on. And then number three, of course, embracing her culture because that is so important in a world where identity is everything. It’s how you portray yourself. It’s how you show yourself to the world and how everybody will view you, but also how you accept yourself. And I think if Devi does those magic three, she might be a little bit more at peace with herself.”

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