Is it tough to be a teenager? Then meet 15-year-old Devi Vishwakumar from the San Fernando Valley. The first season showed us the struggle she was facing with the death of her father, finding a boyfriend, and step towards her dream to go the Princeton.
This season gave a different approach while her two struggle was same but the third which was finding a boyfriend made her frenemy to contend with; not one boyfriend but two boyfriends and her mother trying to move to India.
The cast of this season is the same as the last season with few additions, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar
Richa Moorjani as Kamala, Devi’s cousin Jaren Lewison as Ben Gross, Devi’s school nemesis (turned potential love interest?)
Darren Barnet as Paxton Hall-Yoshida, Devi’s friend, Poorna Jagannathan as Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar, Devi’s mother, John McEnroe as Devi’s narrator, Andy Samberg as Ben’s narrator. We can see new faces like Megan Suri as Aneesa, Tyler Alvarez as Malcolm.
This season has also 10 episodes. The last season ended with spreading her dad’s ashes with her mother and cousin, this season started steamy with her kissing Ben Gross in the car and Paxton Hall-Yoshida calling her. This couldn’t get better for Devi. Discussing with her friends Fabiolla and Eleanor about her ‘situation’ and the choice of dating whom, Devi got a wicked idea to date both at the same time, and of course, friends will always help in need. A new addition to the show is a new Asian girl Aneesa, seeing her, Devi is intimidated and feels the pressure as for a long time she was the only Asian girl at school but there is this other attractive girl, who is fun, and friends with everyone.
A new relationship is also seen between Dr. Chris Jackson and Devi’s mom Nalini. This season shows their competitor turned love interest for each other and Devi is not happy with it. Her mother’s love interest “throws the family into turmoil and becomes a real chasm between Nalini and Devi, because Devi feels like it’s a betrayal”.
This season gives us another level of a multi-dimensional approach. First, the Asian -American representation of the U.S brings in a new character Aneesa who is an Indian American Muslim. This season tries to break old stereotypes about Asian-American. “When we talk about racism and stereotypes, it’s not just the ability or the freedom to vote and to become doctors and have degrees and do successful things,” but “It’s also to just being human beings who have errors, who have wants, who is contradictory. But to mess up as much as anybody else.”
This show showed a different approach to Asians living abroad and in an interview, Jagannathan said, “As minorities, our screen time is increasing, We are featured more and fill more and more roles. It’s a huge win. But our ‘seen time’ remains low. Character arcs for minorities still feel underdeveloped and stereotypical. As a result, the audience doesn’t fully see us. They don’t get the three-dimensional version of us, and it’s that version that moves the needle. That’s the version that can create empathy, understanding, and change.”
With showing new dimensions and character development, this season is better than the first season and a must-watch. Bring out Asian Americans to the forefront and smashing the old stereotypes and giving them a chance to narrate themselves as complicated as they want.
Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah
Article by Sroweta Kar, The North-Eastern Chronicle