Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher’s Never Have I Ever is the show that many have been waiting for. Following Devi [Maitreyi Ramakrishnan], a young Indian-American teen who is dealing with the loss of her father and the complications that comes with dealing with grief, Never Have I Ever feels like a breath of fresh air. From the get-go, her crush on Paxton Hall-Yoshida, played by breakout star Darren Barnet, follows the typical “nerd falls for jock” trope seen in YA many times before. But as the show continues and viewers learn more about Devi and Paxton, it turns into something that is a lot more complex. It seems like time is never on their side, especially after Devi starts to look at her former nemesis and new love interest, Ben [Jaren Lewison], differently.
Thanks to their always one-sided relationship, the question of “will they or won’t they?” remains on viewers minds long after the season one finale. Suddenly they realize these characters are more than the archetypes that they typically fall under, breaking apart some of the most basic rules in the YA genre, while also bringing fans a brand new hit like no other.
Seventeen exclusively talked with Never Have I Ever star Darren Barnet about bringing Paxton to life, why the show is unlike anything he’s ever seen before, whether he’s team Ben or Paxton, and why everything will be different for him in season two.