Never Have I Ever Showrunner: “Mindy Wanted To Create A Show That Didn’t Exist When She Was Growing Up”

As part of Netflix’s exclusive 'Certified Fresh' series of interviews, Lang Fisher talks breaking new storytelling ground and convincing John McEnroe to get inside a teen girl’s head.

by | December 16, 2020 | Comments

Never Have I Ever
(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.

Tag Cloud

Tarantino Sundance TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina spy thriller child's play Shondaland black VICE Holiday south america hist Funimation animated DirecTV 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards japanese worst rt archives CMT sag awards what to watch BBC One CBS Pop Character Guide TCA 2017 streaming Sundance Now Music italian Film Festival Paramount Plus blockbuster Nickelodeon cancelled TV series stop motion VOD Winners political drama free movies Mary poppins Star Trek crime thriller spain Rocketman WGN cooking Hulu Nat Geo boxoffice TCA Awards Academy Awards cartoon dramedy blaxploitation rotten composers diversity The Academy Martial Arts The Purge Hear Us Out Grammys E! binge HBO anime President cars thriller 24 frames CW Seed cults versus FOX asian-american Fox Searchlight VH1 movies USA Network TV Land Rock docudrama scorecard Vudu MSNBC Disney golden globe awards rotten movies we love foreign Comic Book TCA Winter 2020 Mary Tyler Moore Amazon Prime Video Pop TV Black Mirror Comics on TV TNT die hard festivals spinoff The Witch YouTube Premium The Walt Disney Company El Rey disaster finale Calendar Tubi Film TCM renewed TV shows cancelled chucky LGBTQ Spike Pirates Set visit A24 Heroines Marvel Studios Biopics game of thrones women X-Men Mystery E3 Sci-Fi festival Drama Superheroe Quiz rom-coms crossover dc deadpool Cosplay video aliens Disney+ Disney Plus psycho Super Bowl emmy awards cancelled TV shows casting Horror Ghostbusters OWN Marathons Reality Infographic TCA Amazon Studios Logo historical drama Sundance doctor who latino Freeform mutant Pet Sematary vampires FX on Hulu a nightmare on elm street dceu Musical cancelled television cats Warner Bros. technology The CW Fall TV directors quibi New York Comic Con pirates of the caribbean Hallmark Christmas movies Columbia Pictures hispanic Anna Paquin 2020 See It Skip It Marvel Television DC Universe critics FXX biography werewolf fast and furious AMC Box Office TV sports Amazon Prime Star Wars A&E RT21 canceled Britbox The Arrangement NYCC Holidays CNN comic books Reality Competition romance Teen BAFTA teaser remakes obituary halloween Peacock scary movies Superheroes Mary Poppins Returns golden globes Fantasy facebook psychological thriller zombie christmas movies Rocky TLC Elton John canceled TV shows franchise archives TV One discovery name the review DGA Captain marvel WarnerMedia Animation MCU ID unscripted video on demand Classic Film Universal Food Network Lucasfilm jamie lee curtis ABC Signature australia BET Awards Summer stoner TruTV Western Amazon Lifetime Christmas movies YouTube space boxing Starz Cannes witnail ABC Opinion BBC America dark SundanceTV ghosts Chernobyl Shudder Television Critics Association nature adventure comedies IFC Films Endgame YA DC streaming service Video Games Oscars concert parents universal monsters indie PaleyFest ratings slashers Interview Travel Channel 71st Emmy Awards Certified Fresh revenge elevated horror nfl Year in Review superhero Stephen King series spanish transformers Mudbound Baby Yoda venice Musicals Trophy Talk IFC toy story zero dark thirty Ovation Thanksgiving Valentine's Day Family 4/20 Cartoon Network ABC Family TV renewals true crime reviews green book LGBT Christmas GIFs Emmy Nominations game show football First Look jurassic park 2018 indiana jones Disney Channel serial killer natural history TIFF spider-man robots war Discovery Channel Netflix Christmas movies Apple TV+ Photos harry potter tv talk award winner breaking bad documentary Dark Horse Comics American Society of Cinematographers Awards Tour 2015 laika PlayStation Pride Month Apple 007 Sneak Peek GLAAD sitcom Creative Arts Emmys The Walking Dead CBS All Access justice league Spring TV kids anthology sequels halloween tv Premiere Dates james bond dogs television fresh BET HBO Go Hallmark Women's History Month news comics Rom-Com Tumblr Binge Guide zombies Esquire Comedy Central Epix Fox News romantic comedy ESPN Apple TV Plus SDCC Toys Bravo Schedule supernatural films San Diego Comic-Con toronto Avengers batman classics adaptation BBC Netflix trailers PBS MTV 2016 Awards Syfy comic Ellie Kemper HBO Max Disney Plus best Tomatazos independent National Geographic theme song all-time nbcuniversal APB Best and Worst Television Academy Trivia Turner Action Showtime Walt Disney Pictures strong female leads Writers Guild of America 21st Century Fox Black History Month Countdown cops Alien USA 2017 FX science fiction french Marvel Polls and Games Disney streaming service medical drama comiccon children's TV Adult Swim twilight Spectrum Originals Podcast richard e. Grant Arrowverse singing competition ITV Crunchyroll Kids & Family Red Carpet crime drama Lionsgate mission: impossible travel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt talk show TBS police drama social media DC Comics cinemax Comedy Song of Ice and Fire Paramount Paramount Network Turner Classic Movies movie politics joker crime 99% worst movies Trailer documentaries Lifetime Country mockumentary Acorn TV spanish language sequel screen actors guild criterion SXSW satire 72 Emmy Awards OneApp Election Watching Series dragons 45 period drama First Reviews Sony Pictures screenings miniseries hollywood Masterpiece ViacomCBS YouTube Red 2019 Extras Pixar stand-up comedy Crackle Mindy Kaling 20th Century Fox based on movie History book NBC Winter TV reboot Nominations RT History Emmys GoT Brie Larson