‘Never Have I Ever’ will end at season 4: ‘you can’t keep them in high school forever’

Never Have I Ever is a popular Netflix series created by Mindy Kaling. She has a lot of popular series — her self-titled show and HBO Max series The Sex Lives of College Girls also come to mind. Never Have I Ever is a high school show, a coming-of-age show, if you will. And unlike many a teen drama before it, it will not attempt to send its characters to college together. Instead, they’re choosing to end it after season four, which will be the characters’ senior year.

Even before Never Have I Ever’s third season was released, fans knew that there was an end in sight. Netflix announced in March that the beloved comedy series would end after its fourth season — which has already been filmed, but won’t premiere for a bit.

“It’s hard when you have a high school show, because you can’t keep them in high school forever,” co-creator Lang Fisher tells EW about the decision. “The cast gets older and older. Then you start having, like, 30-year-olds going to high school and it’s hard to take them to college. I think we felt like this is it, this is good. We can tell this tale and end it the way we want to on a high note and really finish out senior year and it will feel satisfying.”

College has long been one of the biggest obstacles for teen shows, hence Never Have I Ever’s decision to avoid it altogether. “It feels false for everyone to go to college together,” Fisher continues. “Or you have to introduce a whole new crew of characters that nobody cares about it. That’s a hard move to make.”

Plus, Fisher and co-creator Mindy Kaling know the value of getting to craft their own ending. “We haven’t edited the finale yet, but I’m really excited about it,” Fisher says. “I think the series finale is going to feel very satisfying to people.”

Still, Kaling is confident that they’ll look back and know they made the right choice in ending it when they did. “We finished season 4, and it’s good. It’s just a testament to how hard it is to say goodbye to characters you love writing,” she says. “It takes a while for writers to figure out characters. You write a pilot and then you hire people and then you get into this groove, that’s why so many shows growing up lasted like five seasons too long. [Laughs] But I do feel that, in a couple years, I’ll look back on this and say, ‘No, that was good that it ended then.’ But right now I’m not ready to accept it.”

And neither are we.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

In general, I think it’s good when popular shows have a solid outline for the story they want to tell and don’t overstay their welcome just because they can. Issa Rae has talked about this with where she choose to end Insecure. It does get silly when high school shows go on for more than four seasons. Those are some long school years and the actors get way too old to convincingly play teens. For example, on the The OC they were juniors twice and the senior year on Pretty Little Liars was four and a half seasons long. Even when shows try to jump ahead, like One Tree Hill, it feels stilted and doesn’t really work. And it’s contrived for all the characters to end up at the same or neighboring college. That doesn’t really happen in real life and when it does it’s usually one person you didn’t even talk to in college. If they really wanted to, the most realistic thing would be to do episodes when people are home for summers and breaks. Thanksgiving break freshman year was a wild time filled with old drama and grudges so it’s perfect for TV, but I can definitely see why they’re ready to end things with the end of high school.

photos credit: Lara Solanki/Netflix

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12 Responses to “‘Never Have I Ever’ will end at season 4: ‘you can’t keep them in high school forever’”

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  1. jo73c says:

    Good on them – definitely agree that a satisfying ending on their own terms is better than trying to force more seasons and be cancelled because popularity wanes.

  2. DouchesOfCambridge says:

    They start to lose me after the 2nd season. Generally, what i loved about season 1 and 2 never gets “transferred “ in season 3 and the storyline gets either too over the top or it’s a whole different vibe Im not into

  3. SAS says:

    Friday Night Lights did this fairly successfully by switching high schools from memory. I don’t understand why there aren’t as many shows set in college as high school, although I guess you still have the after-graduation problem.

  4. Moira's Rose's Garden says:

    Note to the Goldbergs…this is how it’s done.

  5. Lucía says:

    I really like this show. It’s a comedy about grief and adolescence which manages to avoid low blows. And John McEnroe’s voiceover is, in my opinion, hysterical. It may sound weird hearing a grown white man narrating the inner thoughts of an indian teenage girl, but somehow it works and makes sense within the argument.

    • manda says:

      And then the switch to andy samberg when the show is from her guy friend’s perspective (blanking on his name….) is really funny. I love this show. Literally laugh out loud for me

      • Brandy Alexander says:

        And Gigi Hadid voiced over for a different character too. Paxton maybe? She was funny too and much better than I expected of her.

    • JennaMaroney says:

      I’ve been saying “xoxo, John McEnroe” for days, haha. That really got me!

  6. NEENA ZEE says:

    I literally just discovered this show and binged it last weekend. It’s sharp, funny, poignant and still manages to tick all the boxes on high school rom-com. They’ve done a good job with representation and ending it after next season feels right.

    Yes, PHY is a dreamboat… but he has to be in his 30s by now, right?

    • wordnerd says:

      He’s so dreamy!!! But yeah, the fine lines were coming out this season. No shade, I’ve got ’em too, it just made me laugh because he’s playing an 18yo.

    • Normades says:

      Yea, he’s well into his early 30s but the actor does a great job of conveying a certain vulnerability.

  7. Mel says:

    I really like this show. The second season wasn’t my favorite but they came back strong for season 3. I think it’s the right decision to have next season be the last.