Never Have I Ever Had a TV MILF Crush

Well, that title isn’t true because we’re here talking about a TV MILF crush right now. After all, when Mass-Debaters’ Diandre Robinson came to me with his crush, she was and will forever be one of the most iconic mothers to ever grace the small screen. You’ll have to wait until later this week to find out who he chose and all about the sitcom he thought they could star in together on the spot. For now, I’d like to call your attention to another mother, a newer one in fact, from Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever,’ Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar played by the excellent Poorna Jagannathan.

Beautiful as can be but looks aside, I fell in love with Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar because she was tossed what I feel is one of (if not the biggest) curveballs in parenting. She was suddenly left a widow and is now raising a daughter that can and most often is a bit of a handful. Despite what she’s gone through, it’s been wonderful to watch her growth throughout the three seasons. When we first met her, she was a bit of the stereotypical, overbearing mother who wanted her daughter to be nothing less than perfect. 

Since then we’ve watched her teeter with the idea of dating – which…why the fuck did we have to fully abandon the plot where she fancied Common? They were so gorgeous together. We’ve also seen her handle a mother-in-law in-house (not an easy task even when they’re miles away), and come around to the idea of her daughter, Devi, dating and moving away for school. Although the latter didn’t happen because Devi just wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet.

Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar is the type of TV mom that became more apparent in the ‘70s when divorce started to normalize. Women could finally be seen as single parents instead of just housewives with the exception of Carol Brady who, like Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar, was a widow who just remarried. I think of mothers like Carol Traynor on ‘Maude’ and ‘One Day at a Time’s’ Ann Romanowho helped pave the way for the likes of Lorelei Gilmore, Reba, and Joyce Beyers. Only she went a step further to showcase a representation that is 100% lacking, and that’s South Asian. 

All of the above women…white. We rarely get TV shows about families that are anything but with a Black family here and there, a Hispanic family every few years, and in the case of Asian families – ‘All American Girl’ and ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ had 20 years between them. So seeing Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar and her family on screen was and is a huge deal because television can often lean so one-sided. It’s nice that we’re finally getting to see stories that not only highlight the aspects of life we already enjoy like family, growing up, and love – but also get a peek inside of a culture that is not always shown on TV. 

That aside, Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar is my TV MILF crush pick this week because she’s a (if you didn’t catch that already) freaking doctor, a badass single mother, and a wonderful addition to the plethora of TV moms we’ve had and will hopefully a step in this new direction where we get more inclusion in the types of families we tune into weekly and binge. 

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