Mindy Kaling wants Dr. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta knows her love for him is real. And so does her entire “Never have I ever” family.
The Netflix series co-creator and ‘Office’ star sent love to the famous neurosurgeon after telling his CNN co-hosts he wasn’t sure if the show would mock or flatter him with a silly innuendo in the new season would.
In the fourth episode of season 3, Gupta’s likeness appears during a party celebrating the Hindu holiday of Navratri. Protagonist Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a San Fernando Valley teenager, praises her grandmother’s Golu presentation, who thrived on a “DIY Sanjay Gupta” – a character with the doctor’s face – that Grandma (Ranjita Chakravarty ) with “hubba hubba” and describes as “too sexy”.
The Gupta scene unexpectedly made it on the cable news channel on Wednesday, when CNN’s “New Day” co-host Brianna Keilar introduced it, and Gupta said she was delighted to see him mentioned on one of her favorite Netflix shows.
“The standard for heartthrobs on this show is high, Sanjay, and you met it,” she said.
“At this point in life – I have three teenage girls – I’m not sure when I’m going to be ridiculed or flattered, but I think it’s just part of the game,” Gupta said.
But he quickly steered the conversation away from his looks, praising Kaling’s show for its far-reaching impact.
“I will say that watching this clip as an Indian American – and looking at the mother with the deities set up – I never in my life imagined that I would see it portrayed that way on a Netflix show, and Brianna Keilar sees it watch this show. It’s amazing for me to see that. But mocked or flattered? I do not know. I’m not sure which one.”
While Kaling didn’t write the episode “…made someone jealous” herself (like her longtime collaborator Akshara Sekar did), the “Mindy Project” and “Late Night” star took to Instagram on Thursday to clarify that the series certainly intended to flatter the medical expert.
“Dear @drsanjaygupta,” she wrote, reposting the clip, “let’s be clear: we’re all obsessed with you. You’re the star of the Golu, baby! With love, your @neverhaveiever fam. hp We hope your daughters enjoy the show!”
Commentators flooded Kaling’s post with “this is amazing” and messages that “the doctor was hot.”
Never Have I Ever star Poorna Jagannathan, who plays Devi’s mother, also agreed, “Haaaaa!!!! We brake hard with @drsanjaygupta,” echoing a line from the episode.
The medical correspondent’s heartthrob status was also noted by Darren Barnet, who plays one of Devi’s love interests, Paxton Hall-Yoshida, on the series.
“More competition? @jarenlewison we are doomed!! 😩,” he wrote, tagging co-star Jaren Lewison, who plays another of Devi’s flames, Ben Gross.
The comedy, which will end in 2023 with its fourth and final season, has held the #1 spot on Netflix’s top TV shows in the US since its release last Friday.
On Tuesday, Variety reported that season 3 of Never Have I Ever was the streamer’s second most-watched program (just behind The Sandman), with 55 million watch hours after three days of availability.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-08-19/mindy-kaling-sanjay-gupta-never-have-i-ever-season-3-cnn Mindy Kaling, Sanjay Gupta address ‘Never Have I Ever’ quip