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Mindy Kaling's 'Never Have I Ever' opened as well for Netflix as 'Space Force'

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Netflix comedies couldn't have been much different. One was a send-up of the military industrial complex (and the current presidential administration) full of high-powered talent like Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, Jane Lynch and Fred Willard — and that's just for starters. The other featured a cadre of youngsters exploring high school life, mostly seen through the eyes of a second-generation Indian immigrant whose father had recently died.

Both opened the first four weeks of life on Netflix with approximately 40 million households watching at least part of the show, Netflix announced today in its Q2 earnings. Netflix metrics are a bit wonky, but the overall result is the same. Never Have I Ever, the coming-of-age comedy from Mindy Kaling (who didn't appear in the show at all) and staring newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, initially performed as well as one of its most-anticipated shows with far more recognizable stars, Space Force. (The biggest name in Never Have I Ever was ... John McEnroe?)

And that's not damning Never Have I Ever with faint praise. The half-hour comedy was a joy to watch. It's funny in all the right places and serious enough to give the show some heft. Space Force, meanwhile, was over-the-top funny from the get-go, but to the point of trying a little too hard. (That's not to say that Malkovich wasn't hilarious, though, because he was.)

Neither series, however, opened as well as the hot AF Too Hot to Handle, which Netflix says hit 51 million households in the first four weeks. Floor is Lava is anticipated to reach some 37 million households.

On the film side of things, Spike Lee's excellent Da 5 Bloods (read our full review) reached 27 million households. (It's a great movie, but it's not an easy watch.) By comparison, Extraction (check out our review of that one, too) and The Wrong Missy (and, again, our review)  hit 99 million and 59 million households, respectively.