Never Have I Ever: Debating Ben vs. Paxton based on TV’s best love triangles

Never Have I Ever on Netflix. Photo courtesy Netflix
Never Have I Ever on Netflix. Photo courtesy Netflix /
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Scott Foley, Keri Russel, and Scott Speedman. (Photo By Getty Images) /


The triangle: Felicity and Ben vs. Felicity and Noel

The gist: Felicity Porter (Keri Russell) ditches her Stanford University college plans to move across the country to attend the University of New York, inspired by her high school crush, Ben Covington (Scott Speedman). Once settled in New York, Felicity starts dating her resident advisor, Noel Crane (Scott Foley), while she still battles feelings for Ben. Throughout the series, Felicity vacillates between Ben and Noel, ultimately ending up with *spoiler alert* Ben in the series finale.

Felicity characterized Ben and Noel as polar opposites, and for the most part, they were. Ben was the charming, handsome jock who didn’t particularly excel in academics. Noel was the bookish, but still handsome, boy next door who was, at least on paper, perfect for Felicity. To his credit, Noel had feelings he could communicate, but the ever-elusive Ben possessed a magnetic draw and mystery Felicity couldn’t resist. She couldn’t go wrong with either, but the success of the relationships with both men relied on timing, circumstance, and what each party was willing to learn in the process.

The consensus: Isn’t obvious who’s who in terms of Never Have I Ever? Ironically, Ben is the Paxton counterpart (they’re both swimmers!), while Noel is the Ben counterpart. Devi’s situation mirrors Felicity’s because both guys have different strengths that would lead to contrasting but ultimately fruitful relationships. Felicity and Noel could rarely land on the same page, no matter if he was the more reliable option. Yes, Noel would have waited for Felicity in the car at the beach, but Ben would have driven over the speed limit to get her there. And so would Paxton. If we apply the Felicity science to Devi’s romantic dilemma, it’s Paxton all the way.