by Russell Lawrence
Aziz Ansari is known for his comedy routines, as well as his role in Parks and Recreation. However, many of my friends haven’t had the pleasure of watching a Netflix series that he wrote called “Master of None.” It was one of my favorite new shows from 2015, and it won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
And, while the show’s cinematography isn’t especially noteworthy, the writing of the show is definitely where it shines through. Some of the topics are very heavy, ranging from sexism and racism in the film industry to bridging the tired relationships we share with our parents.
still of Aziz’s reacting to a director asking him to do an accent for an Indian role in Master of None, “Indians on TV” (Season 1, Episode 4, 2015.)
All of those topics sound pretty serious, but I promise the show still has plenty of laughs. Aziz’s character Dev is somewhat similar to his character on “Parks and Recreation”. His friends, however are all much different. This television show has a lot of diversity and representation of different races. This is so important in television, especially when a show can address the issues of under-representation and misrepresentation at the same time.
The show isn’t set up in a sitcom formula, instead it somewhat reminds me of a less depressing “Louie”. Every episode seems to tackle a serious theme, and the characters all seem to have the topic on their mind until they find some sort of solution or recourse. Every single episode makes me feel very privileged and lucky to live in a country like this. One episode especially hit me hard, since my mother is an immigrant from the Philippines.
Brian (Aziz’s friend) doesn’t relate to his father who struggled growing up in a third world country in Master of None, “Parents” (Season 1, Episode 2, 2015.)
In the episode we’re given the backstory of the two main characters’ parents. Their childhoods were much more difficult than the main characters. The flashbacks of their parents’ lives start out dark, grow to be funny montages, and then all of a sudden become ironically depressing when we realize the everyday problems that Aziz and his friend encounter are nothing but “first world problems.” Eventually both characters realize this and get to know the backstories of their parents before they take everything in their lives for granted any longer. That episode was heart-wrenching for me and I seriously called my mother after watching it.
While it’s true the acting isn’t exactly the best, Master of None is still a really important show that deserves the nominations and accolades it received. I haven’t watched the second season on Netflix yet, but I look forward to watching it in my spare time! If you want something funny but thought-provoking, I definitely recommend this show.
If you’re still not sold, get a load of this.