Master of Discourse

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.

Master of none.PNGstill of Aziz’s reacting to a director asking him to do an accent for an Indian role inĀ 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.

maestro-of-nun

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.

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7 Responses to Master of Discourse

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I believe this show definitely deserved its Emmy award. It is a very relatable style of storytelling that is able to resonate with different types of groups. I also felt this type of writing style made Aziz Ansari vulnerable to his audience because a lot of his own experiences are incorporated into the story line. With his particular writing style, Aziz Ansari is able to relate to a diverse audience and provide an understanding among different types of people.

    -Shelby Halliman

  2. mediaphiles says:

    There are so many shows out there to catch up on and this show is definitely one that’s been on my list. Eve since Parks and Rec I’ve been an Ansari fan. His comedic timing is great and I’m especially interested in seeing his writing talents. I’m excited to see that he uses his comedy in this show to touch on controversial, contemporary topics in a heavy sense. Comedy seems to be the only way to get people exposed to the issues at hand and I’m glad he’s taking advantage of this opportunity to give his voice on it.

    – Cal Parsons

  3. mediaphiles says:

    While I only ever got through the first two episodes of this show, you have really inspired me to give it another chance. I think your note about misrepresentation and underrepresentation in the television and film industry is a really important one. Aziz Ansari’s genius lies in his ability to employ humor as a tool to approach complex, unpopular themes like racism and sexism. People like Ansari, Issa Rae, and Tracee Ross are just a few lead actors who have recently begun to push these issues using comedy.

    – Lydia Geisel

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I think Aziz Ansari is great and I have been a fan of his for some time. I immediately started watching Master of None when it was released on Netflix and I was pleasantly surprised by it. The show has a lot of Ansari’s standard humor that you would see on Parks and Rec or in his stand up, but as you mentioned the show actually addresses some serious issues in the world today. I think that is what makes the show great though. You laugh a lot at each episode, but when the episode is finished you begin to have serious thoughts about the issues addressed. I think this show is great and deserves all the praise it has received.

    -Walker Rise

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I haven’t seen the show yet, but certainly will be checking it out now. It’s so true how often we take for granted the privileges we have to live in a country like the US. When I went on a missions trip to Haiti, I had so many eye opening experiences through seeing the joy on a little kids face who had literally nothing. I lived in an orphanage and the children there lost their parents in the earth quake a few years prior, and yet the joy that they had was unparalleled. I love thought provoking shows, so thank you!
    -Michael Cyphers

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Thank you so much for speaking towards, “Master of None.” I have not had a chance to watch the show yet, but I have heard nothing but praise for it, and your article has undoubtedly inclined me to watch it. I love Aziz Ansari and have listened to a vast amount of his standup work and thus am very interested in watching his show. I am also very intrigued by the social commentary of the show and look forward to sitting down for it!

    – Luke Dellorso

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I watched this show last year and loved it! It has good humor and great writing with entertaining and thought provoking Ideas. I like how you focused on the parents episode, as that was one of my favorites. I loved looking into the differences in their parents lives with their city life now.

    -Jake Fallin

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