Netflix’s newest comedy “Master of None” made its mark as one of the most groundbreaking shows this year, and possibly ever. What normally takes several seasons to build a TV show’s legacy; Aziz Ansari has managed to accomplish it in just 10 half-hour episodes.
Released Nov. 6, the show follows a seemingly straightforward premise: Dev (Ansari) is a 30-something New York actor struggling with his career, love life, friends and his identity.
But press play, and the show evolves into something much bigger than a cliché story line. “Master of None” is so thoughtful and poised that it never falls into the traditional sitcom trap, thanks to the genius and clear vision of Ansari and his co-writer Alan Yang.
Each episode encompasses anything from Dev’s relationship with Rachel (Noël Wells), to family and to friendship. Due to every thoughtful detail within the individual story lines, it is an added bonus when you take a step back and understand the bigger picture the show has created.
Within the first five minutes of the second episode, “Master of None” is something special.
In the episode “Parents,” the show takes a look at immigration. The episode is based off of Ansari’s stand-up piece about his parent’s immigration from India into the United States, the incomprehensible struggles they faced as they created a home and how far removed he feels as a first-generation American kid.
Additionally, it follows the father of Dev’s friend Peter (Kelvin Yu) who shares a similar story about the struggles of immigration. The rest of the episode places the spotlight on Dev and Peter’s parents (played by Ansari’s and Yu’s parents) as they tell their own stories. Much like their sons, the audience becomes captivated and wide-eyed as the true stories of immigration lend a sense of vulnerability and intimacy unlike any other TV show before.
The TV show also focuses on race in the fourth episode called “Indians on TV” and is a cutting look on how Hollywood behaves toward minority actors.
Opening with an assortment of TV shows with Indian distortions and stereotypes, including actors in brownface, the show does not sugarcoat the ongoing problem in society. It follows Dev as he auditions for a role and is rejected because he refuses to mock an “Indian accent” for the sake of a cab driver role. Furthermore, he finds he was rejected from a potentially large role in a sitcom because the series already cast another Indian in it.
Ansari unveils this unacceptable behavior to the audience with another underlying message: this is ridiculous and unacceptable, yet we keep accepting it.
“Master of None” also steers clear of a traditional sitcom relationship and opens the eyes (and very realistic fears) of any serious and imperfect relationship. Just over half way through the season, Dev and Rachel make a commitment to each other and it is evident their relationship is flourishing. It looks like they could be the next Jim and Pam with their witty banter and radiating chemistry. The show manages to also depict the fact that relationships are hard, and take work once you get past the honeymoon stage.
Episode nine focuses almost entirely on the progressing relationship between Dev and Rachel, from the charismatic beginning to realizing this seemingly perfect person is not flawless. Ansari and Wells sell this relationship from the moment their hearts ignite on the show, to when they encounter problems later on, and undoubtedly place the audience in a whirlwind of emotions.
The best thing about “Master of None” is you can feel and see the effort put into every detail of the show. The overall range of the show acknowledges the big problems faced in today’s society and analyzes them in a serious manner.
One of the most cleverly put together episodes is “Ladies and Gentleman” in which the episode focuses on how differently men are treated from women.
However, one of the most uplifting points of this episode is the work that went on behind it. The idea for the episode “Ladies and Gentleman” was inspired again by Ansari’s stand-up. While he easily could have written the episode based on his jokes, he decided to hand the writing over to two women, Sarah Peters and Zoe Jarman, who wrote the script based on their own lived experiences.
All in all, Master of None is a revolutionary show that accentuates real societal problems and takes an assertive step forward. I look forward to the second season and cannot wait to see what else the talented cast and crew will pull out of their sleeves. If you have not yet binge watched this show, you need to. I give it a strong sat.
Information taken from Vox.com