TV Review: “Master of None” – Masterfully Done

Written by Michelle Young November 17, 2015

master of none

Current shows like Lena Dunham’s “Girls” and Louis C.K.’s “Louie” have become celebrated for how they can take the simple premise of “showcasing a person’s everyday struggles as they navigate life” and turning it into something that is so much more meaningful. We can now place Netflix’s new original “Master of None” into these ranks as well, as it transcends its simple premise and expertly serves up hours of deep, meaningful, insightful, and hilarious content.

As I said before, the premise of “Master of None” is decidedly simple, but also deeply personal. The plot of “Master of None” is pretty much modeled after its creators’, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, real life experiences. The series follows thirty-something, New York City actor Dev Shah (Aziz Ansari) as he works his way through the various struggles and intricacies of life. Along side him throughout his journeys are his friends; Arnold (Eric Wareheim), Denise (Lena Waithe), and Brian (Kelvin Yu), his girlfriend Rachel (Noël Wells), and his parents (played by Aziz Ansari’s real life parents Shoukath and Fatima Ansari).

“You are a young man, you can do a lot of things with your life – career, girlfriend, travel, you can even start a family – but you have to make the decision and do something about it.”

The show is unabashedly confident in how it confronts issues of race, gender, sexuality, and age. These topics not only inform the subtleties of the stories and characters, they are in the forefront. From discussions about what it feels like to be a first-generation American to the sexism women face in their everyday lives, the show isn’t scared to really talk candidly about big issues and let its characters meaningfully grapple with them. What results is a product that feels richly authentic and true. The diverse perspectives of each character shine through, showcasing how brilliantly well-rounded human beings actually are.

master of none

The comedy of the show is also a major highlight, but this was no surprise considering Aziz Ansari was at the helm. His brand of humour was famously showcased on “Parks and Recreation”, with the lovably goofy character, Tom Haverford, but there is a huge difference to how it plays out in “Master of None”. While there are some pretty obvious similarities between Tom and Dev (the most glaring one being that they are both based off of Ansari), with “Master of None”, Ansari’s character is more firmly grounded in reality.

“The highlight of my year was when I crashed Zachary Quinto’s Halloween party.”

If I had to categorize “Master of None” overall, it would be a romantic comedy. But unlike most romantic comedies, it is thoroughly realistic and inclusive. Not only does the show revolve around real life issues and situations, it also puts them through the lenses of the people so often ignored in pop culture. “Master of None” is not only refreshing in its intelligence and form, but also in its commitment to diversity.

My Rating: 9/10

master of none

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