Quirky, offbeat comedy centered around Dev (Aziz Ansari, from Parks and Rec) a struggling actor in his early 30’s on a quest to find happiness in both his occupational and love life. For me, Master of None brilliantly balances moments of sarcasm, awkwardness, emotion and reality creating a highly comical and relatable show.
Azis, who co-writes the show, cleverly addresses how the T.V industry treats ethnic minorities in a bold, yet quite subtle fashion. For me it is a very unique show, although reminded me somewhat of Extras, where Ricky Gervais, also a struggling actor gives us more insight into the world of television and celebrity motives for fame. Both shows focus on the perspective of the main character almost telling a slightly different version of the actors lives and their road to success. A bit like Eminem in 8 mile. We know it’s not an autobiography, but when you’re watching it, it feels like it is. Also, for Ricky Gervais, he is always talking in interviews about some celebrities doing anything to get famous, which he includes in the show.
In a similar fashion, ‘Master of None’ feels as if it is based on a less successful version of Azis’s life. By including his parents in the movie, this makes it seem even more personal to him. In fact, there is one episode entitled “parents” where him and his friend’s parents tell them stories of their upbringing over dinner and how they came to America. This episode, gives you a better insight into what it is like growing up in America with Indian parents and the different cultures they have. Indeed, every episode loosely covers a concerning topic with areas such as sexism, ageism and of course racism. However, the show is also relatable to many people with moments that surely everybody has encountered. For example, there is the scene where Dev is waiting for a response from his date that he is meant to take to a concert, and he starts over thinking what he should text her. I’ve had many moments like this, and watching this scene brings back many traumatic memories. There was also the scene, the opening scene of the very first episode where he has to stop mid-sex as his condom breaks. This leads to him and his sexual partner separately googling the term “can pre cum get a woman pregnant”. Anybody else, Nah? This further leads the pair walking into a late night pharmacy in an uncomfortably awkward fashion, which is a perfect scenario to create few laughs.
As Dev sets out in attempt to become a successful actor, he encounters many of these barriers and even though experiences a lot of racism, he manages to handle it in a light hearted and comical fashion. However, as a viewer, despite some hilarious moments triggered by racism, you still get a sense of what the movie industry is like in terms of casting for roles. This has also been brought to light at this year’s Oscars, the fact that ethnic minority groups are being under-represented in lead roles. Also, several actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence have recently outspoken against the inequality in wages between male and female actors. So maybe it is just a matter of time until an actress creates her own show addressing female wages. Who knows? Jennifer Lawrence would be amazing in a single camera comedy show loosely based on her life. Fantastic woman!
Lastly, if you haven’t seen Azis Ansari in Parks and Recreation please do. The only reason I watched Master of None in the first place was because of my love for him and Parks and Recreation. So glad he didn’t let me down.