Ansari’s Netflix show is the jack of all trades


Photo Courtesy of David Shankbone/Flickr Ansari is the star and creator of his new Netflix comedy.

Photo Courtesy of David Shankbone/Flickr
Ansari is the star and creator of his new Netflix comedy.

“Master of None” is by all means a jack of all trades. Co-created by Aziz Ansari and “Parks and Recreation” producer Alan Yang, the half-hour comedy is now streaming on Netflix, which follows Dev (Aziz Ansari) through his life as a 30-year-old actor in New York City. He has a lot of questions about life, love, issues of diversity, and post-millennial problems.

The first episode follows Dev’s realization that his hedonistic circle of friends are moving past that stage in their lives for more fulfilling experiences.  Dev questions whether he should become a family man. That is, until Dev babysits for a friend and the prospect of fatherhood seems slightly more remote after finding out that it entails kids’ mischievous behavior and having to fake happiness.    

Ansari has well surpassed what audiences have come to expect from his comedy. Instead of his familiar routine of bluntly confronting conceptions of race or modernity, Ansari’s character makes the audience laugh with a more nuanced, subtler approach to finding comedy in reality. What is so profound is the boundries “Master of None” is willing to cross whether it’s regarding minorities or showbusiness, Ansari uses the show as a vehicle to explore topics that sitcom writers seem to ignore.

An important aspect of the show’s success is its diversity. Ansari’s cohorts include Kelvin Yu as Brian, Dev’s best friend, and Lena Waithe as Denise, the voice of reason in the group. In light of recent events, diversity has become a major topic especially in terms of entertainment. Yet, it is in the diversity that “Master of None” stands out from the monotony of network comedy. Instead of characters with stereotypical attributes, the cast relies more on their acting ability and the well-written script in order to add depth to their roles.   

After watching the first season, senior Scott Tozzi commented on what he thought about “Master of None,” and what made the show so enjoyable to watch.

“I was impressed by the first few episodes, but really got into it the more I watched,” Tozzi said. “I think the show is very well done. The relationships in the show seem so natural.”

The second episode is a work of art. It begins with Dev being rude to his Indian parents, who are played by Ansari’s own folks, both non-actors. It is an experience where Dev and Brian look for ways to show some appreciation for their immigrant parents who moved to the United States and toiled to earn their children a better life. Brian’s character is then used to exemplify the way first-generation children don’t fully understand the plight that their parents went through. Talking about multiculturalism in this manner purposefully makes “Master of None” more than just a satirical indictment of millennials’ issues.

Rather than trying to squeeze material out of tired sitcom premises, the show is more of an autobiographical tale of Ansari and Yang.

Tozzi made a few more remarks regarding his thoughts on the authenticity of Netflix’s newest hit.

“It seems much more realistic than other comedy shows where the same people always hang out together,” Tozzi said. “Also, I’m a really big fan of where they took the romance and where they ended the season. It was a different take that I am not really used to seeing in sitcoms, and I hope it continues in this direction if there is a season 2.”

In essence, “Master of None” is for anyone that is interested in  a perspective other than the same rehashed content about adults coming to grips with their maturity, while balancing mediocre jobs and unsatisfying lovers. Rather than be colorblind, “Master of None” provokes the audience to talk about race and sexuality, and makes the point that diversity shouldn’t be emphasised on television, it should be normalized.