“Master of None” is Aziz Ansari’s series which is loosely based on his own life experiences. Two seasons are already available on Netflix even in South Africa (I’m referring here to the poor catalogue we have) and definitely worth a watch.
“Master of None” is more than just comedy. The story of a struggling New York actor Dev is so close to the bone it’s sometimes uncomfortable to watch. Ansari’s insight about relationships, immigration, sexism and life in general is a huge advantage of the series. It’s nice to watch a TV show that manages to speak about complexities of life in a light way. The series focuses mostly on the main character and his diverse group of friends. Dev is an Indian-American, his African-American female friend Denise is a lesbian, Brian is Taiwanese-American and Arthur is white. Such diversity allows us to see more than lives of straight white 30 somethings as we do in “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother”. I think this is part of the reason why “Master of None” is such a good series. It’s very clear from it that it’s not all cool in the US and issues such as race and gender are still there. At the same time, Ansari manages not to be deadly serious about them. Perhaps it’s precisely the mostly sweet and only occasionally bitter tone of the narration that gets to the audience and critics (the show got an Emmy award).
It’s the first time in a while I’ve seen such a good series. Ansari makes brilliant observations and it’d be nice if the success of this show paved a way for a new wave of comedy TV. Series ideally should be a bit more than just a ha ha entertainment that doesn’t make you think twice about the content and makes you forget about them as soon as you switch your TV off.
The short episode format makes the series quite addictive. I’ve finished season 1 in just about a week and I was very glad that season 2 was out already. I’m not sure how the show would work for me if I only watched one episode per week. I feel like the little snippets of the main character’s story, even if very entertaining, wouldn’t necessarily manage to keep up my interest. Perhaps it’s just better for binge watching, but with two full seasons out you’ll get a chance to do it.
To sum up, if you’re looking for a good quality entertainment that will give a sneak peek into (what I believe is) the modern American life, you should definitely give “Master of None” a go.