Review: ‘Master of None’ (Series 1).

Master of None

I’ve been a big fan of Aziz Ansari for several years now. I first discovered him when he starred in Parks and Recreation  as Tom Haverford, the self-assured but loveable purveyor of the ‘Treat Yo’self‘ school of thought.

Now it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid Ansari if you use social media – his strong feminist stance is garnering him a lot of publicity (thanks, Aziz, by the way). So it was with bated breath that I sat down to watch his new series Master of None on Netflix.

I’ve spoken to a couple of friends about Master of None who watched the first episode but felt they couldn’t get on board with a show about a dude – Dev, played by Ansari – who was thinking it might be time to settle down. But it’s so much more than that. The trailer, which shows Dev at a kid’s birthday party ruminating on his future, doesn’t do it justice.

It’s difficult for me to explain what I liked so much about this show but, for one thing, Aziz Ansari tends to play loveable characters. There’s nothing to dislike about Dev; he’s fun, funny and caring. I think I can relate to him, an actor who – despite being in his 30s – is still trying to make his way in the world. He’s watching his friends grow up, get promoted and get married while he basically stands still.

Then there’s the love interest. The interactions between Ansari and his main leading lady, Rachel (played by Noel Wells) are both sweet and realistic. The pair have excellent chemistry and, as another millennial, it’s easy to identify with their circumstances. The episode where Dev takes Rachel to Nashville is beautifully nuanced.

However, this isn’t just about dating. It’s about life. Each episode has a different theme, like old people, parents and Indians on TV, and Dev goes about his life pondering said subject.

The episodes featuring his parents (yep, Aziz’s actual parents) further demonstrate the heart inside this brilliant series. On balance, though, Master of None isn’t a saccharine cop-out. It still features plenty of absurdity. For example, everything about the movie Dev is shooting for most of the series – The Sickening – is hilarious.

I expected to plough like this series (like I have done with others) but I devoured it in just two sittings thanks to the fully-rounded characters and thoughtful storylines.


Vic x


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