Master of None, aka Master of Amazing
Just last week I was telling someone with just a bit of pride that I’ve never binge-watched anything. I’m too disciplined to spend an entire day doing nothing but watching TV or Netflix.
Pride comes before the fall, because I fell hard for Master of None.
Master of None is the brainchild of comedian Aziz Ansari, probably known best for his work on Parks & Recreation. There are 10 episodes of the show on Netflix, and they follow a fictionalized version of Aziz named Dev (a few episodes of the show even feature Aziz’s real-life parents as Dev’s parents).
Why is the show so good? Let me count the ways:
- It’s funny. Really funny. It’s not a traditional comedy by any means–everything doesn’t always build to a punchline, and a lot of the humor seems like the same things that you and I might create if we hung out for a day rather than the type of outlandish situations that only occur in sitcoms. But it works.
- It has a great love story. Early on in the show, I wondered if there would be common threads that would make me really eager to see what happens next. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I soon discovered what that was. As soon as I did, I couldn’t stop watching.
- It’s diverse. I heard Aziz on a talk show, describing how most shows have all white people and one person of another race or ethnicity. So he wanted to make a show where there was only one white person. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the vast majority of the cast–including the extras–is Indian, Asian, black, or other ethnicities. Because of that, it feels so much more true to life than other shows. It feels like you’re walking down a real street with the characters instead of through a Hollywood set.
- It’s its own thing. This is a tough one to describe. It’s almost as if Aziz has never seen a sit com (even though I’m sure he’s seen hundreds of them–he was on one!), and instead of creating yet another of the same thing that’s already been done a million times, he created the ideal version of a half-hour show from scratch. Each episode has a narrative arc, but it’s just so brazenly its own thing. You’ll have to watch it to fully understand what I’m saying.
I can’t recommend Master of None enough. There are episodes that will stay with you for a long time. There’s one episode that–in just 30 minutes–made me year to be in a romantic relationship, made me extremely grateful I’m not in a relationship, and then ended with me being confused with what I want! Amazing stuff.