Aziz Ansari’s new show becomes ‘Master’ of Netflix
By Russell J. Oliver
It’s rare nowadays to find a sitcom that’s both funny and true. Many comedies trade realistic circumstances for cheap humor and forget to touch on relatable storylines. This is not the case for Aziz Ansari’s newest binge-worth Netflix comedy.
“Master of None” stars Ansari as Dev Shah, a fictionalized version of himself. Dev is a 30-something actor living in New York City who deals with the problems of everyday life. The show focuses on many modern aspects such as dating in a technological world, the pressure of having kids, and racial stereotypes on television.
Ansari and “Parks and Rec” producer/writer Alan Yang co-created the show. Most of the episodes are directed and or written by Ansari and Yang. The first season consists of 10 episodes which were all simultaneously released on Nov. 6.
Ansari shines in the starring role of Dev, using his trademark humor on American pop culture and everyday life to bring realism to these comic situations. Dev is an up-and-coming actor who’s more concerned about who has the best taco in the city than what his next acting gig will be.
Noël Wells co-stars as Rachel, Dev’s love interest. This is Wells’ first prominent role since being a featured player on the 39th season of “Saturday Night Live”. Rounding out the main cast is Eric Wareheim, who also directs several episodes, and Lena Waithe, who both respectively play Dev’s friends, Arnold and Denise. Ansari’s real-life parents, Shoukath and Fatima, play Dev’s parents in the series as well.
“Ansari is a smart and engaging presence and his perspective on things lends itself very well to this type of single-camera comedy,” said Matt Fowler of IGN. “And his supporting cast, particularly Wells, is on point.”
Dev’s relationship with Rachel showcases numerous aspects of modern dating that many people encounter nowadays. The pair drunkenly hook up when they first meet in the opening moments of the series. Things go south when the pair has a condom mishap, which leads them to get Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, just to be safe. “Oh, no, no. I’ve got it. My treat,” Dev said at the pharmacy when he offers to buy the pill.
Dev has encounters with other women in the series as well. Claire Danes guest stars as Nina, a married food critic that Dev sleeps with. Dev only agrees to sleep with Nina after her husband (played by Noah Emmerich) cuts him in line at an ice cream shop and gets the last banana split sundae.
The show takes Dev and company through a number of hilarious situations. These include citizens arresting a masturbator on the subway, springing Rachel’s grandmother from a nursing home, and going on a bad date with a thieving Cartman-impersonator.
“How crazy would it be if I just started sucking that guy’s dick over there?” Dev’s date, Alex, awkwardly asks him while at a club.
The show also tackles racial stereotypes on television. One episode involves Dev getting denied from being cast in a TV show because the producer doesn’t want to cast more than one Indian in the show. During the episode, Dev (and Ansari) refuse to use a stereotypical Indian accent in an audition because of the number of whitewashed characters that have used it in the past.
“Master of None” joins Netflix’s already large family of original programming. It is Netflix’s second half-hour comedy hit after “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Other winners such as “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards,” and “BoJack Horseman” have new seasons coming out in 2016.
The show has only been out for a few weeks and already there’s buzz as to whether it’s going to be renewed for a second season. “Master of None” is streaming on Netflix now.