Like Aziz, or Dev in this case, I am a “Master of None,” but unlike his show Master of None, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such conflicted stability like Dev does throughout the comedic-dramatic hit Master of None.
Netflix has had a string of successful original content since they first introduced it back in 2011 with Lily Hammer before progressing it as an institution that can compete with primetime. When it came to comedies, it didn’t disappoint with hits like BoJack Horseman and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; neither did Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang with Master of None.
The show is formatted like most comedies with a cold opening before the main title screen, which feels like it comes out of a Woody Allen movie. The show is mature without the words of Descartes or Nietzsche.
It does, however, hit some critical social and internal issues. The episode “Ladies & Gentleman” showcases Dev unintentionally paving a better opportunity for his female co-workers, but then becoming oblivious to a sexist act, as his director doesn’t shake the females hand.
The show contains a lot of gags that come with relevance. Like in a one off scene where Dev and his friend Denise catch and make a citizens arrest on a subway masturbator, which in return gives the viewer a message about doing what you love cause you love it while not caring about the other perception; whether intentional or not, the feeling is inside.
The show’s direction felt natural, which is to no surprise as some of the directors are known for their work with films centered on humanistic like plots, like James Ponsoldt and Lynn Shelton. Eric Wareheim, from Tim & Eric, showcases a lot of heart and bubbly humor in his character, which is great because I was never a true fan of his show.
The show feels like you’re watching some kind of reality where a lot of the shit he goes through, you went through at some point in life (maybe not?). I mean we’ve all had our doubts, our bad dates, our fear of parenthood, and clearly some of us don’t or rather probably don’t care much about our parents’ past. Don’t get me started on how many people post “look at what my mom/dad looked like,” with dual stitch of their current pic with the dated photo of the parent. And please don’t lie to yourself if you’ve ever done that.
Other actors, including veteran Jon H. Benjamin or his own father, who plays his father in the show, or even Claire Danes sometime overshadow Aziz comically. When it’s your own show, being overshadowed is usually not a good thing, as it is here; it was never a deal breaker though, just nitpicking.
The episode “Morning,” is a major highlight of the show as whole. “Morning” progresses the relationship of Dev and Rachel through their interactions in the morning. It features their ups and downs, which contained more heart then I thought comedies could have. It gives light and heart to many fears we may have in a relationship. Like what if our boo left for six months to a place somewhat far away, but all you think about is yourself. Or cleanliness plays a major factor in your every day interaction, causing dismay or connectivity. Whatever it may be the show has taken precaution to stick the finest detail of each.
Comedy is hard, sometimes you can turn out post 50 First Dates Sandler-like childish comedies, but sometimes you can put out something mature that won’t irritate you like Girls. It’s mature without really giving you a reason to hate a white person. At points where Dev was written jokes, Aziz’s usual mannerism felt real and natural. This is why the show excels, despite being partial drama. Even Busta Rhymes felt natural in his rich habitat of the box seats at the Garden.
There are points where the show’s dryness get’s overwhelming, but it never stays consistent there. The show is a definite must watch, because it can definitely reach higher heights.