I had plans last Friday night. But those plans quickly became unimportant when my friends and I logged into Netflix for a pre-party TV fixin’ and saw that there was a new show starring Aziz Ansari. The Netflix original series “Master of None” released all 10 half-hour episodes on Nov. 6. By 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 7, we had finished all of them.
Produced by Ansari himself and Alan Yang, the show is focused on Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York most known for his role in a Go-Gurt commercial. Unlike Ansari’s materialistic, comically immature character Tom Haverford in “Parks and Recreation,” Dev is as relatable as it gets. His good-guy nature and humility were some of the reasons I loved the show so much.
In fact, all the characters in the show are the real kind of people you graduated high school with, with the exception of them all being New Yorkers. This vibe was created with a less-than-Hollywood-esque acting style, which I must admit sometimes missed the mark. Dev’s friend Brian, who only makes an appearance in a few episodes, was so overly emotional and artificial that it had me questioning if he was one of Ansari’s friends from college rather than a professional. But somehow, the less-commercialized dialogue and performances made the show more charming and lifelike.
The plot is centered on Dev’s career and dating life, but the real heart of the show is about issues like minority representation in the media and being a first generation American. As an Indian actor who’s been turned down for countless roles because of his skin color, Dev has a lot to say about whitewashing in TV and film. At several of his auditions in the show, he’s even asked to use a fake Indian accent, which he refuses to do.
Perhaps the best thing about the series is that Ansari managed to show how social issues interlock with everyday life as a young, unmarried American in an increasingly career-driven society. This underlying message is something all viewers can benefit from and relate to.
For anyone looking for a quick show that can be finished in a week or less, “Master of None” is a great choice and will have you changing all your plans.
Julia Nelson is a junior public policy major. Contact Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.