By Nicholas Frederick
Aziz Ansari’s new television show “Master of None” debuted on Netflix on Nov. 6, and the world has welcomed the series with open arms. The Netflix original showcases actor Aziz Ansari as a 30- year-old man named Dev living in New York, trying to figure adulthood out. Ansari’s show tackles many of the keystone pieces of adulthood with the added complication of being immersed fully in the modern world, bringing up topics that highlight the cusp that current 30-year-olds rest on.
Ansari’s show manages to maintain an atmosphere of sexiness and sophistication without losing a sense of authenticity and genuine appeal. Throughout the first season Ansari tackles topics such as interacting with your parents as a 30-year-old and adjusting to spending mornings with a girl who has moved into your residence.
Ansari also takes this opportunity to discuss the perspective that second-generation immigrants are coming from in 2015. With episodes like “Indians on TV” Ansari calls out general stereotyping and introduces the complexity of the issue as Dev’s crusade for equality leads to complications for his own career. Aziz also manages to tackle subjects like gender inequality and the different perspectives between a man and a woman living in New York City, and how immigrants interact with older people from different cultures.
“Master of None” is admittedly not a constant stream of belly laughing, launching milk out of your nose at every turn. It’s more quirky and relatable, and it could occasionally be considered mundane if someone was anticipating a faster-paced show. However Ansari and his Co-Creator Alan Yang manage to find the comedy in real situations, which gives this show a level of merit your traditional prime-time situation comedy lacks.
In the realm of visual appeal, the show itself is shot in “ultra widescreen” which is a first for any half-hour comedy show. This method of cinematography leads to a really beautiful and complex-looking scene, which admittedly took time to adjust to while watching the series. This style of shot manages to make crowded bars feel more open, and it allows the shot to breathe, letting the audience relax a bit while they watch while also giving a more dynamic shot than your standard sitcom.
The depth of the characters and the authenticity and realism of the problems they face make this show a must-watch for me. In terms of properly taking a snapshot of a particular generation at a particular time, Ansari and Yang hit the nail on the head with “Master of None.” The struggle to find a balance between relationship and work, making it all up as you go along, considering marriage and children, the show captures almost every traditional worry a 30-year-old man would possibly have, and it puts these themes in the context of the present. Out of every show I’ve seen that attempts to capture the feeling of the millennial generation, Ansari and Yang have managed to capture it perfectly.
I’ve already watched season one of the show twice, both times in a room full of about 10 people with eyes glued to the screen. The show transcends the industry standard of crude or fluffy comedy mixed in with a bit of social commentary. The allure of the show is the natural and relatable characters and relationships that are built, and the comedic effect is simply the cherry on top. Ansari and Yang’s ability to collaborate and create a dynamic and powerful environment to showcase a relatively normal guy facing the pressures of life after college hits the mark.