Aziz Ansari has made a career out of exuberant comedy, whether he’s being Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation or himself in his stand-up. However, as Dev in Master of None he takes on a noticeably more subdued role; for once Aziz is not a caricature, but just how you imagine he’d be in real life. The tone of the show is understated and surprisingly calm, but still hilarious. Frankly, this new Netflix original is brilliant, sharply written and wonderfully shot—it exceeds all expectations.
The basic premise of the show is nothing revolutionary: a youngish man trying to find his feet in New York, navigating problems in both his career and his personal life, and stylistically it’s similar to Louie, but more upbeat. Master of None is unashamedly modern; Dev uses Rotten Tomatoes ratings as a gauge for his relationship, and the countless effortless references to our modern world make the dialogue incredibly realistic, I’m convinced I’ve had some of the same conversations with my friends. Furthermore, it’s stunningly shot, painting excellent scenes and adding a real intimate feel to the show. Master of None frequently looks like a film rather than a TV series.
Each episode focuses in something different and they all do a wonderful job—Parents, which actually stars Aziz’s real parents, is a touching look at family relationships, whilst Indians on Television is a funny and frank look at the acting industry. Mornings is perhaps the best episode; it takes place over the course of Dev’s relationship and perfectly captures it, warts and all. In fact all the relationships are really well done—Dev’s romantic entanglements are believable, whilst the friendships are great, and Eric Wareheim’s Arnold is particularly hilarious (think an X-rated Marshall Eriksen).
What I cannot express enough is how funny it is, the majority of the jokes take a while to build but end brilliantly, and the writing team have done a great job of inserting the occasional witty one-liner to keep you going, even the sad moments bring a smile at the least. It flows smoothly, the plot works well, and real growth is seen throughout.
Overall Master of None is wonderful. It’s excellently made, wonderfully acted and brilliantly written. Netflix have made yet another great show and this should be the next series you watch. I really can’t emphasise how good Master of None is; it’s just the perfect modern comedy, and a real joy to watch.