By: David Mejia
Comedy finds its way into many genres nowadays and Aziz Ansari’s show Master of None shows why. While half the world is upset with the state of our social climate, the internet is raving with memes making fun of the same climate. The series discusses very relevant topics in the entertainment industry and issues very prevalent in the United States that put on the line of memes and of the triggered. Ansari makes sure to keep on the threshold between being too preachy and simply having a commentary on the topics at hand.
Master of None creates a very accessible world for most viewers until about halfway through both seasons where it shoots itself in the foot. Its direction is somewhat muddled as the show is episodic until a subplot from the first episode somehow becomes the main plot halfway through–Dev’s love interest. The issue with this is audiences have likely continued to watch each episode with the intent to relax and share a few laughs. But when the direction suddenly changes, people question whether or not they want to continue finishing the show. Luckily, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang (co-writer) create a compelling enough love interest filled with quirks that contrasts Dev completely whilst putting him in a much more emotional state. The focus through the show, however remains on solely Dev which leads to archetypal supporting characters. Denise, Dev’s childhood friend, plays as the brains and Arnold plays the always supportive never more than that friend. Each season is sprinkled with the characters’ moments to shine and be more developed but it is never enough because they are so loveable. I wanted more from them which I never got, Denise’s lesbian struggles are still new to television and therefore contrast Dev’s cliched underdog struggles with women very well.
Even though, Ansari’s show lacks in the development of supporting characters, the show has its strengths that are the reason I grew to love the series despite its issues. I believe Master of None has some of the most beautiful shots in all of netflix’s originals. In the second season, Dev and his friend go to a wedding and the camera gets a wide shot of them riding mopeds in the distance, but the green pastures fill the whole screen and the road winds while sun reflects off the blades of grass which emulates a painting. It’s this stunning imagery that made me love this show. Not only that, but the very first thing I noticed about this show is it is filmed as a drama with high contrast lighting that really seperated it from other comedies. Master of None is unique in its use of color and use of close-ups that are rarely seen in comedies. One of my favorite uses of color occurs in the second season when Dev dances with a friend and the screen is split between red and blue lighting on each side of the room. It’s really a beautifully shot scene that pushes where comedies can go in their production.
Both seasons offer more than enough chuckles and if you can get on board with the romantic aspect the show adopts then this will be a great show for you. The second season by far is a better season that ends in a not so happy way, but is powerful and can lead to tissues scattered on the couch . Aziz Ansari manages to make the lack of character development from his on screen friends seem meaningless as the second season unravels. It’s on Netflix with a runtime of 25-30 minutes each episode and is worth every bit of time.
Master of None gets a 10/10 and a few tears for good measure.