Its 1:03 am
Ever since the Covid-19 virus has led to a nationwide lockdown,I haven’t been film hunting. Both my local video store and the library have been shutdown for the past 6 weeks,so other then a yard sale I went to and a quick peek at Target (I never buy anything there other then Black Friday and even that is iffy),I haven’t gone hunting.
But my pal Catfish called me a couple of weeks back and mentioned that Big Lots had a few titles that had caught his attention including a copy of SyFy tv series for 5.00. I thought that might be worth checking out and so I ventured out to Big Lots. Sure enough,Catfish was spot on,they were selling 5.00 TV seasons. Three of the shows I picked up,I had heard about and were glad to find. But “Master Of None” was a blind buy and I picked it up because Aziz Ansari,who I had only seen in Season 8 of “Scrubs” and had liked,was on the cover. I had never heard anything about it but knowing how funny Aziz was on “Scrubs”,I had a feeling it would be funny.
I decided this week to watch the show,I was expecting a laugh track and some broad comedy but when “Master of None” opened up with a kicking musical score and a rather adult sex scene and language,I looked at the case again….while the show was released by Universal Home Entertainment,”Master of None” had been aired on Netflix. Now I have recently posted a review on my first Netflix series and it had been very clean in terms of content and lauguage so I was thrown a little when “Master of None” dropped the opening scene…
Aziz Ansari plays Dev Shah,a 30 year old working actor in New York City. While he has done well enough to survive living in the Big Apple,he has started to feel a little lost and wants to get a bit more grounded. In the first episode,”Plan B”,Dev meets Rachel (Noel Wells),a public relations worker for a record company. They hook up at a party and while having sex,the condom breaks and the fallout of this enounter because the talk among Dev’s friends whom we meet.
First there is Arnold (Eric Wareheim),a big softed giant who offers a lot of offbeat advice on a lot of various subjects. Wareheim also directed four of the 10 episodes of the first season. Then we have Denise (Lena Waithe) a African-American lesbian who is perhaps the sharpest of the circle of Dev’s friends. And then we have Brian Chang (Kelvim Yu) Dev’s Taiwanese friend and is a verison of Ansari’s friend Alan Yang who co-wrote and co-created “Master Of None”. Brian is very charming and full of wonder,he has a gentle rivalry with Arnold as who is Dev’s best friend. Dev’s inner circle may be the coolest group on a TV show in the past 10-15 years. The sweetest suprise was seeing Noel Wells playing Rachel,I loved her on her one season of “Saturday Night Live” and she is really good here as Dev’s girlfiend who is also struggling with her own personal and professional paths.
The casting for “Master Of None”is very inspired,Ansari’s real parents play Dev’s parents and they are naturals and are very funny in their right. The guests on the show reflect on the three main storylines,Dev and Rachel,Dev being cast in his first film called “The Sickening” and Dev’s observations on where his life is going. There are some well known names who guest star but they don’t overwhelm the episodes they are in,the writing is what makes “Master of None” so good. Ansari and Yang’s writing is so insightful,moving,funny and makes you think about life.The show covers love,parents,racism,old people,career vs. relationships and culture clashes.
This isn’t a piece of chocolate that you eat and forget about 10 minutes later.It is really refreshing to see the world through their eyes and get a sense of what Dev encounters both professionally as a Indian actor and personally as a Indian man,its something that we have never seen on mass media here in this country.
I have to also mention the outstanding soundtrack the show has,the song selections are a good mix of older classic pop and alternative songs to fresh music by bands like Beach House who remind me of The Fastbacks of the late 80s and early 90s. You can see a playlist by clicking here.
Of course being this Netflix/cable show,the seasons are very short,”Master Of None” has only 10 episodes per season. And what makes this a little strange is the first season came out in 2015 and season two in 2017. Officially “Master Of None” is still an active series with Netflix saying they want to do a season three but they have to wait til Ansari is ready. I hope its sooner then later because I think Dev’s story has a lot of gas in its tank.
“Master of None” contains 10 episodes,should be considered rated “R” and the home release has no special features.
This is a must see show and I can’t recommend it enough. I can definitely see why Bill Lawrence was sorry to see Aziz leave “Scrubs”,he is a seriously funny man with a big heart.
What show have you watched without knowing a thing about it and ended up digging it?
Drop a comment below and share it with us!