On Friday, Aziz Ansari's new Netflix-exclusive show Master of None dropped and by Sunday I was wrapping up the tenth and final episode. While this in itself is not impressive (as gobbling down entire seasons of programming in five-hour stretches is the new normal), I was spellbound the entire time. Ansari, working with some heavy-hitters in the world of comedy, managed to create a show that is not only hilarious, but also verbalizes existential anxieties facing an entire generation.
It's no surprise that a show featuring the writing of Aziz Ansari, Harris Wittles (RIP), and Joe Mande (among many others) is a comedic hit. Couple this with the unique perspective of Eric Wareheim (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), who directs the lion's share of episodes, and, baby, you got a stew going.
Master of None is not afraid to take some risks with their jokes, especially when it comes to pacing. There are several instances where a scene runs the risk of being too long as it milks a bit dry. Thankfully, these jokes are few and far between and the script of each episode is rife with snappy dialogue (no doubt due to Wittles' influence).
At the center of the show, beyond the wit and banter, is a beating heart. Master of None is to Aziz Ansari as Louis is to Louis CK. Aziz uses this show as a vessel to explore a range of topics important to him including: dating, racism, immigration, sexism, and the influence of technology on a generation entering the throes of adulthood.
One episode that particularly stood out begins with an overview of how Dev's (Aziz's character) father emigrated to the United States. The entire episode seemed like a kind of catharsis for Ansari as it allowed him to publicly thank his parents for the years of sacrifice in order to give him a life of luxury and prosperity.
Being a massive fan of Aziz, I have seen all of his stand-up and even read his best-selling book, Modern Romance. And many, many threads in Master of None connect to his past work. You don't need to be familiar with his back catalog to enjoy this show by any means, but it adds another dimension to the enjoyment, especially if you have read his book. Some scenes seem to be lifted straight off the page.
Overall, the freshman season of Master of None is a massive success. The internet is foaming at the mouth for more, and why wouldn't they? Ansari has taken something personal and turned it into a hilarious and relatable program. I could not recommend this show highly enough.