Netflix Review: Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’ masters the millennial

Netflix Review: Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’ masters the millennial

Simultaneously funny, intelligent, heartfelt, and relatable -- 'Master of None' is the next big thing we've all been waiting for from both Aziz Ansari and comedy TV in general. Binge-watching necessary.

‘Master of None’, the new Netflix Original series starring and created by Aziz Ansari (aka Tom Haverford of Parks and Rec fame), is the ultimate Zeitgeist of our times. The life and plight of the millennial in the big city is hardly a new topic in modern TV (i.e. HBO’s ‘Girls’), however this most recent attempt is arguably the best yet.

Funny, intelligent, heartfelt, and relatable all it once, ‘Master of None’ entertains similar discourses as Ansari’s standup routines (and his recent book), but to better effect. The show tackles issues such as modern romance, technology, relating with our parents, finding fulfilling and sustainable employment, and watching our friends get married and have kids while we’re just trying to find a good taco – essentially the first world problems that we as millennials can all relate to.

It’s a show that lends itself to Netflix. The first episode starts a bit slow, and actually made me reconsider watching any further. But with the entire first season at your fingertips, there’s really no reason not to continue on, and I’m totally glad I did.

I think what threw me at first was that it was unlike anything I’d really seen before. It may cover familiar topics in the setting of New York City that is for lack of a better word, overused, yet the characters and writing are what separate ‘Master of None’ from all that has come before. It follows an unorthodox format, and refuses to fit in with one particular genre in the modern TV sphere. I’d most classify it as a ‘drom-com’. The awkwardly witty and intelligent banter that Ansari is known for in his standup routine is prevalent throughout, from the very first scene when he and his then one-night-stand hookup Rachel have a less-than-ideal end to the evening (complete with an Uber ride to the pharmacy and all).

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To be certain, other modern shows have covered similar situations of awkwardness to hilarious effect. However ‘Master of None’ departs from its predecessors in that it manages to blend in poignant messages about subtle racism, sexism, human relationships, aspirations, and the crazy/random/unfortunate shit that just happens in life, without being too cheesy or preachy. The struggles today’s millennials go through trying to lead a modern life whilst also dealing with social pressures and questions regarding the point of it all, ‘Master of None’ depicts these internal and external battles brilliantly.

Long story short, the show is 100% real and relatable. As a 23 year old minority living in London, there were several instances each episode where I reacted with uncontrollable laughter, not due to some legendary one-liner, but because I’ve found myself in the exact situation at some point in my life. The show doesn’t try to paint a photogenic-yet-fictional facade of some glamorous existence in the modern age, it just tells it like it is – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

The characters aren’t unattainably beautiful or unrealistically monochromatic, the plot isn’t absurdly whimsical, and ultimately ‘Master of None’ is able to be simultaneously hilarious, depressing, yet ultimately hopeful in a way that hasn’t really been achieved before. Given the positive critical reception Season 1 is receiving, one can only hope that Season 2 gets the automatic pickup from Netflix that it deserves.

Review overview
Master of None
Archer K Hill II
"Wise is the man who contents himself with the spectacle of the world." Ricardo Reis

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