Television has always struggled with diversity. Casts of shows have featured mainly white men in starring roles since the beginning of the medium.
Netflix’s new series, Master of None, takes that trope and does away with it completely. The show stars Aziz Ansari as Dev, a thirty year-old actor most well known for his Go-Gurt commercial and his upcoming role in the fictional movie “The Sickening.”
The show revolves around Dev and his core group of friends who happen to include an African-American woman who is a lesbian, a large awkward white man, and an Asian guy that “everybody likes” according to him.
Though each of those characters have a base as a specific type of person, they are much more than that. They are written so well that they feel like complete people rather than an attempt at stereotype.
They are Denise, Arnold, and Brian respectively and the way they play off of each other in scenes feels very real and natural instead of forced.
The show focuses on Dev who is attempting to make a living in acting while staying true to himself in his profesional and personal life. His profession in the show allows him to muse on the inherent lack of true diversity in the business.
The show is about partially about having a diverse cast of actors and is so tightly written that diversity is rarely brought up outright. The show provides the audience with a group of people that feel so real and a main character so relatable that they can’t help but be engaged.
In the same way Louie takes situations and expands on them in a way that people of the same age as Louis C.K. can related, Master of None does for those in their late twenties.
The prospect of friends getting married, having kids, and settling down are all explored. It so perfectly embodies that attempt to find purpose and finally grow-up viewers can’t help but relate to.
Master of None explores some heavy topics, like ethnicity in entertainment, being a second generation American, finding purpose, and growing old. Each topic is covered in what feels like a real way.
There is an organic feel that Ansari and his co-writer Alan Yang have imparted to the show that keeps it fresh. Episodes have a singular story that flows nicely into a typically funny conclusion.
The show can be slow in parts and some of the deliveries by some actors can be awkward (sorry Mr. Ansari) but that only adds to the charm.
Master of None feels very much like a labor of love. It wades through some deep topics with such tact that they audience is never left bored.
The show currently only has one season with ten episodes on Netflix, but they are well worth the five hour investment.
Fans of self-referential and honest comedies should take the time to enjoy.
Ansari has created a show that has diversity at it core that is never the punchline. Each member is written with a respect for who they are.
Master of None is well worth the investment, its both funny and, at times, startlingly real.