You’re probably aware of Aziz Ansari. If not through any of his live stand-up shows, or his book Modern Romance, then you’ve probably watched him play Tom Haverford in the popular NBC series Parks and Recreation.
You also might have heard of his Netflix original series Master of None. You might have even watched it. It was listed as number eight on The Edge’s Top TV Shows of 2015. But with its somewhat unconventional tone, and with Netflix unlikely to commission a second series, the question remains; will we remember it?
Master of None had a sense of unhinged beauty about it and personally I hope a second series doesn’t get commissioned. That way it can remain in its own little bubble, unpolluted by the influences of others. It can retain that sense of integrity that so many series seem to lose upon recommission. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember it, in fact, the show deserves even more recognition than it initially received.
The series follows actor Dev (Ansari) as he navigates his way through the (somewhat generic) struggles of life; sex, relationships, parents, and his career. Each episode covers a different struggle, allowing the target audience to be as wide as possible, but the tone stays consistent throughout. A fitting comparison would be to the series Scrubs, where the message of each episode is summarised neatly in a monologue at the episode’s closing. Master of None isn’t subtle about the moral of each instalment, but that is part of its charm.
What makes Master of None so different from the rest of the pack isn’t its wit – which is still commendable – or even the cast. What makes it stand out is its subject matter, and the way that it is approached. It’s not often that your average TV show picks up on the difficulties of generational differences, in a way that portrays the older generation in such a positive and sympathetic light, yet at the same time relates so smoothly with a younger audience. It’s with aspects like this that the show effectively preaches to its audience, but it always manages to do so without being too forceful.
What is clear is that Master of None has been somewhat forgotten, what is less evident is precisely why this happened. To me, the show was far from genius, but it did something much better. It took the things that we all know, or should know, and shinned a light on them. A second season wouldn’t be likely to pull this off in the same simplistic but insightful manner, which is why the first outing is so deserving of being remembered for its distinctive charm.
Master of None is available in its entirety on Netflix.