Title: Master of None
Fix: Your Thirties Are The New Twenties
New Yorker Dev takes on such pillars of maturity as the first big job, a serious relationship, and busting sex offenders on the subway.
Master of None is basically this decade's version of Thirtysomething, and I say that as someone who has never seen Thirtysomething, so that could be a terribly inaccurate way to describe this show. My point, though, is that Master of None portrays early adulthood at the age when it's occurring for more and more people-- the early thirties. Whereas Thirtysomething is about married couples and their kids (pure conjecture!), this show is about a single guy (Aziz Ansari) who's trying to figure his shizz out. Does he want to continue to be an actor, or does he want a new career? Does he want a girlfriend, and once he settles down with one, does he want to get married? Does he want kids, or would he rather spend his money on fancy dinners?
These are serious questions, but Master of None doesn't take itself too seriously, and the result is a thoughtful, exceedingly funny portrait of one man navigating through life and wishing there was an iPhone app to give him some direction.
Aziz Ansari as Dev
I realize this is a picture from Parks & Rec, but it's hard to separate Aziz from Tom Haverford (his character on that show), and it's even harder to do so with Dev. I mean that as a good thing, because Aziz seems like a smart, sweet guy with a fantastic sense of humor, and he imbues Dev with all of those qualities.
Fatima and Shoukath Ansari as Dev's Parents
Further solidifying Dev as an extension of himself, Aziz cast his own mom and dad to play his parents. And they are ADORABLE. They can't really act, but that doesn't matter, because they've been playing these roles their entire lives. Mr. Ansari in particular is just delightful, especially the way he always calls Dev "man."
Noël Wells as Rachel
I recognized Noël from her one season on SNL, where she was super cute but not particularly well-utilized. In Master of None, she gets to play more than just a sketch character--she's a cool pixie chick (but not the manic dream kind!) who becomes an increasingly big part of Dev's life. Full disclosure, she's from Texas, so I'm obviously going to be a fan.
Eric Wareheim as Arnold
I never watched Tim and Eric, so this was my first time discovering how LARGE Eric Wareheim is. Master of None is gleefully aware of his stature and has him picking up Aziz constantly, which never stops being hilarious, because he's so big! And Aziz is so teeny! Eric plays Dev's bestie, Arnold, who is totally useless, except for the aforementioned picking up thing.
Lena Waithe as Denise
Denise is one of Dev's other good pals, and I've never seen someone straight talk in such a chill way. Woman is CALM.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Sleepover Capacity
This show is definitely a crowd-pleaser, but it's a Netflix Original, so it's meant for binging. With only ten thirty-minute episodes, you're gonna want to watch it with a person or persons ready to hunker down for the night.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium
Master of None features quite a bit of drinking, because, duh, these people
know how to live life right are in their early thirties, so I recommend stocking up your bar. But easy does it, otherwise you'll miss some insightful commentary on our culture, from its treatment of old people to racism in Hollywood.
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Masterful
This show isn't groundbreaking, and it certainly won't blow your mind, but it will make you think, and it will definitely make you laugh. While other comics of Ansari's generation are broadcasting on a more acerbic frequency, Master of None has a warmth to its humor, the same sweetness that Ansari brought to Parks & Rec, and it's that heart that makes it so easy to connect with Dev, regardless of your age, regardless of your relationship status, and regardless of whether or not you think 45 minutes is a completely appropriate amount of time to spend doing online research to find the best local tacos.