I’m very picky with the TV shows I watch. If the show is universally praised, has intelligent and smart dialogues and interesting characters, there’s a high chance I’m watching that show. But that eliminates almost 80% of the shows on television. I don’t watch 2 Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, and all those other shows which my friends swear are funny (Agree to disagree).
Last week, I watched a new show from Netflix called Master of None which features Aziz Ansari, an Indian stand up comedian. He is famously known for his role on Parks and Recreation as Tom. (Parks and Recreation is also another great show you should watch if you haven’t)
Master of None is a show many would call “intelligent”. That’s because the dialogues between characters on the show are not shallow. The show also touches on a lot of serious themes but in a very witty way. Basically, if you watch this show, you need to pay attention to the dialogue.
In one episode, the show talks about “Parents”. Aziz Ansar’s character, Dev, alongside another Asian character, Brian, who is Taiwanese, lament about how their parents are lame and outdated. But the show throws the spotlight on both their parents who had a hard time growing up in their native land and reveals how hard it was adjusting to their new American home. The episode juxtaposes it to their children’s lifestyle, which is almost carefree. It’s a really good episode which shows how our generation doesn’t value the handwork that our parents have done to put us where we are.
The biggest theme that the show touches on is diversity. “Master Of None” is a rare show which has an actor of color as the leading role. Think about it, how many shows have their leading characters as an ethnicity apart from white? There are some but the sample is very small. Master of None exposes that in different episodes. Aziz’s character auditions for roles in which the executives want him to play Indian stereotypes, and not play his regular self. In another episode, his character is entirely edited out of a movie.
It’s a very big issue in TV shows and movies these days where a lot of characters are simply stereotypes. Master of None does a very good job of pointing that.
The show also touches on marriage, relationships, divorce, the treating of military veterans and a host of other topics. The writing is really good. The dialogues are top notch.
Netflix was smart to pick up this show because in all honesty, network TV shows like FOX, CBS and others wouldn’t display it on their networks because they have to “dumb it down” for their audiences.
Three and a Half Men has 12 seasons(!) and it’s the dumbest show I’ve ever watched. Master of None would have been cancelled mid season because the audiences wouldn’t “get it”.
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If you like good, funny, smart TV shows, I recommend you watch Master of None. It’s available on Netflix for streaming (and your favorite torrent sites for downloading)