Following the end of “Parks and Recreation” last February, comedian Aziz Ansari returns to television with a starring role in “Master of None.”
Ansari also co-wrote the show with “Parks and Recreation” writer Alan Yang. The ten-episode comedy premiered Nov. 6 on Netflix. Like most Netflix originals, all its episodes were released at once, making it excellent binge-watch material.
Ansari plays Dev, a thirty-year-old actor trying to navigate the intricacies of work, friendship, and love in New York City. Despite the familiar premise, Ansari injects his own personal style and experience into the show, setting it apart from the myriad of shows centered on aimless thirty-somethings struggling to find their place. He draws heavily from his unique Indian-American upbringing. In fact, his real-life parents play his parents in the show. Ansari provides an insightful look into what it means to be Indian in the entertainment industry. One episode in particular makes a powerful statement on Indian stereotypes and the current nature of television tropes.
“Master of None” is a comedy in the vein as “Maron” and “Louie.” The show follows a fictionalized version of Ansari as opposed to the outlandish character he played in “Parks and Recreation.” Like comedian Louis C.K.’s “Louie,” Ansari’s show puts his own spin on everyday instances and topical events. With its pop culture references and youthful spirit, “Master of None” is geared more toward a slightly younger audience than other shows of its sub-genre.
While it is certainly full of laugh out loud moments, the show does not depend on the constant stream of jokes characteristic of a typical sitcom. It relies on a moderate and subdued approach to humor. This approach works well for Ansari, making the characters and storylines more relatable without completely disregarding his one-of-a-kind playfulness and charm. If anything, the downplayed style makes the louder jokes all the more powerful.
Overall, “Master of None” is a worthy addition to Netflix’s growing comedy lineup.