Master of None, Season 1 (USA, 2015)

master_of_noneCreated by: Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. This was one of those shows you see popping around the Netflix once in a while, and you skip past it because it’s just some comedy show and although a good comedy show is really good for you, makes you laugh, science, etc, a bad, unfunny, disappointing comedy show is totally the opposite. Attempts to mix comedy and drama are very hit-or-miss—Louie did it for me, Bored to Death really really did not. And besides, the only thing I knew about Aziz Ansari was that he was pretty funny, I think I saw him on some College Humour skits back in college, and he was on that Parks and Rec show that everyone liked but that really really didn’t do it for me. But hey, it’s a new show, and I saw an article talking about how important this show was for showing the experiences of 2nd-generation Americans, and that it was generally a good show anyway. And yes, I’m happy to say, it was a delightful little show. Not big on belly laughs or anything—the laugh-per-minute quotient (lpm) was far below the average Seinfeld episode—but it was a poignant, intelligent, masterfully done, at times brilliant, at times a bit twee for my liking, but at times hilarious comedy show. Really, now that I remember Bored to Death, this is a lot like that, but a more successful version of it. I couldn’t get over the fact that Jason Schwartzman, as funny as he is, isn’t the kind of guy you can follow as the main protagonist. I liked Rushmore, but Huckabees was poop, and maybe he’s the common denominator. There’s another level where, watching another show about a good-looking 30-something New Yorker with “angst”, not sure of his life direction, with a zany slob sidekick (Zach Galifinakis in that show, Eric Wareheim in this show), etc, etc, etc, that kind makes me wonder…why should I give a shit? Classic Woody Allen shit. With Aziz, not only is he infinitely more charming and likeable, the show is actually really funny, and the serious shit, the heartwarming stuff with his parents, that’s always underpinned by comedy, which makes the drama more effective. The guilt associated with a second-generation child growing up in privilege and safety, compared to the hardships endured by their parents, that’s a serious, interesting phenomenon, experienced by millions, people I know, but which never comes up on TV really. But every time the show threatens to drown in sentimentality, it gets a laugh—the dad who returns the guitar because “it’s too hard” and he’d rather play video games. And really, all the other shit aside, this show is worth seeing purely on how awesome his parents are, and the fact that they’re his real parents. I can’t wait for another season of this.


One response to “Master of None, Season 1 (USA, 2015)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2016 | Offhand Reviews·

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