By Bridget Seelinger | The Duquesne Duke
Netflix has another big hit with “Master of None,” the newest comedy TV show by Aziz Ansari. The show takes a thoughtful, yet thoroughly entertaining look at today’s modern society and the interactions between people day to day. The comedy centers itself on struggling actor Dev, his relationship with his parents, friends and finally, his girlfriend Rachel all while he faces the typical issues young adults go through in modern society. This show demonstrates Ansari’s wonderful gift at sending a message, subtlety, yet approachably.
Some favorite attributes of the TV show include the use of Ansari’s real parents portraying Dev’s parents. Not only do they share their son’s comedic skill, but their usage is a fun way to give the show a more realistic quality. This is especially apparent in the episode entitled “Parents” where Dev and his friend Brian explore the lives and many sacrifices that their parents made to provide countless opportunities for their children. This episode really puts it all into perspective and is an excellent tribute to Ansari’s parents and other immigrant parents who made similar sacrifices.
Dev’s friendship group is another enjoyable aspect of the show. His three friends, Brian, Arnold and Denise form a core group of four that is not only entertaining to watch but also inspirational to an extent. They support each other, but not without question. Whenever Dev is trying to make a difficult decision, they provide him with constructive criticism, and he takes it without blinking an eye.
This give-and-take is an ideal because no one gets offended and no one gets their feelings hurt. Dev has more acquaintances than his close friends of Brian, Arnold and Denise, though. He also has the support of his fellow Indian actor, Anush, his co-star Benjamin and sometimes, depending on his mood, his boss Todd. Dev’s interactions with all of these people do a good job of mimicking the relationships that people typically form in their young adult years, lots of acquaintances and a core group of friends.
Dev’s relationship with Rachel, his girlfriend who is introduced in the first episode, is a final highlight of “Master of None.” Their relationship is one that grows gradually; it’s not the typical quick blaze that TV shows tend to do. Dev looks for other girls for several episodes before settling down with Rachel. Then, the two of them engage in the struggles of modern day couples, some of this being seen in the episode “Mornings.” As the series concludes, Rachel and Dev both realize they have dreams they would like to pursue, and this creates conflict when their dreams take them to opposite ends of the world. The series concludes with a question, more so than an answer, and this leaves one hungering for more.
Dev’s adventures serve as solid social commentary in today’s society. Ansari approaches topics such as racism, the potential of having children and the overwhelming decisions that one has to make every day, even if that decision is as small as what to eat for lunch or as large as whether a relationship is worth pursuing. This is done in a way that is comedic as well as insightful, giving the show unexpected depth. Dev is just like every other young adult, just trying to figure it all out, and it is a fantastic time for the audience, figuring it all out with him.