After Parks and Recreation wrapped, fans of comedian Aziz Ansari waited to see what he would do next. After co-writing a pop-science book on modern romance titled, aptly, Modern Romance, Ansari’s new show Master of None was released in November last year. The critical acclaim was instant, with the New York Times calling it “the year’s best comedy straight out of the gate.”
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Ansari plays Dev, a young guy trying to make it as an actor in New York City. Among his escapades is a condom mishap that results in a midnight trip to buy emergency contraception; the dilemma of whether he should sleep with a married woman—she’s totally fine with it, but should he be; the problem of how to get somebody to reply to a text message (send a question mark, or a picture of a turtle climbing out of a briefcase?). These modern conundrums clearly hold massive appeal for Ansari, and he explores the issues that millenials can expect to face when trying to find love, for life or just for a night.
But the show isn’t just telling stories about sex and love; one of the season’s best episodes deals with Dev’s relationship with his immigrant parents (played by Ansari’s real-life parents!). Another episode shows Dev auditioning for a role in a buddy comedy about three guys, only to be pitted against another Indian actor—there can’t be two! Dev’s group of friends (including the Asian-American Brian, and Denise, an African-American lesbian) proves definitively that yes, you can have more than one ‘minority’ in a television show, and that show can be a huge hit because who really cares? The beauty of Master of None is that it doesn’t limit itself to one kind of narrative. The writing is at turns subtly and overtly hilarious, and the stories feel honest and relatable. This is the future of television, and it’s superb.
It was recently renewed for a second season, so we can expect more Master of None in 2017.