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Aziz Ansari’s new series 'Master of None' nails what it’s like to be a millennial


Tori Roseman
/ The Spectrum The Spectrum

When a comedian comes out with a television series, there’s a level of wariness viewers must consider. If the comedian was typically associated with stand-up, it can be difficult to enjoy their humor in an everyday setting.

Aziz Ansari’s new series “Master of None” blows these concerns out of the water and providers Netflixers everywhere with 10 episodes of comedy gold. A combination of a good, small cast and a dose of realistic humor make this show a must-see.

The show is centered on Ansari who plays Dev, a small-time actor looking to make it big in New York City. Though he’s done commercials that he’s received some fame for, he’s looking for a big break to launch his career. His friends Arnold (Eric Wareheim, “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories”), who is delightfully uncomfortable and Denise (Lena Waithe, “The Comeback”), a tough, honest lesbian, encourage him to continue fighting for his hopes and dreams.

Viewers watch Dev go through everyday life and experience the usual dilemmas – his friends are starting to have kids, his parents are driving him crazy and his love life isn’t exactly existent. The way the show approaches these issues doesn’t feel contrived and focuses on both the negative and positives of each relationship formed.

While Ansari delivers a performance that is both witty and memorable, it may be Noel Wells (“The Awesomes”), who plays Dev’s love interest Rachel, who steals the limelight. Her performance as the female counterpart to Dev’s bumbling missteps is honest – I’d go so far as to call her a more humble Zooey Deschanel. Their relationship is imperfect and her emotions are appropriate. There is never any point where you feel like she’s acting too much and there are times when her emotions feel too real.

Dev and Rachel’s relationship progresses through the show at the right pace too – they do not immediately become enamored with each other, which isn’t how most relationships work anyway. Many of Dev’s relationships are this way, whether he argues with a friend once in a while, disagrees with what someone says or calls upon friends for support.

Each episode is only 30 minutes and usually surrounds four characters at a time or less. This allows character development to happen quickly and effectively, which makes the viewer feel like they know the characters well though they aren’t exposed to them for long. Some characters are returning, like Ansari’s friends while others are only seen in one or two episodes, like Ansari’s parents.

It’s an easy show to binge on because it’s simple. Shows like “Game of Thrones” require you to pay close attention to detail and invest a lot of time into keeping up with the episodes. Though the 10-episode series does move chronologically, it’s light enough to watch quickly and understand what’s going on.

Scenes take place in casual locations, which only adds to the show’s relaxed vibe. The conversations between characters are feasible lunchtime talk or friendly chatter, never anything overbearing or overwhelming.

While I’ll refrain from revealing spoilers, the ending is dramatic and satisfying in a way that reminds you why you started watching the show in the first place – to relate to this man who is just beginning to get his life together and struggle alongside him.

The series is only available on Netflix, so if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t already have the popular streaming service, download it. It’s worth the five hours of time to get some realistic, politically correct humor.

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com.


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