I guess I really like Netflix originals…
Before watching this show, I was only vaguely familiar with Aziz Ansari. I’d seen a clip or two of his standup on Facebook and the like, but I wasn’t in the know. I do have Parks and Recreation on my list on Netflix, so I’ll get around to that one soon. I’m not sure if my unfamiliarity was a gift or a curse when it came to the show but either way, I loved it! I thought it was smart, funny, and had a range of diverse characters. The show tackled hot button issues with ease and kept it funny without making a mockery of real issues. Because there are only ten episodes, I can talk a bit about each one. Yay! Right??? Naw, I’m not gonna do all of that. I will talk about some of the episodes/bits I liked most. So here we go!
Okay, I feel the need to warn about spoilers EVEN THOUGH the show came out in November. So. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want spoilers, stop reading now.
Dev is such a good character. He’s a actor who usually does commercial but books his first film The Sickening which is something that comes up throughout the season. He’s the son of a doctor from India. He’s funny, relatable, and seems to have a pretty good career doing commercials for different brands including GoGurt. He seems like a really nice guy and he has some pretty cool parents and really good friends. Which brings me to my next character.
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Dev’s friend Denise is probably the best character on the show. You cannot put her into a box. She’s complex, funny, black, queer, and honest with Dev when he needs it. I also read somewhere that she is a theater critic. Plus she hooks up with someone who calls herself Lady Love aka Lil Funyuns. That is hilarious!
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His girlfriend Rachel is cute and funny as well. She is first seen on the first episode when she and Dev have to take an Uber to go and get the Plan B pill after a condom mishap. Later he runs into her after going on a hell date with a really crazy lady and he and Rachel have their first date in Nashville. It’s cute and it all works very well together until they break up! *Gasp*
Arnold is a gentle giant and a good friend of Dev and Denise. He’s funny and nice and not particularly that memorable but he’s in a lot of episodes so I thought I should mention him.
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The last friend in Dev’s main circle. He’s basically only memorable because of the great episode “Parents”.
Of course I can’t go without mentioning the guest stars! H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of both Sterling Archer AND Bob Belcher is on the show as a recurring character. His voice is so distinct and he looks nothing like Archer or Bob. Ha! We also saw Claire Danes as an unfaithful wife, Danielle Brooks as Dev’s agent and even Busta Rhymes as Busta Rhymes!
Aziz Ansari’s real life parents play his parents in the show. They are so sweet and charming. The father steals the show. His mom does okay, if a little stiff. Aziz’s post on the Gram about them when the show came out was soooooo sweet!
My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in Master of None. So I’m really relieved this all worked out. Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: “This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you.” I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have. I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven’t visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I’d get bored in SC. I’m an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the Parents episode of our show. What’s strange is doing that episode and working with my parents has increased the quality of my relationship to my parents IN MY REAL LIFE. In reality, I haven’t always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better. And if you have something like that with your family – I urge you to work at it and get better because these are special people in your life and I get terrified when my dad tells me about friends of his, people close to his age, that are having serious health issues, etc. Enjoy and love these people while you can. Anyway, this show and my experiences with my parents while working on it have been very important in many ways and I thank for you the part you all have played in it.
The show tackles a few different issues; dating, having kids, parents, and diversity in film. One thing I love is that the episode titles do a great job of just simply saying what the episode is all about.
One of my favorite episodes is titled “Parents” and it focuses on the relationships between Dev and Brian and their respective parents. Both have parents that are from other countries, India and Taiwan, respectfully. This episode just showed how many kids are completely oblivious to their parents’ sacrifices and ungrateful. Aziz’s parents were really cute though and it was a good episode.
Another of my favorites is the episode “Nashville” when Dev and Rachel have their first date and in order to make it different, it takes her to Nashville. I thought it was a cute and inventive idea, if a little unrealistic. More people should go on those kinds of dates. I’d like to go on one 🙂
One that also opened my eyes was “Indians on TV” which chronicals the problems Indian Americans have trying to book acting jobs. They are expected to put on a stereotypical Indian accent and are rarely featured as a main character. Dev even talks about the actor in Short Circuit 2 being a white guy in brown face.
Lastly, there was the very smart episode “Ladies and Gentlemen” which is about things women have to go through. In the beginning of this episode, it shows the difference between a woman walking home from the bar, and men. It’s a good eye opener for those who don’t realize how much more fear women have in being out alone after dark. The episode is still hilarious though, when Dev and Denise put a guy under citizen’s arrest for jacking off on the subway.
Overall the show was very well done, tackling issues of parenthood, sexism, racism, diversity in film, relationships, etc. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something good to watch.
Till next time,