Thursday, March 24, 2016

Master of None and Organic Dramedy

    Last year Aziz Ansari stepped out of stand up comedy and became a showrunner. He released the first season of his Netflix show Master of None which focus on a fictionalized version of Aziz's life. Aziz plays Dev, an actor who predominately does commercial, who deals with a slew of social issues.   
The show features a diverse cast. Main characters include a black lesbian and an asian best friend. The only established name, besides Ansari, is Eric Wareheim. Eric, of Tim and Eric, brings an oddity to the show that mostly sits in reality. The romantic lead, Rachel, is played by Noel Wells, who was on SNL for a season.

The show is structured interestingly. Each episode stands on it's own for the most part and each deals with a social issues. Episode titles range from "Grandparents" to "Plan B". Dev talks about the first Indian person he saw on tv was actually a white actor in brown face. There are two plot lines that weave throughout the series: Dev has a small role in a major action film called The Sickening and Dev and Rachel's relationship.
Dev and Rachel's relationship is a microcosm of what the show makes the show so good. Dev and Rachel meet and hook up and after a condom malfunction they go to the pharmacy and get plan b. They meet a few months later at a party but Rachel has a boyfriend. This sort of complicated relationship beginnings are common today. It is these awkward realities that create comedy. It is also these realities that create drama. Dev and Rachel take a date to Nashville which showcases the couples' ability to work together and Dev's flaws. There is an episode the exists entirely in Dev's apartment that spans the stretch of time from when Rachel moves in until when she decides to move out. 

     Master of None takes issues of social justice such as minority and female representation and shows them in as a realistic light as its relationships. It's this reality that makes Master of None so funny and so sad. I think this blend of comedy, drama, and social awareness makes for something very powerful in just how real it can be. It's my favorite show on Netflix and a very promising start for a young showrunner/stand up comedian.

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