Review: Netflix Original Series ‘Master of None’ Addresses Societal Issues in a Comedic Way

Review: Netflix Original Series Master of None Addresses Societal Issues in a Comedic Way

Rebecca Boyajian

With the rising popularity of Netflix, more and more viewers have grown tired of waiting for an episode to premiere each week on cable television, and most now prefer to binge-watch shows. This trend has opened up a new platform for Netflix; its original shows release a season all at once for viewers to binge-watch. The Netflix Original comedy series “Master of None” did just that. Created and written by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, the entire first season of “Master of None” was released on Nov. 6 and gained a fanbase almost immediately. The show relates to its viewers through the protagonist’s experience with societal problems such as sexism, racism, and ageism. Despite that “Master of None” addresses major issues in society, it does so in a humorous manner.

Viewers see the world through the eyes of Dev, played by comedian Aziz Ansari, who is well-known for his role as Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation” and for his stand-up shows, available on Netflix. Try to avoid watching “Master of None” with the expectation that it will be similar to his previous show, “Parks and Rec,” and the character he played because the two shows are very different. However, those watching “Master of None” because they are fans of Ansari’s comedic style will in no way be disappointed, for he brings his distinctly funny voice to the show as its co-creator and writer.

Ansari plays main character Dev, a struggling actor whose career highlight is a Gogurt commercial in which he has a single line. Viewers watch as Dev hilariously makes his way through dealing with common issues in today’s world, from trying to find the best taco stand in New York to dealing with racism in society. Although his career is not very successful, he has a group of close friends, consisting of Denise, Arnold and Brian, who live in close proximity. Each of Dev’s friends contribute in their own unique way to the comedy of the show, especially character Brian, one of his closest friends who often provides some quirky and weird stories in this season. One of his best moments is perhaps in the episode that is centered around ageism where Brian begins to take care of a robotic seal that once belonged to his grandfather, and begins to mirror the actions and personality of him as well.

Dev’s parents are played by Ansari’s real life parents, both of whom have a life story similar to that of their characters. Neither Ansari’s mother nor his father have any acting background, but they shine in the comedy setting and steal the scene whenever they have the chance.

In each episode, “Master of None” effectively tackles and discusses a different social problem. Societal issues addressed include how women often feel unsafe walking home alone at night and the stereotype that every elderly person opposes gay and interracial marriage. Another problem included in the show is the negative effect that texting has on people’s manners and ability to communicate face to face. In addition to showcasing smaller, everyday problems, “Master of None” dives into more serious issues in society such as the racism and sexism that is present in today’s film and television industries through Dev’s struggle to be an Indian actor.

“Master of None” effectively gets viewers to keep in mind the modern day issues that they have to face everyday while still delivering laughs and maintaining a unique viewpoint. Although the themes and issues that are present in the show can to be controversial and serious, the show approaches these problems with humor that results in a more laid-back tone. Creators Ansari and Yang’s “Master of None” has made a memorable first impression with the release of its first season and will most likely continue to keep viewers intrigued and laughing in the seasons to come.