If you haven’t already read Mark’s review of the first four episodes of “Masters Of None” I am wary of your ability to follow logic but also go and do that now! If you haven’t watched the show Masters Of None, read both these articles and get on that. For the sake of this “review” I will be focusing mainly on the episodes five to ten but I feel that episode three (Hot Ticket) deserves a special mention. This episode does an amazing job at highlighting one of the various issues with social media, people’s flippancy towards responding to messages. As you can probably tell, this is going to be another positive review but it’s a little bit more than that. A few months ago I did a story explaining my thoughts on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and how it could possibly become the greatest American comedy on television at the moment. Well…
Why Masters Of None Is The Greatest Comedy On TV
If The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt taught us anything, it’s that Netflix is very capable of creating, original, funny and unique comedies. With his trademark cheeky grin, Anzi Ansari on the other hand does not have to prove that he is a funny man, for years he had been making us laugh on Parks And Recreation while bringing the laughs to the stage as he continues to tour around as a stand-up comedian. Only good can come from the Netflix and Aziz combination. For the rest of the story, the synopsis and all the other important things, head over to Mark’s review.
By episode five the scene, the style and all the important characters have already been well established. We know Dev (Aziz Ansari) is a somewhat successful actor, in his early thirties that still doesn’t know what he wants from life. Rachel (Noël Wells) works PR for indie bands and the two manage to stumble through a few awkward dates to fall into a relationship that they are both at least 70% is working. Co-creator, Alan Yang inspired the part of Brian (Kelvin Yu), the hottie and Lena Waithe inspired her own character Denise, the lesbian, straight girl turner that just understands women. Finally Arnold (Eric Wareheim) is the token white guy with the coolest looking disorganised apartment that I have ever seen. Along with a few of Dev’s actor friends and his parents, Masters Of None is full to the brim of bright, interesting and hilarious characters. In fact this is the only point on which I would disagree with Mark, Masters Of None is not an ensemble show, rather a show about Dev and how the people in his world affect his life and vice versa.
Masters Of None is like the Last Week Tonight on personal issues, the writers have skilfully managed to bring up the concerns that trouble us everyday but never quite get the right attention on screen. Episode five (The Other Man) deals with the morality of being the home wrecker, instead of the usual consenting adulterer we have seen hundreds of times before. Like the majority of the episodes of the season, episode six (Nashville) deals with the awkwardness of first dates and is quite simply one of the cutest “first dates” on television. Along with episode three, episode seven (Ladies And Gentlemen) is a standout and I have never seen the topic of feminism broached so respectfully or with as much understanding as it has here. Another issue never mentioned enough is the respect given to the elderly in society and episode eight (Old People) tackles this head on. Mornings is the title of episode nine and somehow they manage to sneak a whole year’s worth a relationship in one half hour of television without making it feel fleeting. Finally Finale, or episode ten deals with the life decisions in and out of relationships. Every episode feels important, while also managing to be funny at every possible opportunity.
Now while I do consider Masters Of None as the best comedy on television at the moment, this is not because it is the funniest. There are a number of factors that add up to its brilliance. Hilarity of course is one key ingredient along with uniqueness, all the topics broached in the episodes are sprinkled with fascinating and distinctive opinions. Aziz’s real life parents play his parents in the show and in an acting style reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld, they are adorably bad at acting, so adorably that it is endearing and they manage to steal the spotlight every scene they stagger through. A lot of humour comes from the performances, each actor seems like a genuinely funny person and they all provide a different branch of the comedy tree. Noël Wells is the standout and she puts up a fair fight against Aziz’s dorky, suave style with her quick wit, intelligent responses and wonderful range of stupid voices and ridiculous faces. In other words, brilliant character acting.
So many of the aspects of this show are new and fresh and I kept feeling myself saying, “wow, I have never seen this on TV before”. Dev’s is the most relatable character in the history of sitcoms and his sideways view on the world is very indicative to my own. I know that I said the opinions are unique before, but I was talking in terms of the sphere of television. Whether it’s Netflix’s choice to allow Aziz and Alan do what they please or the change in scripted comedies, I love the direction that Masters Of None has taken. This is a show that is either going to open the floodgates to a wave of an entirely new style of comedies in the future or is going to be remembered fondly in the future as that little niche sitcom that really spoke its mind. If my rambling words of utterly smitten love are not enough to sway you to watch this show, just watch any interview Aziz does for the show and you will understand this man’s comedy genius. A well deserving five out of five for Masters Of None and here’s hoping Netflix understands what a gold mine they have struck and recommission a second season.