Master of None—Season 1

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting perspective storytelling, developing season

Starts a little slow

 
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Aziz puts it out there!

Dev Shah (Aziz Ansari) is a man of culture and sophistication.  He’s an aspiring actor in New York City that has managed to make a rather decent jump into advertising by being the star of a Go-Gurt commercial.  Now, Dev is trying to find his next big role and branch into film.  It isn’t as easy as it seems, but New York City is big and vast and Dev has friends like Denise (Lena Waithe), Brian (Kelvin Yu), and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) that keep Dev honest.  When Dev has an encounter with a woman named Rachel Silva (Noël Wells), Dev is on a new adventure…a long-term romance?

Master of None—Season 1 is a comedy released on Netflix on November 6, 2015.  The ten-episode series was critically acclaimed and received a nomination for Aziz Ansari for a Gold Globe.  It also won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (“Parents”) with nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Aziz Ansari), Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (“Parents”), and Outstanding Comedy Series.

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Dev is cooking up some conversation!

I liked Parks and Recreation when it was on, and I liked Aziz as a supporting character.  Master of None took some adjusting to.  It has a plan and a goal that isn’t what is expected…and once you get into it, it works.

You could argue that Master of None (especially in the first episode) feels like a toned down, guy’s version of Sex and the City.  It showcases New York, deals with dating, and has a character that sees himself as the modern man.  The second episode has the storytelling take a turn and gives the series dimension.  Aziz begins exploring different concepts like parents, the elderly, the challenges of long-term relationships, and “real love”.  The approach by the show is honest and feels really different.  There are storylines and goofy moments mixed throughout the series (like the storyline of Aziz’s film The Sickening), but it is the bigger ideas and concepts that work even better.

Aziz Ansari also is a reason the show works.  Despite some “jerk” moments, Aziz comes off as extremely likable.  He’s a lot like his Tom Haverford character from Parks and Recreation so it could be argued that it is really just him.  I worried that all Aziz would be too much, but he is toned down enough that it pretty balanced.  He has a nice supporting cast backing him up and that also benefits him to have people he can play off of.

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Dev and his future are up in air!

The show is also pretty slick in its shooting.  The New York gives it a real cosmopolitan feel, but the series also experiments a bit with its style.  A big episode also features a trip to Nashville and the show does a really good job highlighting that city as well.

Master of None—Season 1 is a good start.  As the season progressed, it feels like Aziz is finding his feet and getting a good idea of what he wants to do with the series…don’t take it for the first episode alone.  It feels like there are a lot of ideas that this series can explore and it leaves you with a good fake out on the direction you think it is going…leaving you waiting for Season 2.

Master of None—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Plan B”

1.1       Plan B Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev (Aziz Ansari) starts to feel his biological clock ticking when he realizes that all his friends are married and having children.  When Dev is assigned to watch a friend’s kids for the afternoon and learns the truth of his friend’s marriage, Dev realizes his initial assessment might have been right.

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“Parents”

1.2       Parents Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev and his friend Brian (Kelvin Yu) decide to take their parents out for dinner to learn about how they came to America.  Dev tries to get a role in The Sickening.

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“Hot Ticket”

1.3       Hot Ticket Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev gets two tickets to a show and debates who to take.  When he selects a girl named Alice (Nina Arianda), the night doesn’t go as planned, but the return of Rachel (Noël Wells) shows some hope.

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“Indians on TV”

1.4       Indians on TV Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev and his friend Ravi (Ravi Patel) have a shot at a TV show…but a racial slur in an email from Danvers (Adam Grupper) has Dev questioning if he should accept the role.

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“The Other Man”

1.5       The Other Man Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev works on his role in The Sickening with Colin (Colin Salmon).  When Dev meets a food critic named Nina (Claire Danes), he considers having an affair with her…but a run in with her husband (Noah Emmerich) could change things.

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“Nashville”

1.6       Nashville Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev decides to be bold for his “first date” with Rachel and plans for a big Nashville date.

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“Ladies and Gentlemen”

1.7       Ladies and Gentlemen Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev and Arnie (Eric Wareheim) head to a bar for a night and learn from Rachel and Denise (Lena Waithe) that being a woman is different in experiences like that.  When Dev suggests more equality on his commercial, he could pay the price.

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“Old People”

1.8       Old People Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev questions how the elderly are treated when Arnie’s grandfather (Ed Setrakian) dies.  Visiting Rachel’s grandmother Carol (Lynn Cohen), Dev spends the evening with her.

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“Mornings”

1.9       Mornings Release Date:  11/06/15

Rachel moves in with Dev and living together brings new challenges that they have never experienced.

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“Finale”

1.10     Finale Release Date:  11/06/15

Dev and Rachel attend the wedding of a friend and question the level of their relationship and where it is going.  The Sickening premieres, but Dev gets bad news.

Related Links:

Master of None—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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