‘Master of None’ proves spectacular

Aziz Ansari strikes gold in new Netflix TV show

Ethan Brown

For a long time, Aziz Ansari stood behind the likes of Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and his other “Parks and Recreations” co-stars. But in Netflix’s new TV show “Master of None,” Ansari steps into the spotlight, and along with him, comes a fantastic show.

The show stars Ansari as struggling actor Dev Shah, who’s not only trying to find work, but also a love life in the sprawling chaos of New York City. With the assistance of his offbeat friends, Ansari tackles multiple controversial political issues throughout the series and does it in entertaining and surprisingly deep ways. Compared to his stand-up material, which he performs in a usually raunchy manner, it’s shocking how much composure and emotion Ansari adds to the show.

The show’s directing is mainly done by Eric Wareheim, who brings a great twist of uniqueness to the visual aspect of the show. Wareheim incorporates interesting angles to further the show’s plotlines. Wareheim can also be credited for the unpredictable atmosphere the show carries. Each episode connects to the next but also beautifully creates a whole separate story within its own 30-minute timespan.

Ansari and Alan Yang, who appears in the show as well, write episodes at a sublime level. Throughout the show’s 10 episodes, it’s extremely hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so well written. The balance between drama and comedy is most well shown in the show’s writing, as the ability to switch back and forth between the two plays a large part in the show’s success.

The acting in “Master of None” also plays a critical part in its success. The lead roles aren’t very extensive and both leading actors don’t have very packed resumés, but the anonymity of the actors are one of the shows best aspects. Ansari brings an extremely down-to-earth attitude to Dev, making him more relatable and as a result, an even funnier character. Actress Noël Wells plays Rachel, Dev’s on-and-off love interest throughout the season. Wells is perfectly casted, as her quirky personality completely fits the role of Rachel, who works in PR for a record label and always seems to know all of New York’s trendiest spots. Wells and Ansari both show incredible depth for comedians, proving they can do a lot more than just draw laughter.

The supporting actors of the show are composed of Dev’s friends, and all do just as well as the leading roles. Wareheim also portrays Dev’s best friend Arnold. There’s an enigmatic nature to Wareheim’s character, who has a very soft side, but never discloses much information about himself. Whenever Arnold does say something about his personal life, it ends up being pretty hilarious. Lena Waithe plays Denise, one of Dev’s other closest friends, and often begins many of political discussions Dev and his friends partake in. Both Wareheim and Waithe do a great job at character development, as they show the same depth later on that Ansari and Wells show, but also bring a lot of comic relief for when Wells and Ansari begin to get very serious.

The first season of “Master of None” proves its potential to be a truly great show. The first episode starts somewhat slowly but the show soon picks up steam and never looks back. Great directing from Wareheim paired with great writing from Ansari and Yang combine to make truly compelling episodes which provide humor and depth. Surprisingly adept acting from Aziz Ansari and Noël Wells steal the show, setting up “Master of None” to have quite the follow up to its first season.

Master of None: 4.5/5