20 Jan 2016

Master of None

My first reaction to my daughter’s message on our family thread was ‘huh’. This is going to be another Aziz Ansari typical. In your face, fast chanting of vernacular English, intelligent but well past the limits of vulgarity. I thought I will pass .. Discussion ‘however’ continued and things go into subconscious. And then become actions ..

The first episode was pretty hopeless. I was looking for a story. It was not forthcoming. Then I started looking for things to at the very least take a shape. Nope ..

I was sure that I was not going back. I still have episodes pending from ‘Game of Thrones’ and I want to catch up ‘House of Cards’ again. There was something though in ‘Master of None’. I ended up watching two episodes day before yesterday and binged three last night.

That made me think as to what is it? The work is actually more than a comedy. It sincerely reflected an inner city American single. There are different vantage points with each episode. Kids, parents, old people, flings, friendship, sex and so on. It brings out the sensitivities of this generation despite their apparent invisibility.

And the laugh is intelligently woven into the fabric of plot. Not something imposed as an after thought.

Aziz and Alan actually pulled off quite a piece. The work is honest and real. No unreal climax. Charming but very grounded. Intelligent (as expected of Aziz) but not overtly complicated (for the sake of it) . Master of none crafts a dilemma of choice that makes millennials move too fast from one option to another. Leaving them little time to master one, but as an audience it leaves you hydrated and filled. It doesn’t bloat anywhere. At the same time it invokes a very inquisitive discussion across generations. Not to resolve any gaps, but just to lay them out there for everyone to see and understand.

As for Aziz, it was a long jump from a stand up actor to a writer director. A slippery winding road…. very well traversed.