Recommended: ‘Master Of None’

Above: Aziz Ansari's 'Master of None' is now streaming on Netflix
Above: Aziz Ansari's 'Master of None' is now streaming on Netflix

Master of None is why network television is going to eventually become a haven for reality TV, live sports and your local evening news.

It’s the kind of show that would be neutered and muted on NBC or CBS, where there are restrictions on what you can say, laugh tracks make lame jokes seem funny and stars can’t be understated in their execution in front of the camera. All of those things would hamper Aziz Ansari’s new series if it were on television, but because it’s on Netflix, Master of None is an absolute masterpiece.

The show revolves around Dev (Ansari), a 30-year-old actor in search of work, love and a better understanding of his place in the world, but not in an annoying, unaware kind of way. He’s shallow and juvenile and hipster-ish, but he owns it and is looking for something more.

What’s great is that there is no formula here – you don’t move episode-to-episode watching the relationships deepen, getting clean explanations about backstories and lineal storylines. It plays out more like life, with characters popping in and out and Dev struggling with everything that comes his way. He’s flawed and trying to find his way and it’s easy to relate to and enjoy.

Where television sitcoms end with “important” messages or set up big laughs to get knocked out of the park, Master of None has none of that. There are messages and takeaways, but you’re not smashed over the head with them and they’re more in line with how life really works than how it looks on television.

This should be a star-making turn for Ansari, who was loved on Parks and Rec and has delivered a number of strong stand-up specials, in addition to having a couple quality cameos here and there. He feels like the right kind of comedic actor for today – part nerd, part obnoxious douche and alternately battling against both sides of himself to create a character that is equal parts lovable and loathe-able and impossible to stop watching.

Thankfully, the whole season (10 episodes) was released together, so you can sit back and enjoy it all over the course of a couple days or the weekend (or an evening if you’re hardcore like that) so you don’t have to sit around waiting seven days to find out what the next episode entails.

Some of the added little fun bits that spice it up include Ansari’s actual parents, who aren’t actors, portraying his parents, H. Jon Benjamin being in a couple episodes, which means Sterling Archer is kind of a character on the show because you can’t hear Benjamin’s voice and not hear Archer and a kick-ass soundtrack.

If you haven’t already watch all 10 episodes of Master of None or haven’t yet planned out when you’re going to do so, what are you waiting for?

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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