Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, best known for his role as the under-achieving Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation, is back and stars in his own comedy. He assumes the role of 30-year-old Indian-American actor Dev, who is struggling to work out what he wants to do in life.
The trailer shows an entertaining premise for the show: Nev awkwardly pays for his girlfriend and potential life partner Rachel (Noël Wells)’s morning after pill late at night. At a casting call, he is asked to put on an Indian tone of voice, but complains that there isn’t ‘an Oscar for “Best Indian Accent”’. Nev is desperately searching for answers to his troubled love life, and whether the answer is with Rachel or not is a moot point. His father bluntly asserts, ‘we have to make decisions, man’.
Race is a recurring theme, a frustrated Nev asking, ‘if you go back far enough we’re all 1/16th something. I’m probably 1/16th black. You think they’re gonna let me play Blade?!’ It’s not impossible: remember when Ben Kingsley starred as Gandhi?
Ansari balances humour and seriousness in a lively way. As an actor from a minority background his show deals with problems that are so-often left out of television. Master of None is about Nev coming of age, exploring race, romance and the long list of unanswerable questions facing someone of his maturity. Many of the dilemmas he faces are similar to those of students, but for now, at least, we can sit back with a large bag of Doritos and laugh with him as he fumbles his way into the future.
Master of None is available on Netflix on Friday.