*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* I apologize to anyone expecting a review of Jessica Jones. I know quite a bit of everyone out there really like the show. Let me be utterly clear: I do not. Besides a standout, brilliant performance from David Tennant and some really fantastic cinematography – I can't get behind Netflix's Jessica Jones. It has some worst written dialogue, line delivery, and pacing I have ever seen on television and ruins the character arc of one of my favorite comic book characters of all time. As much as I wanted to write about that, I couldn't trash on something that so many people enjoy just for the sake of trashing it. One of the driving points behind why I write is that I want to highlight what is so good in the world of movies and television. On that note, let's talk about Master of None, something I CAN get behind.
Aziz Ansari's Master of None (written and acted by the man himself) is a unique experience, yet it feels so similar. I would state what the show is about, but it's really about nothing. If it is about anything it is about Aziz's character Dev who is trying to make it big as an actor in New York as he bumbles about with his eclectic group of friends. Most of the show is relatively non linear, yet there are plot threads - which isn't completely new, but still isn't really derivative of the format on the majority of Netflix Original shows. Most of all though, it is the distinct humor on the show that sets it apart, which is really difficult to define. Master of None has its roots in Parks and Recreation as many of its creators worked on the show and of course Ansari himself. Some have also compared it to the dramedy Louie. While there is something there, Master of None is not remotely that dark. Master of None is fun filled romp with quirky and bizarre characters. If I had to compare the show to anything, it in many ways feels like a modern Seinfeld. Master of None is incredibly quirky, goofy and stupid; yet it also so insightful on thought provoking ideas and goes down absurd tangents.
Let me be clear, if you don't think Aziz Ansari's humour is funny, you probably won't like the show. Maybe watch a few clips of his stand-up or interviews to get a sample of what your in for. In my estimation though, the guy has a knack for digging deep into meaningful topics - along the line of early adulthood, life choices, relationships, ethnicity, race, what is truly offensive, etc. – and coming up with pure gold. It is these ideas and more that give Master's of None its unique flair. He is really gifted at creating wacky and bizarre characters and finding the right actor to fit that role. If I could emphasize anything, I would say it is side character's on the show which really shine, many of which are the 'actors' Dev meets on his adventures (including two ridiculous roles from H. John Benjamin and Colin Salmon). Many of them are so idiotic and absurd, but then they will actually turn around and pull off some really insightful dialogue. Some of this is ham-fisted for sure; which doesn't always work, but when it does, it does in spades.
I know, I know, I know, humor is subjective. That being said, I laughed more during the season of Masters of None than pretty much all television this year. Aziz Ansari is capable of pulling off not just thoughtful and meaningful humor, but stupid shit that just gets you to burst out laughing. Aside from the second episode - which while being really well intentioned, is so boring and without a trace of humor – the rest of Master of None truly is joyful television experience. The characters and storytelling are so quirky and fresh that I genuinely looked forward to hitting the play button again and again after each episode – not something I can say about all of television this year.
Personal Preference 4/5
Critical Analyis 4/5