Tag Archive: master of none


 

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This will be a long one folks, prepare yourselves…

(exhaling…)

OK first, let me name check everything in this season I want to give props to, but for the sake of some brevity, I won’t expand upon: Bobby Cannavale, Cedric the Entertainer, the cinematography (my God, my God…), the taking its sweet time payoff of the ‘BFFs’ joke, the first date connection, run out of steam by the second date courtship, and the one joke I have to ruin for you because (at the time) I thought my respect/envy meter wouldn’t get any higher…

Episode 3 opener (the Religion episode).  Dev eats bacon as ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ plays on the soundtrack.  You know I was laughing and yelling ‘Why didn’t I think of that one?’ to myself for a good ten minutes…

Now the three big ones…

New York City remains my favorite city; I get real ‘Fuck You Money’, I feel like I still need to live there for at least a year.  But I had a signature trip there in my 20s: fast girls, stretch limo riding thru Times Square, going to Junior’s for cheesecake.  In my 30s, I had a signature ‘adult’ trip: going to the Met for the opera, hitting up a jazz club at 2 in the morning, hanging with a grown woman.  So I say that to say ‘New York I Love You’ was everything I know of the city from personal experiences, and my images of it as an outsider.  The Latin doorman with his own culture, the brothers who I’m not sure if they’re West Indian or African: the Gotham I know (with all due respect to Louie and Seinfeld, two other shows I love but from different points of view).

‘Thanksgiving’.  Lena Waithe did that man.  I’ve spoken from time to time on my own experiences as a ‘double minority’, and while I’m not gay, I found myself nodding ALOT watching this episode.  Recognizing your path is going to be different than your parents before you get out from under their roof.  Finding the right time to express that externally.  And most likely because it’s where I’m at on the life cycle, but Angela Bassett’s initial frustration being less about sexuality than it being about the black parent ‘I don’t want my child to have to go through life taking on more struggle when they already have to deal with being black.’ WOOO BOY.  By the way, if you can get Angela Bassett to play your mom and Kim Whitley to play your smart mouthed aunt, of course you get those two to play those roles!  Well done Lena, well done.

Last January, the Chiefs lost to the Steelers in the playoffs because they blew way too many golden opportunities.  I had to turn the TV off for a good hour and go for a walk.  So it’s been a good few months since I’ve felt that level of frustration/jealousy, before today. ‘Amarsi Un Po.’  Those who know me best, or who can draw a common thread through the shorts I’ve done, know I’ve always wanted to modernize ‘Last Tango in Paris’, and take the creep factor out of it.  Well, this motherfucker Aziz Ansari did it, and I don’t know if my best take on the same story would measure up.  From the opening shot, gorgeous views of NYC. The cute European girl with the obvious chemistry while still having the ‘ain’t no way in hell this is going to end well’ vibe hanging over the story the whole time.  The bittersweet ending.  I’m still in admiration while saying ‘Dammit’ under my breath…

So yes, loved the first season, but they stepped up big time in Season 2.  Well worth the time commitment.

‘Master of None’

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Do I carry a certain amount of bias for ‘Master of None’ as a minority actor who favors the ‘silly love stories with a heart’?  Sure, I guess I do.  But I still think ‘Master of None’ is fantastic.

As someone on Twitter brilliantly pitched it, this show is ‘a younger, less surreal version of Louie’.  Aziz Ansari plays a version of himself, an Indian-American actor in New York trying to get ahead while also navigating modern love and figuring out if it’s something he genuinely wants.  Like any good pitch though, that just gets you in the door.

The casting is exceptional.  Along with my brother from an intercontinental mother Aziz, Lena Waithe gets to be the friend who most often makes the best advice for ‘Dev.’  H. Jon Benjamin (who for better for worse will never get away from Archer for me) shows up for a few episodes as a costar on a project Dev lands.  Claire Danes gets to turn up to 15 as one of Dev’s love interests.

And the episode themes! Feminism from a ‘good guy’ point of view. The sacrifices our parents made for us (from a first generation immigrant point of view). Playing the stereotype (to make a living) vs. fighting the good fight (and maybe not getting ahead) as a minority in the Business.  And true to the style of Aziz Ansari, it’s all entertaining and funny.

Netflix does it again.  Carve out those 10 half hours and watch it.