Netflix dropped all 10 episodes of its latest original series, Master of None on Friday. It’s a sitcom, but not a traditional one. It’s funny, but it’s not a straight-up comedy. It’s emotional and moving, but it’s not exactly a drama. What it certainly is, however, is a showcase for Aziz Ansari, who created, wrote, and stars in the show. You’ll hear a lot of Louie comparisons, but it has more in common with Bojack Horseman and You’re The Worst in that the comedy has a sober underpinning. Despite the comparisons, Master of None is really its own thing, proving that Ansari has a truly unique voice that allows the show to stand out in the crowd, along with a very unique cinematic look.
Master of None follows Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York City, as he deals with tribulations romantic, ludicrous, and mundane. He’s starred in a few commercials, but his big break, relatively speaking, comes when he’s given a role in a “black disease” movie called The Sickening. That’s where Master of None starts, but there’s hardly a traditional narrative structure to the show. The Sickening is just background plot for many of the episodes, and so much of the show is scene after scene of Dev hanging around with his friends, going on dates, meeting people on the job, or in one hilarious case, dealing with the limited roles offered to Indian actors.
That doesn’t mean that Master of None doesn’t have a plot; in fact, it’s much more structured than the freewheeling Louie. But there is a low-key, organic nature to the show, as if you’ve just stumbled into this world and decided to observe it for a while. A lot of that comes down to the chemistry of the cast and the sharpness of the writing. Eric Wareheim and Lena Waith turn in wonderful performances as Dev’s best friends while Noël Wells is charming and vulnerable as Dev’s romantic interest, Rachel.
Master of None is another in a long line of 2015 sitcoms that finds a balance between being funny and moving, between being a comedy and being a drama. Throughout the 10-episode first season, Aziz Ansari and company find humor in the mundane, like bathroom hand dryers and buying a couch off of Craigslist, while also digging into more pointed social critiques, including the importance of representation in media and the importance of listening to women when it comes to issues that directly affect them.
Essentially, Master of None will give you everything you want. It’ll make you laugh, cry, and really feel something. And as you work your way through the season — come on, it’s only 10 episodes, you can get through it all this weekend — come back here and let us know some of your favorite moments and episodes! Here are a few that we picked out: