Binge Guide: Master of None

By Nicole Fiorica

At a glance:
Genre: Comedy
Seasons/Episodes: 10
Avg. Episode Length: 30 minutes
Available on: Netflix
What it’s about:
Dev (Aziz Ansari, “Parks and Recreation”) is a thirty-something actor living in New York City, trying to break out of commercial acting in favor of bigger roles. He’s also trying to decide if he’s ready to find love and settle down, and if he can survive the romantic mishaps of the first date. Of course, he is joined by his fellow single buddies Arnold (Eric Wareheim, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show”), Denise (Lena Waithe) and Brian (Kelvin Yu) who are there to coach him through it all.

Why it’s so good:
It’s a lot of fun to see Aziz Ansari in a new role outside of “Parks and Rec” and his standup, and if you’re afraid that “Master of None” might just be more of the same old Aziz, don’t be. Yes, there are bits and pieces of Aziz’s standup scattered throughout, but it’s retold and acted out in a way that’s still original. And while the show is telling a continuous story, each episode has an isolated theme. Some of them are fun and random, like a date gone wrong (“Hot Ticket”), but others really do touch upon serious issues like racism and typecasting (“Indians on TV”) and sexism (“Ladies and Gentlemen”) while still making you laugh out loud.

Why you should binge it:
With the complete series clocking in at about five hours of screen time, “Master of None” might not be your first choice for a hardcore binge, but it’s perfect if you’re trying to procrastinate completing your final paper while still planning on starting it at some point later that night. Also, reviews have been overwhelmingly positive considering it just came out on Netflix. Get ahead of the conversation and watch it first.

Standouts:
The supporting cast of the show is a fun, sassy group with a lot of chemistry, but “Master of None” has a lot of fun cameos and guest roles, too, including Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Noah Emmerich (“Super8,” “The Americans”), Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black”) and even Busta Rhymes. Also, Dev’s parents are played by Aziz Ansari’s own parents, which is pretty cool. It’s these kinds of random appearances — not to mention humor found in the most unexpected of places — that makes this show so funny.

Potential Pitfalls:
It may seem like a cop-out answer, but the main problem with “Master of None” is its length. Much like the dilemma posed by “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” the Netflix formula of releasing ten thirty-minute episodes in one swing just feels so horribly incomplete. You can watch this entire season in one afternoon and still have time to go out after. You have time to do whatever you want after because you have to wait a whole year until the release of the next brilliant season. And that hurts. Then again, you can always grab a friend and watch it all over again.