Master Of None is a bad show with tons of good ideas. As Aziz Ansari’s first outing creating something like this, I think it’s a good jumping off point. Unfortunately, the execution is so mediocre, that half the time you’ll wonder why you’re wasting your time with this show. Stiff acting, bland plots, and an unfortunate protagonist make for a less than thrilling series about a man who can’t commit to anything, especially not another human being.
There were a lot of…interesting choices riddling this series. I’ll say this, Aziz Ansari’s brand of comedy is not for everyone. Aziz has an every man flavor. His jokes pride themselves on being hyper relate-able, you’d think that it would translate well into his own show. In certain parts, it can. I give it credit for not falling into usual comedy tropes and trying to tell an actual story in between the moments of comedy. However, the acting is the strangest part to me.
This is some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen in a Netflix series, or a TV series in general. It flops from flat out ridiculous to stiff as a board. Aziz made the bold decision to cast his actual parents in the series, and boy does it not pay off. You can tell that they’re not actors, and every time his dad is on screen, the lines delivered are cringe worthy. Sometimes, he makes these faces that ruin the seriousness of a moment, and completely undermine the message of the scene. His mother does a better job, but these aren’t professional actors, and they stand out like fish out of water.
The show definitely tries to have a consistent narrative. It tries to tackle a broad range of topics and I salute it for the ending it chose. Rather than a sappy ending, it chose to go with a theme of mold breaking, and give you a different ending than you would’ve thought. The characters are completely forgettable, however. I can’t remember a single name from the series. I’m not kidding you. These characters are some of the most cardboard, one dimensional stereotypes ever portrayed on TV. I’m not sure whether it was intentional, but it definitely isn’t good. At all.
The cinematography and camera work are also pretty bland. There’s nothing that great to show here. Shots of New York are done…well enough, but they feel like something a film student might have been able to put together. Unfortunately, I had expected a lot more out of Netflix. I expected a lot more out of Aziz. For his first foray, this is definitely not a great outing. I really don’t want to see Aziz take the helm on another project unless he learns from this one. It’s not a very good show, and if you skipped watching it, you won’t miss much. It can have its moments of charm, but it’s so boring inbetween those moments. Oh, and awkward. There is SO much awkward here.
Ultimately, Master of None lives up to its name. It tries to master complex topics, but falls flat on its face. With stiff and untrained acting, a boring story, and a messy plot…there’s not much here to love. If you’re a die hard fan of Aziz’s comedy, or campy love stories, you may find something here. If you’re not into ether of those, I’d say give this one a skip. It’s a pretty huge waste of time, and an even bigger disappointment.
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