Master Of None

I love the sensibility!

I love that he’s a nerd, with a brain, but can’t help himself from being uncool. He’s a regular guy, albeit Indian, as opposed to the good-looking charismatic holier-than-thou personages we’re overwhelmed by and feel inferior to on TV and in movies. It’s like we don’t count, even though we’re on this planet, eating and pissing and making passes too. It’s like you’re either rich or good-looking, famous, or you don’t count. Or do you?

I only knew the name, Aziz Ansari, until I heard him on Howard Stern. Whereupon he told a story about hanging with a famous woman who ultimately ignored him, who didn’t respond to his outreach thereafter. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me.

And then he sold out Madison Square Garden.

But I still wasn’t paying attention until I was looking for something to watch on Netflix. I go by the reviews, not by the ones from the critics, but those of the people, I figure enough people see something you get a feel. Although I did try that Maria Bamford series first. Do you get that? I don’t. I loved Patton Oswalt’s character but she was so self-conscious and the plot was so convoluted that I decided not to continue.

That’s when I began with Aziz’s show, “Master Of None.”

It’s imperfect, not fully-baked, it’s a way station to something better. There’s your 10,000 hour rule right there, will the suits give you a chance to get better?

I looked him up on Wikipedia, saw he started at NYU. It’s amazing how long you have to do it to get noticed.

So there’s an Indian sensibility. A minority sensibility. Do you blow the whistle or ride the imperfections, the hate, to a better life? Do you suck it up or do the right thing? We’re all trying to get ahead, but we don’t want to sacrifice our identity, our beliefs, in the process.

And the show feels fully modern. With the texting and tech. Too often art lives in the past, but when we recognize the present we feel comfortable.

And the sexual adventures, shall I say MISADVENTURES, ring true too. Aziz is making an effort, but is so often failing. He’s flailing. Taking advice from fellow nerds. It’s the opposite of the Steve McQueen/Leonardo DiCaprio paradigm wherein women are falling all over the star. And when Aziz can’t get over the fact that Claire Danes, the restaurant critic, actually likes him, wants to be with him, and he keeps telling her he wants to savor the moment…it’s one of the most uncool moments in cinematic history. But it’s real.

Aziz gives hope to nerds everywhere. He’s not beautiful, not unattractive, just kind of…blah, normal, like you and me. He’s got to win on his personality, which he’s constantly shining. But that doesn’t always resonate.

And the show doesn’t always flow. But ideas are brought forth, and they resonate, and that makes you feel so good.

This is what happens when distributors give creators free rein. And it is all about distribution, the show would not be as successful on YouTube, never mind shortened to a Vine. Netflix gives you a platform, your odds of being seen are higher.

Nerds have inherited the earth because we have the tools, we can communicate, and we’re sick and tired of having the uneducated nitwits trounce us. You can’t make it Hollywood if you’re ugly or plain, unless you play ugly or plain, are the butt of the joke. But Aziz doesn’t want to be the butt of the joke.

And I know it’s the second decade of the twenty first century but “Master Of None” has got a seventies sensibility. After the revolution of the sixties. When we knew what happened and were adjusting, when we knew we couldn’t be famous. Whereas today there’s much more desperation, many more sharp elbows, the endless self-promotion is deafening.

“Master Of None” is small work. But it gets stuff right. And in today’s world where we’re all connected yet feel so lonely that’s a revelation.

Watch it!

Master Of None

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