Netflix binging and the holiday season: Master of None
Because discussions about white washing and male privilege need to happen
What better to do on your winter break than sit on your ass and do absolutely nothing? It’s unquestionably the priority for me because, damn it, I worked too hard to finish my arts core. Netflix is bae in this scenario because there’s only an array of shows that you can spend your time binging for four weeks. Yes, by all technicalities, you should be spending time with your families and getting ahead on the reading lists for the winter semester, but I can almost guarantee that most of us will not be doing that, nor will we have the strong desire to do so. No offense to our families or education, but university students need to be cut some slack, and by slack I mean quality time with Number One. You, yourself, and you. The Carillon’s EIC, Matt, has already recommended Jessica Jones, but my recommendation for the U of R students over winter break is Aziz Ansari’s Master of None.
Ansari’s show is completely hilarious and frankly kind of groundbreaking in a lot of ways. Personally, I think Master of None is really important for a number of reasons. Specifically, the primary cast consists almost entirely of people of colour, my personal favourite being Denise and you’ll see why when you watch it. There is only one white man in the social circle, which Aziz himself has referred to as the “token white friend,” complete with white stereotypes and mannerisms that are typically attributed to minorities in sitcoms; and even if you’re in the mood for lighthearted comedy, it gives you just the amount of laughs that you need while sneaking in a bit of social justice commentaries in the lines. I, for one, am on board.
The show tackles some really interesting topics for 20-somethings trying to get by in 2015. Some of the questions the show poses that stood out for me were, “Why can there only be one brown guy? Why does that make it a ‘brown people’ show?” “Just because I’m with this person right now, and right around the time people are settling down, does that mean I have to marry this person?” and “Why can’t/won’t men recognize that sexism is still very present in 2015?”
Honestly, my two favourite episodes centered around white-washing in Hollywood and how men are so conditioned by privilege, even if they consider themselves feminists, they’re still sometimes incapable of recognizing blatant sexism. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a series because people need to be called out sometimes.
If you consider these kinds of topics to be a bit too serious for a comedy, especially if you’re in the mood for a chill night in, remember that it’s Aziz Ansari, one of the actors behind treat yo’ self! Trust me, Master of None is nothing but a good time. I just think when something can be both relaxing and serious, it adds to the comedy. It’s quite refreshing to see shows on Netflix with smart writing. Their programming is on a roll.
To surmise, Master of None is awesome and you should watch it because it’s not just about laughs, it’s about learning, too. Social commentary and justice is important and I’m happy to see so many shows welcoming this dialogue. There’s no reason to not give at least the pilot a go. Hopefully, you’ll have a new show to overindulge in before school.