REVIEW: ‘Master of None’ addresses social issues

by Kit Murray

murrayki@mnstate.edu

Imagine it’s a brisk, windy Saturday night in downtown Fargo. After spending an evening with friends, it’s time to pull out your keys and drive home. Do you feel safe walking to your car? Is 9-1-1 already punched into your phone, just in case? Or is your biggest fear stepping in a pile of dog shit and ruining your brand new Converse kicks?

“Master of None,” Aziz Ansarsi’s new Netflix original show, has shed light on many issues prevalent in American society. One of its scenes portrayed this exact scenario.

As a person who’s walked home from the bar and been harassed multiple times, it’s frustrating to watch shows that sometimes encourage that threatening behavior. “Master of None” does the opposite and challenges the status quo.

Ansari has an incredible talent at putting together a work that depicts issues in hilarious and heartfelt ways.

As college students, binge-watching silly Netflix shows and movies is a staple of many of our lives. “Master of None” has opened my eyes to a new kind of sitcom — one that talks about sexism, racism and even relatable relationship struggles.

Dev, Ansari’s character, is the show’s lead. He plays a moderately successful actor living in New York City with his group of close friends. Even a few of my friends have mentioned how happy it makes them that he’s bringing light to so many controversial issues.

During one scene, Dev’s group of friends is sitting at a restaurant when another friend of his comes to greet them ­— though he purposely ignores the two girls in the group. It was evident he disregarded their presence because he didn’t want to speak to them.

In my own life, I have been afraid to approach people solely because I’m a woman of small stature. I feel I’m not taken seriously sometimes. I’ve had a professor offer to help me with a photography project (in which I needed to ask a court judge if I could shadow him) because he felt I would get a more positive response if a man contacted him first.

Recently, I had a fellow student try to argue with me that these issues don’t exist. It’s frustrating to interact with people who don’t believe women and people of other marginalized identities face an incredible amount of stress. “Master of None” is trying to make people think — trying to put everyone in the situation that so many of us have been in — and open up conversations that need to be had.

Overall, this show provokes us to ponder what we’re doing to change the state of our society. How are we working on the ways people are represented in media?

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