Aziz Ansari first hit my radar in the under-seen and under-appreciated black comedy Observe and Report. He plays a mall kiosk salesman who gets into a “fuck you” battle with a lame-ass cop played by Seth Rogen. It’s a ridiculous and funny sequence. Rather than his expletives exploding in volume and aggressiveness, Ansari’s “fuck you’s” evolve into silent mouth contortions.
Since then he’s blown up everywhere. And now he’s got a new show on Netflix called Master of None. I love this show! He plays a version of himself (his real-life parents play his parents) as a New York actor who attempts to negotiate the modern world and its many challenges: sex, marriage, parenting, and racism. Topics he delves into in his stand-up act, too. His take is incisive, poignant, and hilarious.
In the second episode, “Parents,” he and his Taiwanese-American buddy Brian, learn about their parents’ hardships and struggles while growing up and immigrating to America. He handles the subject matter with keen wit and tenderness. While I’m tempted to binge-watch, all episodes are online now, I’m refraining, so I can savor this great new show, one day at a time.