Humor, Intimacy, and Master of None

I’m jumping on a plane to Melbourne later today, so today’s post is short and sweet.If you’ve got netflix, then do this one thing.

Go Watch Master of None.

I’ll admit, I started off kinda eh on the show. The first episode was good, but it didn’t have that zing that made me want to sit and mainline the entire series in one go.

Disappointing, ‘cause Aziz Ansari is smart and funny, and I had some high hopes, but…yeah. No biggie. There’s no shortage of stuff on Netflix.

Except, at this point, I’ve mainlined so much stuff on Netflix that the stuff that the obvious choices have basically been winnowed down to a handful of options. So, a little over twenty-four hours later, I fired up the second episode and…

Yeah. There it was. The zing.

Except it quickly moved beyond that.

It moved into the terrain I refer to as Holy Fuck.

Screw the zing – this show is so damn good it doesn’t need it. Master of None quietly goes about making big points without making a big deal about it, quietly slipping in incredibly smart jokes when you’re not paying attention.

In fact, it does the thing that smart comedy absolutely needs: it trusts you to get it.

When it develops big, meta jokes, it absolutely trusts you to get them and completely fails to give a shit if you don’t.

This is incredibly rare, when it comes to sit-coms. The last time I saw something like it was the very early seasons of How I Met Your Mother, before the show got popular enough that they had to explain every damn joke they made.

Also, the music is incredible. I was smitten with the show after the fourth episode, but the moment they rolled out things like the X-Ray Spec’s Oh Bondage, Up Yours over the end titles, I was theirs forever.

The show also reminded me of an important writing lesson I picked up from Anna Campbell during the Gold Coast Writers festival a few years back: some of the most important parts of any romance is when two characters start to laugh together.

Humour bonds us in ways that other emotions do not. The things that we find funny, the other people do not, have the potential to create incredible intimacy.

Master of None gets this. Azaz Ansari and Noel Wells are fricken’ adorable as Dav and Rachel, primarily because the show uses their shared sense of humour to establish a deep and obvious connection that will carry their relationship through the ten-episode season in the space of twenty-seven minutes.

And when the show pulls off it’s penultimate episode, depicting a year of their relationship and the trials associated, the slow erosion of that shared sense of humour is absolutely heartbreaking to watch.

I fucking love this show. It’s everything that I wanted it to be, when I heard Netflix had given Ansari a sitcom.

Go watch it.


Leave a Reply