Monday, December 14, 2015

Brown & White

I binge-watched the first season of Master of None (which recently earned a Golden Globes nomination) yesterday and i'll suggest that you too do the same. Ten episodes. Half an hour each. Written, directed and acted by Aziz Ansari—mostly. All the episodes are funny but not your falling-off-the-chair funny. For a change, the joke isn't on the people but it's on the society. Otherwise, what we generally witness is a group of people getting targeted for the sake of humour. Fortunately, this Netflix creation is thoughtful and much more real. Yes, certain patches are more restrained (than necessary) and nicer (than usual) but that's also where the novelty lies. The last American show that successfully managed to go this route was Modern Family. I also like the idea of an Indian American comedian wanting to do something different. Although it's quite disturbing to know that his character is named Dev Shah while his onscreen parents—who also happen to be his real parents—speak with a strong Tamil accent. Yes, one can argue that what if his character's forefathers migrated to Tamil Nadu from Gujarat but those who actually migrated from Saurashtra have surnames like Kalastri and Patnoori, not Shah. This anomaly in detail is ironic because Aziz finds white actors playing brown characters in Hollywood films improper. That said, some of his finest jokes happen so subtly in the show that if you don't pay attention, you are to be blamed. It's a good start and it'd be awesome if Master of None continues for some more years. Lastly, i won't be surprised if Aziz is asked to host the white-dominated Oscars in the not-so-distant future.

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