By Stephen Showers, Features Writer
Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix original series “Master of None” is about an actor named Dev struggling with a wide variety of issues. But the show deals with more than Dev’s problems. Feminism and racism are both tackled in a way that is somewhat educational to the viewer. Some minor spoilers ahead.
Each of the ten episodes in the first season deal with a different problem in society. Episode 1: Plan B. While Dev is having sex with a woman the condom breaks and they decide to go get the “Plan B” pill from a pharmacy. Bam, first 10 minutes of the pilot and contraceptives are already there. In a world where contraceptives are a hotly debated topic it is rare that a series shows them so unsubtly.
In the second episode Dev and his friend Brian talk about their parents’ immigration to the United States. They later take their parents out to dinner to find out about the hardships they faced in their home countries, India and China, and the racism they encountered after coming to the United States. The topic of racism is especially interesting to see because of current events, most recently in Columbia, Missouri, across the nation. Flashbacks shown through the eyes of Dev and Brian’s fathers show just how much they had to endure to get to the “Land of Opportunity”. At one point in this episode Dev and Brian have tea with Dev’s father and his friend Dr. Ramusami. When Dr. Ramusami is talking to Dev about his acting career he comments, “At your age your father had barely stopped working at the zipper factory.” This is where Dev realizes that the reason he has a good life in America is because of the years of hard work his father endured in India. This episode brings light to the immigration story that can be found in most families today.
Episode 4’s description is “Dev has a series of eye-opening experiences after he encounters some casual racism in TV auditions.” Casual racism as in one of the people in charge of casting emails his coworkers, when asked if he likes Dev or another Indian actor better, “I don’t know. Let’s meet them both and see who can curry our favor hahaha.” The rest of the episode is about Dev confronting the person who sent the racist email and how that person can make it up to Dev. Racism is especially prevalent in the acting world.
Episode 7, “Ladies and Gentleman”, truly shows what women have to go through in a world filled with creepy dudes that do not understand the word “No”. The episode starts with a girl at a bar approached by a guy who opens with “I’m Derek and I just got us both a shot of tequila.” The girl, pretty sensibly, declines, which makes Derek upset, “Great so I just paid for these and now I have to throw them out?” After downing both shots Derek continues to pester the girl asking to hang out later, asking for her number, until she says that she has to catch up with her friends. When she’s leaving the bar he follows her home and starts banging on her door asking to go out for tacos and she has to call the police for assistance. Unsubtle is a perfect way to describe “Master of None”. It makes you truly realize the obstacles and dangers that minorities face, every day, and how they persevere and still succeed in that world.