Master of None is an American comedy series that premiered on Netflix in November, 2015. Created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, the series is about a 30-year-old man, Dev Shah, and his life struggles in the city of New York as an actor. The show title is inspired and taken from the figure of speech, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. The title itself is a suggestion from Aziz Ansari. Ansari has stated that it took him about a month to come up with a suitable title for the series. As often happens in this industry, both the creators of the show had not finalized upon a suitable title until they had finished producing the first season of the show.
The first season of Master of None consists of only 10 episodes, each with running time of 26 to 31 minutes. Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari are also the executive producers of the show along with Dave Becky, David Miner and Michael Schur. The production companies supporting the show are Alan Yang Pictures, Oh Brudder Production, Fremulon, Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment. The show is solely produced for broadcasting on Netflix.
The main protagonist of the show, Dev Shah, is portrayed by Aziz Ansari. Shah is a commercial actor, who attempts to make his way through life in the New York City. His best known work so far is a Go-Gurt Commercial. The role of Dev’s primary love interest, Rachel, is played by the American actress and comedian, Noel Wells. She works as a music publicist.
The show also introduces three friends of Dev Shah. Arnold Baumheiser, played by Eric Wareheim, is what Ansari describes as “token white friend” of Dev. The two of the share a common passion, which is food. Kelvin Yu plays the role of Dev’s another friend, Brian Cheng. He is an American, but his parents are Taiwanese immigrants. While the role of Arnold is based on the real-life friendship between Ansari and Eric. Also, the character of Brian is based on Alan Yang, who is Ansari’s great-looking friend in real-life. The last member of the Dev’s friends circle in New York City is Denise, portrayed by the actress, Lena Waithe. While Denise’s character was not originally represented as a lesbian, the show creators later decided to give the character Waithe’s real-life personality.
Other than these, there are many recurring roles such as Benjamin, Todd, Colin Salmon and Ansari’s real life parents, Fatima and Shoukath. Also, there have been guest appearances made by Noah Emmerich and Claire Danes as well.
The show has gained a good critical acclaim right from the beginning of the series. It was rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and scored 8.9/10 based, on the 53 views from the audiences. Moreover, it registered a score of 91/100 on Metacritic too. Many critics noted it as fresh, humorous and charming.
In 2015, the show won the American Film Institute Award under the category of Offline Selection – TV Programs of the Year. Further, it has also been nominated for Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, and NAACP Image Award in the year 2016, whose results are still pending.