Four Lessons I Learned from Master of None

 

As an introvert who’d rather snack and lounge at home than go out to a bar or club, it’s safe to say Netflix is a very close and dear friend of mine. You’re looking at a girl who will simultaneously quote characters from Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office in the same conversation. Although I’m still not an expert at binge watching (three episodes in a row is way too much for me... I’m weak), I can say that I’ve seen a lot of television shows in my day.

That being said, I can wholeheartedly declare that Master of None, the recently Emmy award-winning comedy series, has moved me, inspired me and changed me for the better. Never have I laughed, teared up, or thought, “Why is this insanely relevant?!” so frequently while watching a television show. In all of my years of television consumption, Master of None really hits home on a multitude of levels.

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On Growing Up

Now that I’m in my early 20s, my friends are starting to get dogs. As much as I want a dog, I wonder if I have the time and energy to put up with its shit (literally and figuratively… but mostly literally because dogs are amazing). In the episode “Plan B,” Dev delves into the question that many people in their late 20s and early 30s ask themselves: “Should I have kids?” Although owning a dog and giving birth to a living being that has half of your genetic makeup are separate entities, the commonalities between both are that your freedom and time are encroached.

For me, a huge milestone of growing up is being able to take care and to provide for someone besides yourself. Like Dev, I weigh the pros and cons of a life changing decision often. There’s no doubt that being a parent comes with its challenges and rewards, but I’m still young and I’ll figure it out when the time is right. Until I get to a part of my life where I’m financially stable and have a set routine, I’ll continue enjoying my guilt-free, indulgent pasta nights.

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On Microaggressions

As a WoC (woman of color), microaggressions are unfortunately prevalent in my life. Growing up, I tried to not be so sensitive and reminded myself to let these “jokes” or comments slide; deep down, I always suffered in silence. However, I came to realize that if someone makes crass comments about your ethnicity or your gender, why NOT call them out?

In the episode “Indians on TV,” Dev calls out a casting director who made a distasteful curry pun in a professional email. And in season two, Dev shares his discomfort towards his dream girl for making yet another not cute comment regarding him and curry. Even though Dev could have let those moments slide, he chose to speak up and talk about it openly. After seeing these scenes, I was even more comforted that I’m not being overly sensitive and that I should always speak up if people say something subtly or horrifically racist.

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On Dating and Romance

In our modern day and age, romance and dating can be tough waters to sail through. Throw in some mishaps from Tinder, being ghosted via text, lackluster first dates and you’ve got the recipe for a typical millennial’s love life. For those of the lucky ones who’ve found someone special, there’s a whole set of ups and downs that come along with a long term relationship. Wherever you are in your romantic life, Master of None most likely has an episode for you to relate and to resonate with.

Based off of what I’ve seen from TV shows and stories from my friends, dating seems like a tiring process. Throughout both seasons, Dev takes several women out on dates and realizes that most of them are, sadly, not on his wavelength. Despite having a handful of failed dates, he has special moments with a select few. Patience, positivity, and pursuing your passions are key to eventually meeting that special person. I could not wipe the dreamy grin off my face during hopelessly romantic scenes like Dev and Rachel’s first date in “Nashville” or Francesca’s overexcitement about miniature products in a pharmacy store in “Amarsi un Po.” Those particular scenes reminded me of the excitement you get when you’re on the same page with someone and are slowly but surely starting to fall for their quirks that make them uniquely them.

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In contrast, “Mornings” and “Buona Notte” kept the hopeless romantic in me grounded. Once you peel away the adorable midnight pajama parties and thoughtful gifts, you start to think about the future and whether the relationship will last in the long run. Without flooding my keyboard with tears, all I can say is that people change, feelings change, and so do circumstances. Enjoy what you can and learn from it. Regardless of if you’re single, happily taken, or somewhere in between, use your phone less, share your feelings more, and always let others know how much you appreciate them.

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On Family

Many of my friends and I have discussed and laughed about how relevant the episode “Parents” is to our lives. As a daughter of two parents who immigrated to the States, this episode tugged insanely at my heartstrings. I’ve never seen an episode resonate with my family life and upbringing. It’s like someone put a mirror on my laptop and showed me how I act towards my parents through an outsider’s perspective.

“Parents” made me unbelievably teary-eyed and I’ve definitely been more verbal about my appreciation and my love towards my parents after watching it. Without spoiling too much, I realized to be more patient and more present when I’m with my family. In the past, I would make a sassy comment or exasperatedly sigh when my parents asked me how to save a Word document or message someone on Facebook. These days, I am more than willing to be their personal Google because, well, they’re still figuring out how to use it.

 

Writing this article about Master of None further solidifies my love and my appreciation for the show. Alerting the masses through various social media to sit down and binge this show wasn’t enough apparently. I could go on and on about certain scenes from each episode. There’s how poignant Denise’s coming out story is in “Thanksgiving” or how food plays a bigger role in this show than most Western television shows, but there are only so many hours in a day. It’s the type of television show that’ll stick with me and definitely inspire future generations of foodies, hopeless romantics, and people navigating their way through adulthood. Congratulations to Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang and everyone else who worked on Master of None for winning a few Emmys and for, more importantly, giving people of color the spotlight and letting us shine in an exceptional manner.


Aleesa is a nap enthusiast and avid tea drinker. She spends a lot of time daydreaming about traveling, laughing at nonsensical memes, and getting overly excited when a dog looks her way.