Everyone’s gushing about “Master of None” right now, especially my Asian-American friends. People have praised it for its authentic portrayal of immigrant families, of racial representation in media, of casual sexism and the need for a feminist response to it, and of just being a confused millennial in an information-oversaturated world. People have called it a worthy followup to Louis CK’s “Louie” in its French New Wave-inspired cinematic style and realistically awkward, meandering dialogue.
I haven’t yet seen someone put their finger on the one unifying factor among all of these strong points that, to me, makes “Master of None” such a perfect piece of TV: Imperfection.
All of this “French New Wave” stuff–the extended takes, the long pans incorporating obstructions into the scene, the dialogue riddled with pauses and stutters and interruptions–just means that the show is shot and cut the same way the story is written, with an eye for the messiness and unpredictability of real life. “Master of None” is a show where things happen out of order, dangling plot threads stay unresolved, and no question is ever really definitively answered–and that’s what makes it such a breath of fresh air.