Master of None: Parents
November 8, 2015 7:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

First-generationers Dev and Brian try to show their appreciation for their immigrant parents at a joint family dinner.
posted by The Gooch (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This one made me put down the tablet and pay my full attention. Honestly not a lot of shows have done that lately. I would've kept watching even if the first episode was "the show," but it would've been in the half-assed way I've watched and abandoned so many shows. The emergence of themes here, both in terms of content and overall structure, beautifully done. I like how the title card tells me exactly what the episode is about! I don't need to be gut-punched for 10 hours to puzzle out exactly what Louis CK is trying to tell me about the human condition.
posted by Lorin at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

I really like how this show further examines stuff from Aziz Ansari's specials. In particular, the show picks up stuff from his Madison Square special in really touching ways. The show theoretically skews younger than me but I still love it due to the touching nature he hits on topics.

I also really love that the show takes the time to focus on supporting cast without jamming every single cast member in every episode.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:49 AM on November 8, 2015

Aziz discusses his real life parents playing his parents on the show. I loved this episode so much. I've given up on the other "struggling creatives living in New York" shows (Girls, Louis), because I can't stand the characters. But Master of None does an amazing job making everyone likable but still believably human.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:34 PM on November 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

Gah, this episode gave me a small identity crisis. If I think about it too much, I'll cry. I'm very glad there is a television episode that centered on the gap between immigrant parents and their adult children.
posted by zix at 2:51 PM on November 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

I thought this was sweet and hilarious. I don't have immigrant parents but this episode did a really great job handling the storylines. Also, many of our parents probably deserve more appreciation than they get.
posted by Glinn at 4:05 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed the first episode but thought the material it covered was somewhat well-trodden. It was this episode that really opened my eyes to how ambitious and original this show was going to be. The dinner scene with the two families at the Chinese restaurant was incredibly moving while not being at all saccharine, a very tough feat. Just an absolutely wonderful half hour of TV. Easily my favorite episode of the 10.
posted by The Gooch at 4:38 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I agree, it was fantastic. For some reason even the awkwardness in his parents' delivery of some lines felt perfectly charming and authentic. When I read afterward that they were his parents in real life it made so much sense. I'm probably older than the target audience for the show but so much of it resonates.
posted by Cuke at 7:27 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

The cold open is eight minutes -- one-third of the show's running time. That's how important the fathers' backstories were to the story, even though the fathers themselves refused to discuss them.
posted by maxsparber at 5:18 AM on November 9, 2015 [9 favorites]

This is the episode that made me keep watching.
The humanity of this makes it stand out from most other fare these days.
At this point in watching the show, I was still half-cringing; fearing it would slide into stereotyping and it didn't. I too am a bit too old to be in this show's target demographic, (and too middle American, maybe?) but holy fuck wouldn't I love another 30 episodes of this to watch over the next three days!
The self-awareness coupled with sympathetic characters and a great eye towards what is (read: I find) deeply funny . . . gah.
The parent's stories made the episode.

Also, this show could easily be written with each episode standing alone, but there are arcs and small things from one show will show up in another, There is a continuity that makes this feel more like you are watching someone's life than an episodic tv show.
posted by Seamus at 7:24 AM on November 9, 2015

I popped in only to say that I called my father after watching the episode. First time in 4 years.
posted by Johnny Hazard at 1:16 PM on November 9, 2015 [17 favorites]

I don't think I'd ever before seen a portrayal of parents like my parents and a relationship between a first-generation kid and immigrant parents that resonated with me like this did. That alone was stellar.

But, the walk-and-talks, use and execution of the flashbacks, the fact that Aziz's dad was denied the steak dinner, the bonding between parents (who was Brian Donkers???), Dev buying his dad the guitar his dad never would and having it go unused -- all of this just added to the stellar-ness of the episode.

And then the lines:
Brian: "I'm gonna go hang out in the park and look at NBA trade rumors on my phone."
Dev: "Come on, dude. Be a bud."
Brian: "Fine, but you you have to hang out with me at the networking mixer for Asian-American business professionals that my cousin James is hosting next weekend."

"Peter Chang: 'Dev, don't worry. Wendy the bully won't be there.'"

I should stop there. I was ready to like this series well enough and give it a shot, but expectations were blown away by the execution and content of the episodes, this one in particular. It wasn't perfect, but everything was in its place.
posted by memento maury at 6:36 PM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yes, this was so good. Wow! I came for the comedy, sticking around for the feels. Can't wait to keep watching the rest. Don't have much to add except to remark how poignant this episode manages to be, even though the "message" (for lack of a better word) is so transparently set forth. Whoa.
posted by Zephyrial at 7:33 PM on November 9, 2015

The scene in the cafeteria with the parents not going to the steak dinner
I just can't
The only thing that made me cry with recognition with what life must have been like when my parents came here from India was the part in The Namesake (well, all of the Namesake but especially) the part where the wife comes and is bored and trying on his shoes.
posted by sweetkid at 8:18 PM on November 9, 2015 [7 favorites]

It must have been really painful. It's hard to even think about that happening to your parents, let alone write a scene about it, direct them in it, edit it...

I had to stop a few times just while writing this comment.
posted by sweetkid at 8:21 PM on November 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love his parents SO MUCH. I think I noticed it was actually his parents playing his parents in the second ep they appeared in. I was familiar with the story about his mom sitting in the apartment crying because that's in one of his specials (not sure if that's in Live at Madison Square or which one.) I thought it was so sweet that his mom just wanted a picture. Such a mom thing. His dad not liking the guitar cracked me up too because payback.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:55 PM on November 9, 2015

posted by growabrain at 11:11 PM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

That scene when he finally agrees to fix the calendar on his dad's iPad and the first thing he types in is Weekly Call with Dev...
posted by cottoncandybeard at 10:30 AM on November 10, 2015 [11 favorites]

I'm enjoying Netflix series a lot more than I thought I would. This episode was sweet-natured without being sappy. Particularly liked the Taiwanese chicken story. Looking forward to more.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2015

That eight minute cold open was amazing, to break the convention of a ~30sec opening joke in the second episode was such a bold move, and then to do it with an incredible montage of both parents' pasts.

I kept thinking about how awesome that intro was and I finally realized they made a live action version of the Ratatouille flashback sequence where the restaurant critic gets jetted back to his youth and all its memories. That was done in animation, where anything is possible, but Master of None replicated that wonderful experience with a montage in a really amazing way.
posted by mathowie at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I never, ever imagined I'd see a TV show tackle this topic that is so important in my own life, and in such a wonderful way. I was breathless.
posted by naju at 2:31 PM on November 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

This was beautiful, thoughtful and difficult to watch. I have at times asked my parents about their experiences in immigrating from India, and they'll tell me a few, selective stories. Like Aziz's parents in the show, they'll tell me their stories without pain in their eyes. It just is what it is. They had to move on in order to persevere.

Some of their stories are heartbreaking to hear, which they wouldn't want me to feel; and I suspect that is why they limit their stories to certain topics. They also try to share their more amusing stories of cross cultural experiences, a few of which even I share.

Being first generation Canadian, I have my stories too, and I can't believe I'm seeing a character I can relate to in a TV show.

It was also great to see that Aziz's character has a diverse circle of friends! People on TV who have friends like my friends? Amazing.

Also, can we stop for a moment and applaud that there's actually Tamil being spoken on American TV? Tamil, a language from southern India and Sri Lanka. Most North Americans are only familiar with north Indian culture and north Indian languages by way of bhangra, Bollywood (which is also dominated by light skinned north Indians), that many Indian restaurants in North America are Punjabi style, stereotypical ideas of what Indian weddings are like, etc.

I already finished watching the series and it's one of the best shows I've ever seen.
posted by mayurasana at 5:13 PM on November 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

This show is so damn good. I finished it over the weekend. There are so many stand out episodes. This one opens so strong with those flash backs.
posted by chunking express at 7:43 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

This was pretty sweet and adorable. Especially the end with Dev's dad's support and Dev's dad on the iPad acting like a teenager. Especially "I like Brian." Especially the running gag of dad liking Chinese and mom not. And the flashbacks. And the sons deciding to want to get to know their parents.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:40 PM on November 11, 2015

The response to the Parents episode
posted by growabrain at 9:48 AM on November 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

I finished this episode last night (oh hai first generation feels) and was poking around Facebook before bed. One of my friends posted one of those light conversation memes: "The last show you watched is your life for the next six weeks. What is it?"

I said, "Master of just my regular life then, that's cool." If I think about it, I'm not sure I would have been able to say that about a show before.

Aziz's dad makes me laugh. One of my older Desi "uncles", Pratap, came to the US earlier than most, so with comparatively little local support once he got here, and with very little English. He learned how to speak English from John Wayne movies. So whenever you talked to him, he'd say something like, "IBM has a better track record for industrial software. There's just no comparison, maaaaan, shiiiiiiiiit." If you've never heard a Gujarati suddenly drop into a deep Texas drawl, I highly, highly recommend it.
posted by Errant at 10:11 AM on November 13, 2015 [13 favorites]

I loved this episode so much!
I'm Irish living in Ireland, so have no immigrant experience to compare with, but still, so many feels in this episode. Loved the relationship between the parents and the children. This episode seemed so different in tone from the first, but still very funny and excellent.
posted by Fence at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2015

Oh, this was TOO REAL. I was laughing and tearing up, and instantly did some Good Daughter stuff I had put off. I can't even express how important it is to me to see my experience reflected on a show like this.
posted by yasaman at 6:46 PM on November 21, 2015

Dev buying his dad the guitar his dad never would and having it go unused -- all of this just added to the stellar-ness of the episode.

I had this exact experience with my own (Indian immigrant) father, except it was a fancy chromatic harmonica. He could play it, he just...didn't.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:13 PM on December 17, 2015

« Older Adventure Time: Heat Signature...   |  Ash vs Evil Dead: Bait... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments