Master of None: Indians on TV
November 10, 2015 5:44 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Dev has a series of eye-opening experiences after he encounters some casual racism in TV auditions
posted by The Gooch (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Opening montage was well done.
posted by the_querulous_night at 6:41 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wish this series were required viewing for anyone who wants to write desi characters and actually make them three-dimensional.
posted by mayurasana at 6:43 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hell, I wish this episode were required viewing for anyone who loves Russell Peters, or finds just "doing an accent", accent hilarious, without thinking about it what ideas about marginalized groups that reinforces.
posted by mayurasana at 6:44 PM on November 10, 2015

Oh and I totally forgot, Aziz wrote an article in the NYTimes today, which includes an interview with Fisher Stevens (of the Short Circuit 2 revelation).

What surprised me was how seriously Mr. Stevens dedicated himself to “becoming Indian.” He went full Method, studying with a dialect coach, reading R. K. Narayan’s “The Guide” and Hesse’s “Siddhartha.” “I started taking yoga and immersed myself, because I really wanted to be as real as possible,” he said. He even lived in India for a month before shooting “Short Circuit 2.”
posted by the_querulous_night at 7:13 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

On the one hand, the Fisher Stevens thing was insane. On the other hand, it was a darned good acting job by him and I only heard within the last few years that the guy wasn't Indian, so....

Interesting points made in this one.

Also, that Anoosh guy was hot. Wowza.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:04 PM on November 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

it was a darned good acting job by him and I only heard within the last few years that the guy wasn't Indian, so....

? so?
posted by sweetkid at 7:42 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

AV Club did a fantastic writeup of this episode:

Master Of None identifies Hollywood’s race problem and does something about it
posted by naju at 9:55 PM on November 11, 2015

Key quote: "And no one would classify Master Of None as an 'Indian show,' although I agree with Dev that the term doesn’t really make sense in any context and only reinforces the stark whiteness of Hollywood. Master Of None isn’t a show about race. It’s a show about Dev. Race does play a role in the show, but that’s because it plays a role in Dev’s life."
posted by naju at 10:00 PM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm glad AV Club has an Indian American writer on Master of None because she's bringing a nuance that I think other writers might find hard to find.

I don't think she's that great of a writer though - she is still young sure - but I feel like all of her comments are like "that part was weird."
posted by sweetkid at 10:26 AM on November 12, 2015

Did anyone else find it strange that Dev protests the idea of two Indian characters making it "an Indian show" in this episode, when, while auditioning for the zombie movie he says "is this a black zombie movie?" after hearing that Colin Salmon and Kerry Washington are attached?
posted by telegraph at 6:43 PM on November 12, 2015

I noticed that too, telegraph. Not sure how to reconcile it.
posted by naju at 6:57 PM on November 12, 2015

In the previous episode, Dev is complaining that Alice is a rude person who didn't respect that Dev is more than just a bubble in her phone (by taking his days to respond) he then decides to text Journalist, Headband, and that girl Sarah that he met at the Jane Hotel once with the idea that if more than one person responds, he'll tell the less desirable one(s) that the ticket got taken, which prompts Denise to point out that he's treating them like bubbles in his phone. I assumed that the juxtaposition of saying a show with multiple Indian characters doesn't have to be "an Indian show" but constantly referring to The Sickening as that "black virus movie" was intentional and part of the story told.

In "Parents", both Brian and Dev want to hear the immigration stories from their parents, but also don't want to hang out with their parents on the regs. I'd bet there are other moments like this.
posted by memento maury at 8:52 AM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

yeah he's inconsistent because he's a person.
posted by sweetkid at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

I love how they got the typography for the title of this episode to read "NO DNT" after that montage.
posted by Catblack at 10:12 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

This idea that the American public can't handle it is, i think a bunch of bullshit. I mean I'm not doubting that the execs think it's true and/or pedal it as its excuse but I just don't think it's true. Makes me really sad. The stuff we get is worse off. Loved Danielle Brooks, I love her in general.
posted by bleep at 9:00 PM on November 18, 2015

Wowsa, this one was a hard watch for me - a mid-30s ethnic Indian (former) actor. Some of those scenes had me literally (actually literally) rolling on the floor hyperventilating.

Also, I don't care how much Fisher Stevens dedicated himself to the role - fuck Short Circuit 2. That one hurt.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:51 AM on December 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

From the Short Circuit wikipedia page:
"Fisher Stevens said that when he was originally hired to play Ben Jabituya, the character was not intended to be Indian. Stevens was fired and replaced by Bronson Pinchot at one point, but then Pinchot left to do the sitcom Perfect Strangers, and Stevens was rehired. To portray the role he had to grow a beard, dye his hair black, darken his skin with makeup, turn his blue eyes brown with contact lenses, speak with an East Indian accent and "walk hunched over like a cricket player."

...mirrors this episode a bit, with Dev having the part, then losing it to another actor, then getting rehired but with the demand to do the accent. Also: Perfect Strangers. :)
posted by bigendian at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2017

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