Comedian Aziz Ansari’s new show “Master of None,” which is now available online, is earning rave reviews from critics.
Ansari, who starred on “Parks and Recreation,” co-created and stars in the Netflix comedy, which centers on New York actor Dev, who struggles in work and with dating. Following the usual Netflix model, the 10-episode first season debuted all at once.
Ansari has also appeared in such films and TV shows as "Bob's Burgers," "This Is the End," and "30 Minutes or Less."
New York Times writer James Poniewozik called the show “the year’s best comedy straight out of the gate,” while Hank Stuever of The Washington Post found the show to be “refreshingly optimistic… fun” and Los Angeles Times writer Robert Lloyd called it “smart, sweet, and funny in ways both familiar and fresh.”
For Ansari, who was born in America to Indian parents, heading up a sitcom is another sign of more diversity coming to TV. The program is also being praised for the inclusion of actress Lena Waithe’s character, a black lesbian. The streaming service that airs “Master,” Netflix, has been lauded for the diversity of the casts of the service’s shows “Orange Is the New Black” and “Marco Polo.”
On broadcast TV, the 2014 TV season was notable for bringing various new shows to viewers that featured diverse casts. Programs like ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Cristela,” “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” and Fox’s “Empire” and “Red Band Society” all debuted then. Some didn’t make it to a second season, but many did.
Actress Viola Davis recently became the first African-American actress to win a Best Actress Emmy Award for her work on “Murder.” The ABC shows created or produced by Shonda Rhimes, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “Murder,” consistently feature diverse casts in terms of race and LGBT characters.
Meanwhile, actress Mindy Kaling was hailed as the first woman of color to create and star in a network show. Kaling’s program “The Mindy Project” was canceled by its network, Fox, but the show continues on Hulu.