Contrary to its title, Aziz Ansari’s character Dev Shah seemingly is the master of many things – witty one-liners, enough conversational Italian to get by on a brief stint in Italy, artistic pasta-making, and SMILING.
After two glorious seasons (and hopefully many, many more to come), here are ten things we’ve learned from Master of None.
1. A cute and helpful pickup line is the best kind of pickup line.
In season 2, Dev reveals he messages every girl on his dating apps, “Going to Whole Foods, want me to pick you up anything?” Genius. Who wouldn’t fall for that? Okay, maybe a few people. But, if you live in New York City, NO ONE WANTS TO WAIT IN THAT CHECKOUT LINE – even the “express” one!
So, this would definitely warrant a response from me, probably along the lines of “Hey, sure – soy milk, cereal, and all the avocados you can carry pretty please. And, ARE YOU FREE FOR DRINKS TOMORROW NIGHT?”
2. Chivalry isn’t dead (and there’s never a wrong time for apple juice).
Even in the most awkward of situations, like the infamous Plan B scene in season 1, Dev demonstrates that anytime is the perfect time to be a perfect gentleman… and also that Martinelli’s apple juice might be the cure to make an awkward situation infinitely less awkward. Shout out to Martinelli’s.
3. There’s always time to learn about our parents and strengthen our relationship with them.
In season 1, Dev and his friend Brian pretty much do everything they can to get out of spending time with their parents or helping them out – whether it’s fixing their iPads or running to the store to pick something up.
But, during the episode “Parents,” after Dev learns how his father had to work in a zipper factory before coming to America, Dev says to Brian, “It’s pretty crazy – all of us first generation kids, we have these amazing lives, and it’s all because our parents made these crazy sacrifices. And, we never thank them.”
Then, Dev proposes taking their parents out to a nice dinner to learn more about their lives as immigrants and show their appreciation. Nicely done, men. Nicely done.
4. It’s never too late to start over, and it’s okay if you don’t know what’s next.
At the end of season 1, Dev gets on a plane from New York City to Italy. Then, season 2 starts with Dev in Modena, Italy as an apprentice pasta maker. He’s hand-making beautiful fresh pasta and has a hilarious Italian kid following him around. Episode 1 and 2 are filled with mouth-watering dishes and beautiful scenery, and show it’s possible you can escape for a while, make wonderful friends in exciting new places, and experience just the right amount of “la dolce vita.”
After Dev’s apprenticeship is up, he’s not really sure where his life is headed next, but he seems calm and renewed, which was exactly the point of his whole journey to begin with.
5. Date someone who can be up for an adventure.
Do something crazy, even if it’s for a first date! Life is too short to be boring. And, sure, it is a TV show, and the Nashville date where Dev and Rachel agree to hang out for the first time at a location that requires AIR TRAVEL could have gone horribly wrong.
However, this bold move in season 1 validates the need for more creativity that is sometimes lacking in the modern dating world. It also inspires viewers to take a chance and live a little if you think someone could have the potential to be a great match for you.
6. Be there for your bestie, always.
In season 2, Dev’s pal Arnold has to go to the wedding of his long-term ex in Italy. Arnold has withheld most of the details of the intensity of the relationship he had with her. However, when he comes clean, Dev is right there alongside Arnold at the event, as painful and hilarious as Arnold’s reactions are throughout the ceremony.
It shows that time can sometimes heal our hearts, but we still leave room for people who’ve had an impact on our lives. And, when we have to go through something that might bring up those old feelings, it’s always helpful to have our partner-in-crime by our side.
7. If you’re gonna get stuck, have an emergency exit.
We’re still cracking up about this one, especially after hearing that it ACTUALLY happened to Aziz while he wasn’t filming, just driving around the streets of Sicily. Then, it was eventually written into season 2.
Most importantly there’s nothing wrong with taking a chance (and cutting it close) if you think things will be okay – just make sure you have a back up plan in case.
8. When conversation runs dry, just talk about water.
Flat, sparkling, ice cubes, your temperature preferences, etc. In season 2, Dev, who is usually not one to run out of conversation topics during small talk, finds himself at a loss for words when on a second date with Priya. When he orders flat water and she orders sparkling, he goes off on a tangent about it as she smiles awkwardly. Just remember, you can always bounce back.
9. If you want to woo your crush, make sure John Legend’s there.
In season 2, Dev attends a fancy dinner party in New York City with his Italian friend Francesca. Chef Jeff’s friend, who happens to be John Legend, serenades the evening’s guests and Francesca is in awe. She gushes at the end of the night to Dev about how much fun she had. He is certainly becoming smitten with her at this point, and the ambiance of the evening has her enamored as well.
John Legend #FTW.
10. NYC’s doormen and cab drivers might have some of the most under-appreciated jobs ever.
In season 2, “New York, I Love You” is a beautiful ode to the lives of every day, hardworking New Yorkers that TV often doesn’t focus on. It might also be one of the most touching episodes yet.
We come away from it hopefully with the message that we can all be more gracious to everyone we encounter in this melting pot, but especially to the kind people who hold our doors and also to those who fearlessly navigate the concrete jungle.
Oh, and also, cab drivers might be a little angry we keep ruining the ends of movies for them. This is evident after one driver says “I hate when this happens. Cab drivers watch movies, too!”
Keep the laughs and the lessons coming, Master of None.