Television Truths

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Master of None is an American online TV series in the style of a comedy-drama. The show fits into something so unique, particularly with the brilliance accorded to its construction. Each episode of the Master of None has not only a subject, but also a thesis statement, which corresponds to an assertion that is directly attacked with high precision. Season One has ten episodes where ‘Parents’ is the second episode. The episode begins with Dev doing well at the audition, after which he meets Ramesh, his boss, who asks him to repair his IPad. The film then introduces a montage of Dev’s father in India along with his journey to America. Dave gets roped into taking tea with his father and one of his friends while he was hanging with Brian; a friend. It is at this time that he learns that, before coming to America, his Dad used to work at an Indian Zipper factory. Both Brain and Dave decide to thank their parents for the sacrifices they made by taking them to a dinner. Towards the end of the episode, Dev showers his parents with gifts only for his mother to request him that all she wanted was for Dev to call them once every week. The ‘Parents’ episode features the gulf between the first generation parents and their second-generation children. The episode illustrates how the two will never come to understand everything concerning each other. The episode seems to be conclusive that there does not exist ay perfect cultural bridge to enhance full comprehension of what their parents gave up and it is on this note that the second generation children could wander through Brooklyn, texting about ramen. Their main point is to keep on trying for the reasons that they love each other. In its portrayal of the immigrant stories, ‘Parents’ in Master of None is both sweeping and personal.

‘Parents’ is particularly brutally honest regarding the hardships that the parents of Dev and Brian faced. Dev’s mother bluntly tells his son that on her first day in America, she sat on the couch and cried profusely. This was a response to Dev when he early asked her mother was her first day in America was like. While walking through the streets of New York with Brian, Dev muses, “isn’t that the gist of every immigrant story? It was hard” (Netflix. Master of None). Whereas it is easy for both Brian and Dev to generalize the experiences of their own parents, neither of them bothered to ask until now. Fuligni (2006), clarifies that a majority of these children only become aware of the motivation behind their parents migrating to the United States at their adolescent stages (1). This is just the case with Brian and Dev. They only learn more stories about the struggles of their parents when they take them to dinner as a show of gratitude. These stories gave more nuance and depth to the experiences that their parents went through other than just being hard. These struggles motivate Dev to perform well in the auditions. The reason behind Dev’s performance is that he developed a strong sense of obligation and motivation from his parent’s struggles as immigrants (Fuligni 1). Similar views are shared by statistics which show that about 83 percent of top high school science students in America hail from the Immigrant population (Anderson 1). In other words, 33 students out of the 40 who emerged as front-runners of the 2016’s Intel Talent Search were sons and daughters of the America’s immigrants (Anderson 1). The series deals with both broader and specifics strokes. We find that Brain’s dad and Dev’s mom bond over their shared fear of answering a phone call during their first immigration to America. However, the ‘Parents’ episode also gets at the supposition that there does not exist any monolithic experience concerning immigrants making the inclusion of the narrative of Brian’s family so critical or rather essential to the episode. In spite of their being common themes to the stories of both Dev’s and Brian’s father, they still stand out as their own.

The episode also unpacks the larger ideas, particularly the theme of difference and disconnect all within the scope of these very specific and personal, people and stories. Although Ansari has touched all these themes on his stand-up, he has been able to get more perspectives in there and delve deeper into emotions with the show. Parenting comes with many challenges and changes. The episode is very forthright concerning the schisms between parents and their second-generation immigrants without necessarily being equivocally depressing about it. Both Brian and Dev begin the episode by blowing off meek requests from their dads so as to catch the new X-Men movie. In point of fact, even more trivially than that, the two are worried about missing the trivia and trailers questions which play before the movie. Their dads fail to tell them that they are being selfish little brats directly. The ‘Parents’ episode bring to attention the audience, giving both fathers flashbacks that dating back to their upbringings in Taiwan and India in addition to their initials decisions to migrate to America, that instead of telling their sons, they actually came to America so that they could be able to provide them with guitars, computers, and luxury of fun. Similar sentiments are shared by Fuligni (2006), where he states that one of reasons emerging top behind immigrants moving into America is the desire to offer better economic opportunities and education to children and relatives (1). Fuligni (2006), goes on to affirm the sentiment by arguing that all the immigrants share this sentiment in one voice regardless of their country of origin, financial standing, and educational level (1). It is clear that the episode ‘Parents’ critically roots these experiences in the two father’s points of view, which quite literally shows it through their eyes. The same differences are spread across races. A case in point is when Brian’s parents rejected a table at the restaurant for simple reasons that they could not speak English. Miller (2015), alludes these differences the ever-rising social class differences particularly in child rearing (1). Miller (2015), argues that the life of kids from the poor and wealthy American families differ to a larger extent than they were some decades ago (1). We not only get to know how Brian and Dev see their parents but also get to see the perception of their parents on them. It is the insertion of those two divergent perspectives that ‘Parents’ feels so piercing and complete.

The Episode ‘Parents’ does not make any effort to solve the problems mentioned earlier. Typically, the episodes in the Master if None introduces a conflict and towards the end try to solve it. However, in this ‘Parents’ episode, the authors treated the conflict exactly as they should have done. In other words, they treat the conflict as something which does not have any solution in reality. It is crystal clear that Brian and Dev will at all the times, even in future, have this distance with their cultures and parents. This distance comes with the identity of being a second-generation immigrant; a phenomenon that the two will over the time or rather progressively have to sail across. In spite of Brian and Dev becoming more aware of the sacrifices made by their parents and also of their privilege, the situation does not, in reality, make changes to anything in any major way. Even with Dev setting up weekly calls with his parents, giving both parents gifts besides agreeing to provide them with some iPad assistance, the moments do not converge their differences and distance but rather comes up as light moments and as a show of growth. They do not serve in any way as an effort or attempt to say that everything is dandy and fine now. After Dev fails to get the part in the ‘black virus movie’ he is up for, the phone call between Dev and his father tells more than the gifts scene. His dad’s support and love come through, and even if the divide still exists, there is understanding there. The moment is a touching; one that is very representative of the whole series’, Master of None, overall voice. Despite the show’s achievement in not sugarcoating the ideologies, the episode is hardly cynical either. Otherwise stated, the show cynically upholds the cultural norms regarding Immigrants as a social issue today.

In summary, the episode ‘Parent’ in the Master of None is both sweeping and personal, particularly in the manner in which it presents the immigrant’s stories. The episode blatantly showcases the gulf existing between the first generation parents and their second-generation offspring. The ‘Parents’ episode lays bare the hardships that the parents of both Dev and Brian faced in their efforts to seek better educational and social statuses for their children. Dev is surprised to realize how difficult it was to the extent that her mother shed tears on her first day as an immigrant in America. The immigrants are bonded by sharing similar fates. Secondly, the episode unpacks or rather demonstrates the larger ideologies especially the difference and disconnect that existed amongst specific people and personal stories. The ‘Parents’ episode is outright and straight to the point regarding these schisms. Through the episode, we are informed of how Brian and Dev see their parents and vice vasa. Finally, the ‘Parents’ episode fails to solve these societal problems. Instead, the episode skeptically upholds the cultural norms concerning the societal issue faced by the immigrants as presented in the community today. This is the main issue that the director of the show, Ansari wants to communicate to the audience through the ‘Parents’ episode.

Works Cited

Anderson, Stuart. “”Leadership.”” 83% Of America’s Top High School Science Students Are The Children Of Immigrants. N.p., 11 Mar. 2017. Web. .

Fuligni, Andrew J. “”Family Obligation Among Children in Immigrant Families.”” N.p., 1 July 2006. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.

Miller, Claire C. “”Class Differences in Child-Rearing Are on the Rise – The New York Times.”” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.

Netflix. “”Master of None | Parents [HD] | Netflix.”” YouTube. N.p., 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.

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