Emmy episode analysis: Aziz Ansari deals with parental sacrifice on ‘Master of None’

For his first Emmy nomination in the Best Comedy Actor category for playing Dev Shah on “Master of None,” Aziz Ansari has chosen “Parents” as his episode submission for voters. After playing Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation” for seven season, this is his first time as an Emmy nominee. However, it’s not his only chance to take home Emmy gold this year. He is also nominated for Best Comedy Series (as co-creator), Comedy Directing and Comedy Writing (both for “Parents”).

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The episode begins with Dev doing really well at an audition. He then meets with his father, Ramesh (Shoukath Ansari, Aziz’s real-life father), who asks Dev to fix his iPad. When Dev says he’ll do it later, we see a montage of his father’s life in India and his journey to America. While Dev is hanging with his friend Brian (Kevin Yu), he gets roped into having tea with his dad and one of his friends. While he’s there he learns that his father used to work at a zipper factory in India before he came to the states. Dev and Brian decide to take their parents out to a nice dinner to thank them for the sacrifices they made.

Dev gets a call back for his audition but the director can only see him read over a webcam. He proceeds to do his audition, complete with yelling and screaming, in the middle of the coffee shop. At the dinner Dev and Brian try to have their parents tell them interesting stories about their experiences coming to America, but the stories don’t turn out to be as interesting as they had hoped. The next day Dev gives gifts to both his parents, but his mother (Fatima Ansari) replies that all she wants is for him to call them once every week. Can Ansari direct himself to Emmy gold? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

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Ansari delivers a great performance in this episode when he finds himself reflecting on everything his parents did to ensure he had a better life. He also gets some really funny moments during his audition in the coffee shop.

The subject of immigration could not be timelier in our country and the social relevance of this topic could give Ansari an edge with voters.

Right at the beginning of the half-hour you see that Ansari wrote and directed the episode and created the series as well. This could also give Ansari a leg up in this race.

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There’s a good chance that voters might just see Ansari as playing himself and not take his performance as seriously. That kind of attitude has prevented Louis C.K. (“Louie”) from winning this category on several occasions.

Acting nominees who have also been nominated for writing and directing their shows tend not to win in these races, like C.K. and Lena Dunham (“Girls”). The writing category might be a safer bet for Ansari to score a win in like C.K. did in 2012 and 2014.

With no other nominations in the acting categories, the nomination itself might be the reward for Ansari.

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