Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang's "Master of None" premiered one week ago on Netflix, and it's already a hit. In my totally biased opinion, if you haven't watched it yet, you should. There are only 10 episodes and each is around 30 minutes long, so it's pretty much the quickest TV show to binge-watch ever.
Ansari, who plays the starring role of Dev Shah, and Yang took to Reddit Thursday (Nov. 12) to unveil official episode-by-episode discussions and answer questions about the show in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread. Here's what they revealed:
Dev's parents' accents are 100% real.
"When she [my mom] goes 'STOP THAT!' that's exactly how she yells at my dad IRL," Ansari explained. "And when she told me that 'sat on the couch and cried' story in real life, it was in that exact same deadpan tone."
(BTW, Ansari's real-life parents Shoukath and Fatima play the roles of Dev's parents, Ramesh and Nisha.)
Dev's dad not getting invited to the steak dinner for new doctors is a true story.
"This really happened to my dad, they told him to eat in the cafeteria," Ansari wrote.
One of the show's writers really did take a girl to a different city on a first date.
And that's how the episode "Nashville" came to be!
Busta Rhymes totally improvised *that* line about shrimp.Master of None
"Busta was incredible ... We started to get nervous he wouldn't show up, because he's a famous rapper with other stuff to do. But he showed up right then," Yang wrote. "I tried to give him his sides for the day (little copies of the script that he can refer to), but he told me he didn't need them, that he knew all his lines. And he did. He was totally off book. Also, he improvised the line 'Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go f--k with some of those shrimp.' Which is one of my favorite lines in the show."
Dev may be a rising actor, but he's not broke.
According to Ansari, "We agreed Dev should have decent money from his commercials (Gogurt, Wendy's voiceover, Garden Depot), and national commercials actually pay a decent amount ... We mainly did this to differentiate from the other New York shows where characters are younger and not doing as well work wise. Also Dev is in a cheaper neighborhood and our production designer Amy Williams was very conscious about the stuff she bought for Dev."
Dev's dates were cast without regard to race.
Dev's main love interest throughout the season is Rachel (Noel Wells), but "we didn't set out to cast someone white and auditioned people of all ethnic backgrounds," Ansari clarified.
"[We] wanted to cast the person I seemed to have the best chemistry with to sell this huge relationship arc," he continued. "In the end, Noel blew us away. And, for the writing, I'm pulling a lot from my own real current relationship, which is with a 'white' person ... For the others, there was Claire Danes, who is a friend and a f--king legend in my book, so we were psyched to collaborate. And Nina Ariande just killed us with her Cartman impression ...
Bottom line -- if we did a hundred episodes, we definitely wouldn't have Dev date a hundred white women a la Jerry Seinfeld."
The whole "white parents being nicer" thing really happened.
Yang at some point really did have a white girlfriend whose mom hugged him more times in one dinner than his family had in his entire lifetime. #truestory
Someone seriously thought the show was called "Master of Naan."
"Someone told me they heard us talking about the show on NPR and legit thought that was the title," Ansari revealed.
The series is dedicated to Harris Wittels.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images for AFI
Wittels, a talented writer for "Master of None," "Parks and Recreation" and more, sadly passed away in February of this year.
"I think about him a lot and I miss him every day," Yang, pictured above with Wittels, wrote. "He was one of my good friends and I wish he were here to see all of these people enjoying what he helped make."
"The week we got all the insane reviews and the weekend when everyone just destroyed every episode and wrote how much they loved it -- I must have went from being really happy to crying that Harris wasn't around to see it about a thousand times," Ansari added. Earlier this year, he wrote a touching tribute to Wittels on his website.
Ansari and Yang love that "Master of None" was released all at once.
"One thing I thought was especially cool about our show being released all at once was that people could watch a few episodes and see how different they all were," Yang wrote. "We saw each episode as its own little movie with its own theme. And because each episode touches on a different subject matter, people have a lot of different opinions on which one is their favorite. If your parents are immigrants, you might like 'Parents,' if you're close with your grandma, you might like 'Old People,' and if you're a mildly racist television executive, you might like 'Indians on TV,' because there you are on screen!"
And they're already working on season 2!
Netflix hasn't officially confirmed the show's continuation (yet!), but "But Alan and I [Ansari], like true Asians, have started an insane chain of ideas already. The show came out less than a week ago. We really have been inspired by the massive reaction to the show."