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A Love Song for Masters Of None

in television

Master of None is a delightfully entertaining web series that is currently on Netflix. Created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, the show is a clever mix of humor and drama. Aziz’s trademarks are sprinkled throughout the series with his hilarious observations and social commentaries. The show follows his character, Dev, as he goes through the motions of life and tries to figure out what he wants from work, love and the world.

One of the elements that pleasantly surprised most viewers is the music in the show. Zach Cowie, the show’s music supervisor has done a beautiful job of carefully selecting songs that truly capture the thoughtful and humorous tone of the show. It’s almost like each episode has its own playlist. In fact, the music in the show is so memorable, many listeners made “Master of None” playlists on Spotify.

First of all, Master of None has lots of French music from the ’70s and ’80s. There is just something about retro French music that always adds something whimsical yet meaningful to film and television — especially when there is a sub-plot about relationships or romance.

“Thibault Et L’arbre D’or” is one song in particular that stands out. From Emmanuelle Parrenin’s 1977 album “Maison Rose”, this song just simply pulls at the heart strings. It also sets the mood for the series. It’s quirky, subtle, charming and — like the show itself — very smart.

There are also some especially fun elements in Master of None that are mirrored by the music. Lots of post-punk music such as the song “Cool” by the ’80s band, Pylon. It’s this type of music in the show that adds some spirit to party scenes or silly sex scenes. Cowie chooses music that makes the audience go “Who is this?” He actually chooses a lot of music that are singles from old 45 records. Some songs can’t even be found on iTunes!

Listening to the music in this show is like hanging out in a really cool, eclectic record store — not the record section at Urban Outfitters (no offense, UO). But like a legitimate record shop, filled with treasures and obscure, hard to find gems; owned by someone who loves it all and plays records based on the mood of the day…not what is topping the charts.

The music in Master of None ranges from more well-known music acts such as Lou Reed and Beach House, to B-sides like “Cheating” by Animals, and all the way to Indian disco tunes.

Somehow, this show has an overall late ’70s vibe, from the music to the cover design to the font in the credits. In a way, this retro atmosphere appeals to many of the 30-something people watching this show. Maybe this wasn’t exactly Ansari and Yang’s intention, but it definitely speaks to a small group that falls between known generations. Not quite Gen Xers, but also not quite millennials; a group that was born in the late ’70s early ’80s who don’t quite know where they fit into the world.

Master of None is a wonderful little niche that celebrates this generation through its relatable storyline and very sympathetic, nostalgic music choices.

Season two of Master of None is expected to be released in 2017. You can (and should!) stream season one on Netflix.

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