Master of None is a comedy-drama exploring the daily life and problems of a 30 year old Indian who wants to be an aspiring actor in the city. Filled with several cultural and racial problems, cultural criticism is abundant throughout the episode, main examples being the intro scene showing multiple Indian TV stereotypes, the characters throughout the show; racist old lady and angry black women and culture within western society.
Cultural criticism lens analyzes western culture and demonstrates the importance of equal opportunity in western societies. In the very beginning the show starts off by showing a brief montage of clips from movies and TV shows, from white people imitating Indian culture to Indian kings eating “Chilled monkey brains”, the clips show decades of racial tensions present in the world. The clips are shown so the audience can get a brief point of view to what the theme of the show will be based upon and to see how the main characters deal with the problem of prejudice and stereotypes. Short Circuit, one of the clips shown was an abundant theme throughout the show, as the audience finds out that the Indian actor was really Fisher Stevens wearing “Brown face makeup”.
Demonstrating that western society would rather play a fake Indian actor than an actual Indian, mainly due to Hollywood not being comfortable in casting real Indians and other minority groups, it also demonstrates how powerful media is in changing the way people think about themselves. Several characters throughout the show embody the literary lens of cultural criticism, primarily the old racist white women and the black women. The old white women stereotyped against the main character Dev as he was going for an interview for a cab driver, the scene is important as it demonstrates the beliefs and culture of western society and how it can be toxic for people of different skin color. Some existing stereotypes are within the characters themselves, notably the black women whose friends with Dev. She is stereotyped as what culture would assume a black lesbian woman would look and act.
Culture in many cases can be often harmful to others and can cause several stereotypes to arise. An example of this in the show was Dev’s realization that two Indian actors cannot be casted because preconceived notions that the movie would be an Indian movie, as a result this upsets Dev and demonstrates how harmful western culture is towards other races and minority groups, because of the culture people are forced to integrate, changing their beliefs, attitudes and daily lives the same way it forced Dev and his friends to change who they are as a person.