Published May 24, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
Aziz Ansari's Buried Alive was the second standup comedy special to be produced as a Netflix original (following Russell Peters' Notorious). It's undeniably entertaining but will resonate more with audiences in their late 20s/early 30s as Ansari shares his views on turning 30, marriage, and babies.
Ansari is a master at making the norms of our society seem strange — so much so that in a few instances in this special, he is able to make a concept like marriage seem hilariously absurd simply through the tone and cadence with which he delivers his description of the mundane.
Ansari also has a wonderful talent for conjuring ridiculous scenarios and characters, providing just enough detail to make each situation vivid, yet effortless to follow while his act-outs run seamlessly through the narrative of each joke. Ansari's energy and boyish charm make Buried Alive's focus on kid-related jokes especially engaging, as he represents a range of characters on the spectrum from cute to shitty children.
In addition to his more personal reflections about turning 30, he also covers online dating, reality TV shows, and dick pics with his own spin (i.e., Xzibit is suddenly raising 30 kids from 16 and Pregnant as his own) and then pushes the envelope as he also discusses psychopathic cases of bullying and child molestation. He handles these sensitive topics expertly and never loses his audience. Finally, he ends on a lighter note as he does a few bits where he sings his own renditions of songs played at nightclubs and songs by Seal.
Buried Alive is a polished, high-energy, 80 minutes of standup comedy that was nominated for Comedy Special of the Year. Ansari may joke about stereotypes of black dudes and magicians, but when it comes to this special, we're all going to be walking away a minimum of 30 feet and saying, "It's amazing! It's amazing! It's amazing!"