'Master of None' Panel Hyatt Grand Salon Opera, Montreal QC, July 30

'Master of None' Panel Hyatt Grand Salon Opera, Montreal QC, July 30
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Consisting of writer/producer and star Aziz Ansari, writer/producer Alan Yang, and actors Noël Wells and Kelvin Yu, this panel about the hit Netflix series Master of None entertainingly gave lots of details about the show's unique production process.
 
The panel started off with Ansari admitting that the creation of the show started as an excuse for him and Alan Yang to get out of L.A. and hang out in New York, then segued into him and Yang talked about how working on Parks and Recreation taught them how to create a fun, supportive work environment. Following that, the cast revealed the creative process for their critically acclaimed first season: before they did any filming, they wrote the entire series, read over all the episodes, then went back through the scripts and added foreshadowing so that the season's arc would seem more natural. They said it very casually, but it was actually a really inspiringly intelligent insight into how they made such a great show.
 
After Noël Wells cleverly noted that "At the beginning [of long term relationships] it's like eating candy, but by the end it's like eating after you're already full," the panel went into details of specific episodes of the show. Ansari revealed that "Mornings" stemmed from his idea of having Dev and Rachel fight after going on a double date with Denise and a girl. He explained that he liked the setup, but he changed it to a series of scenes in Dev's apartment after he realized that the double date story could be done on any sitcom.
 
As a result of that realization, he felt it was important to explore the same issues in a different way, because otherwise he would be wasting the creative freedom Netflix allowed him. Subsequently, the cast also shared that "Ladies and Gentlemen" was based on Ansari's standup, and talked about how the series never has any clear heroes or villains because they believe if they write comedy like a loose portrayal of their friends and their sense of humour, it will be more relatable than watching polarized personalities.
 
The Master of None panel wound down with Yang and Ansari talking about how the show's diverse casting and its ethno-cultural themes were the result of striving for the most compelling stories as opposed to an effort for diverse representation, and they paid tribute to the late genius Harris Wittels.
 
Finally, the panel did a Q & A with the audience. The questions from the crowd were mostly mediocre, but they strengthened the feeling that the Master of None team cared about their audience's suggestions, and would continue to push into new territory.