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‘Master of None’ Gets Tonal Inspiration From Classic ’70s Films

Master of None creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang talk to Indiewire about their new Netflix comedy and why its look and tone were inspired by ’70s films like The Heartbreak Kid and Shampoo.

“One thing I liked was the way it’s shot; things are paced totally different than they [typically] are now. Things now are so fast-paced and they just: cut, single, single, single, single! Everything moves so fast. Characters are saying joke, joke, joke, joke! And stuff back then was more conversational. It felt more natural and real. Everything had more room to breathe,” Ansari explains. “I think the other thing that attracted us to this stuff was just tonally this stuff feels more real. Now I think the instinct is for everything to wrap up in a nice bow and the guy and the girl get together and everything is good. Those movies didn’t always end like that. I love that moment at the end of Shampoo where he’s like, ‘Alright, well, I guess I’ll get together with this girl,’ and he goes to get back with her and she’s like, ‘No, I’m hooking up with this other guy. He’s like, ‘Oh, okay.’ [laughs] And he’s just left there bewildered. […] Those moments, I relate to that. That’s the kind of sh** where I’m like, ‘Oh wow, that really speaks to me,’ and I think a lot of people feel that more so than, ‘Oh, the two characters get together and they’re really happy.’ [laughs] I guess they can relate to that at times, but I think the other thing is way more interesting and raw. I always liked living in that moment and that tone, where things felt more real and didn’t always have a tidy ending.”