I don’t personally understand this view, but I have gathered, over the lifespan of Parks and Recreation, that there are people out there who aren’t Tom Haverford fans. The most common complaint I hear from the character’s detractors is that he’s too over-the-top, cartoonish, and shallow.
Again, I’m solidly on Team Tom, but it still makes me really happy to see Aziz Ansari continue his recent streak of general Crushing It, mostly because he’s making a big name for himself right now as a person who still has the charm and cuddliness of his Parks & Rec character, but an intelligence and sense of the world that Tom was definitely not known for. Between the absolutely incredible Master of None, his New York Times piece on race in Hollywood, and his Colbert appearance last night in which he literally left Colbert momentarily speechless, Ansari is a force sweeping through our collective brainspace at full speed.
Those issues of racial disparities have been coming up a lot for Ansari lately. Not just in his Times piece, but also in the spectacular Master of None episode, “Indians on TV.” Another subject he explored on the show is the disconnect between parents and children, and how we can show gratitude for the sacrifices our parents have made for us. Like the institutionalized racism, the parents issue is one that is clearly close to Ansari’s heart. After that Colbert appearance, in which Ansari’s father (who play’s Dev’s father in Aziz’s show) also appeared, Aziz got a little emotional.
My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in Master of None. So I'm really relieved this all worked out. Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: "This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you." I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have. I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven't visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I'd get bored in SC. I'm an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize. I've been overwhelmed by the response to the Parents episode of our show. What's strange is doing that episode and working with my parents has increased the quality of my relationship to my parents IN MY REAL LIFE. In reality, I haven't always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better. And if you have something like that with your family - I urge you to work at it and get better because these are special people in your life and I get terrified when my dad tells me about friends of his, people close to his age, that are having serious health issues, etc. Enjoy and love these people while you can. Anyway, this show and my experiences with my parents while working on it have been very important in many ways and I thank for you the part you all have played in it.
My reaction to pretty much everything Aziz Ansari has done lately: