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Aziz Ansari's comeback is much more than an apology

Directed by Spike Jonze ‘, Ansari’s newest stand-up special on Netflix talks about how people learn from their mistakes, grow, and try to get better with each passing day

Aziz Ansaris comeback is much more than an apology

More than a year after American comedian/actor Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct at the height of #MeToo movement that rocked Hollywood and eventually the entire globe, he has returned with his newest stand-up special on Netflix – 'Right Now' – and unlike many others, the first thing he does is address the incident and apologise.

While Ansari has been on a hiatus after the allegations surfaced and he issued a statement, this is the first show he has put out since then. The special, directed by Spike Jonze, was filmed shortly after one of his tours.

In the beginning of the act, Ansari says, "I just hope I have become a better person..."

Interestingly, he also mentions that the incident made his friends "think about every single date they've had and that's a good thing".

'Right Now' is more than just Ansari's apology; it is about how people grow, learn and try to be better every single day.

The Indian-American comic tackles everything from white people trying to explain why they liked 'Crazy Rich Asians' to what he calls a race to outwoke each other at every step.

Talking about the incident, when a white teenager in Utah wore a Chinese-style dress to her prom last year and was instantly attacked on social media with "My culture is not your prom dress" quips, calling it cultural appropriation, Ansari makes a significant point about how the culture of social media shaming has somehow eliminated the element of having a conversation about difficult topics.

On the opposite side, he also addresses how white people or privileged people have a tendency of going on and on about their awareness of injustices faced by minority communities. Ansari jokes that it's almost as if they are trying to earn brownie points by recognising their position of privilege. "Things don't just become racist when white people figure it out," he says.

Moreover, given the current state of affairs across the globe, where close friends and family members end up having political differences leading towards an impasse in their relationships, Ansari's 'Right Now' manages to remain very relevant. Further, Ansari's writing is so fresh in comparison to his work in shows like the Golden Globe-winner 'Master of None'; showing his growth and maturity as a comic and a person.

In fact, there is a section where he talks about what happens when people start judging actions retrospectively and seamlessly brings up his own works from the past. He refers to 'Parks and Rec' – the sitcom that first brought him fame, and says that if people watched it in 2019, they would have wildly different opinions about it, all the while maintaining that growth is about recognising the past and then growing from it.

And of course, Jonze's direction adds a special charm to the show. Shot in a way that makes viewers feel like Ansari is in their living room, telling them stories from his life, Jonze has made sure that the American comic's comeback leaves a mark.

Abhinay Lakshman

Abhinay Lakshman

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