The 2016 Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning. As with every awards show in history, there was a flood of snubs and surprises.
But there was one in particular that really got to us: Shoukath Ansari.
Shoukath is comedian Aziz Ansari’s dad. He played himself in Aziz’s Netflix series “Master of None.” The older Ansari deserved a nomination for his acting. A nomination for the first-time actor is not as implausible as it sounds.
Aziz lobbied hard for his father to win a nomination.
Back in November, Ansari said that doing “Master of None” had brought himself and his father closer together. When it came to campaigning for the Emmys, Shoukath became a poster boy for the show. He popped up on a billboard in Los Angeles.
The Emmy voters driving past the billboard on La Cienega Boulevard clearly did not take notice. But the show did manage to snag a few other nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series.
But Shoukath Ansari’s performance was really fantastic, especially since he had never acted before “Master of None.”
In real life, the elder Ansari is a doctor. And he played one on the show (his mother also plats a fictionalized version of herself).
Shoukath Ansari gave a wise, heartfelt, and hilarious performance. The relationship between Aziz (Dev) and Shoukath (Ramesh) feels like a true father-son bond. Both the closeness and the distance between them are visceral. This is something that could not have been achieved had they hired a more experienced actor for the role.
“Master of None” was an unexpected hit. Something that made it so special was how real and genuine it felt. The loose writing and story structure helped. But what really elevated that was seeing a real family onscreen interacting and reconciling their problems. It turned the show from a fine comedy into award-worthy television.
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