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Master of None, “Religion”

Master of None (2015 – present) is an original Netflix show that chronicles the personal, professional, and romantic experiences of Dev Shah, an Indian-American actor living in New York City. This scene opens with children from four different religions complaining to their parents about the religious services or rituals that they are required to attend. The scene then switches to a young Dev at a friend’s house the morning after a sleepover. Dev’s friend’s mom serves the boys bacon with their eggs and toast. Dev takes a bite and is amazed by the taste of the bacon, which he has never had before. His mom calls, and asks what he is doing at his friend’s house, because he was supposed to be home already. When he tells her that he is eating bacon, she says that he can’t eat it, because it is pork, and they are Muslim. When he asks why not, she says, “it is just our religion”. Dev weighs up his desire to eat the bacon and his obedience to his parents and their religion’s beliefs, and in the end, the bacon wins– the scene closes on Dev relishing the bacon as Tupac Shakur’s “Only God Can Judge Me” plays.

discussion

What are some of the religions featured in this scene? How do we know?

What is the point that this scene is making about children and religious practices? Why is it meant to be funny?

Why does Dev struggle with his decision to eat the bacon? Why does the scene end with the Tupac Shakur song, “Only God Can Judge Me”?

What is the relationship (or tension) between religion, ethnic identity, and assimilation that this scene is hinting at?