"The total impression of Right Now is not that it’s a defensive screed from a wealthy comedian claiming that the audience is also at fault for his behavior," says Kathryn VanArendonk of Ansari's first Netflix special since his #MeToo scandal in January 2018. "It doesn’t feel like a series of excuses, either, or a plain humble prostration, or an abandonment of comedy in the face of seriousness. It is at times all of those things, and Ansari argues for, variously, the importance of reconsidering the past, the importance of discarding the past, the need for wokeness, the exhaustion of wokeness, the significance of cultural context, the frustration of contextual truths, the need for gratitude, and the emotional difficulty of gratitude. It’s intentionally full of contradictions, and Ansari has no interest in trying to resolve them. Right Now feels like a reckoning because it feels like an hour of Ansari, actively and sometimes futilely and often hilariously, attempting to wrestle with what it means to be an artist in the world right now. I’m not sure that it matters much that the result is a tangle of contradictions and generalizations and personal stories; the tangle is carefully choreographed, and the contradictions are intentional. This version of reckoning is less about answers, and more about the process of posing them."