Emmy Episode Analysis: Aziz Ansari (‘Master of None’) falls in love Italian style in ‘The Dinner Party’

Aziz Ansari has reaped his second consecutive Emmy nomination as Best Comedy Actor for “Master of None.” Last year the comedian received his first four career bids for producing, directing, writing, and starring in the Netflix series about a struggling New York actor. He prevailed along with co-creator Alan Yang for writing in the first season, and now he once again competes for producing and writing. That brings him a grand total of seven bids in just two years.

After returning from a long trip to Italy, Dev has been slumming as host of a competitive cupcake-making program. He’s excited to hang out with his Italian friend Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi), who has come to New York accompanying her boyfriend on a business trip. Despite advice from Arnold (Eric Wareheim), his second date with Priya (Tiya Sircar) fails miserably, so when celebrity chef Jeff Pastore (Bobby Cannavale) invites him to a special dinner, he brings Francesca. They run into Dev’s friend Ravi (Ravi Patel) and watch John Legend perform a special song. The two have a great time, but later Jeff pulls Dev aside and points out that Dev has feelings for her. Dev says goodnight to Francesca, who’s returning to Italy.

Can Ansari win for this episode? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

PROS

“Master of None” doubled its nomination total this season from four to eight, proof that the series is growing in popularity.

Ansari has been uncertain about the possibility of a third season. So this could potentially be the last opportunity to reward him in this category (not to mention the series).

While the Emmys love repeats, the last person to win this category three years in a row was Michael J. Fox for “Family Ties” (1986-1988). So is two-time back-to-back champion Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”) vulnerable to previous nominees Ansari, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”), and William H. Macy (“Shameless”), or newcomers Donald Glover (“Atlanta”) and Zach Galifianakis (“Baskets”)?

CONS:

Like I said, Emmy voters do love repeats, and back-to-back champ Tambor is back and ready for thirds.

Auteur-driven shows often win their stars prizes for writing or directing, but seldom for acting (just ask Louis C.K., who twice prevailed for writing “Louie” but never once for acting). Perhaps voters will feel another likely victory in Best Comedy Writing will be sufficient reward for Ansari.

Comedians-turned-actors have a hard time winning this category. For every Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) who wins, there’s a Jerry Seinfeld (“Seinfeld”) or Louis C.K. who never does.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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